James O'Heir (born February 4, 1962) is an American actor and comedian best known for co-starring as Jerry Gergich on the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation.

Jim O'Heir
Jim O'Heir 2012 (2) (cropped).jpg
O'Heir at the 2012 Peabody Awards
James O'Heir

(1962-02-04) February 4, 1962 (age 57)
Years active1987-present

O'Heir first became active in Chicago theater and improv during the late 1980s and early 1990s as part of the comedic theater troupe "White Noise", and appeared in such plays as The Book of Blanche, Stumpy's Gang and Ad-Nauseam with the group. O'Heir has appeared in several films and made guest appearances on such shows as Friends, Boston Legal, Malcolm in the Middle, Star Trek: Voyager, 3rd Rock from the Sun, ER, and Parenthood.

In 2000, he starred in a regular role in the Comedy Central series Strip Mall as Harvey Krudup, the husband of protagonist Tammi Tyler, who was played by Julie Brown. In 2009, O'Heir became a regular supporting cast member of the NBC comedy series Parks and Recreation, playing Jerry Gergich.

Early life and educationEdit

O'Heir was born in Chicago, and is a graduate of the Thornton Fractional South High School in Lansing, Illinois, and of Loyola University Chicago.[1]



O'Heir was active in the Chicago theater during the late 1980s and early 1990s, training and performing improvisational comedy at Chicago's Second City and as a member of the six-person sketch comedy troupe "White Noise", which formed in 1987.[2] The group wrote and produced comedic plays that often employed bizarre humor or black comedy.[3] Starting in November 1988, O'Heir appeared in White Noise's production of The Book of Blanche, about a woman who falls through a television screen and ends up in a fantasy world influenced by various television show genres.[4] In July 1989, O'Heir appeared in the Chicago premiere of the Tom Griffin play The Boys Next Door at the Edgewater Theatre Center. O'Heir played Norman Bulansky, a childlike middle-aged mentally handicapped man who works at a doughnut shop.[5]

Starting in 1990, O'Heir appeared in White Noise's Stumpy's Gang, a one-act black comedy play by Patrick Cannon.[6] The show played at Stage Left and Strawdog Theatres in Chicago, where it developed a cult following.[7] O'Heir played Frank Bubman, the janitor for a genetics laboratory whose job is to destroy the unsuccessful experiments, which are portrayed by puppets.[8] Frank secretly uses the experiments to stage private shows reminiscent of early television programs. Mary Shen Barnidge of the Chicago Reader said of his performance, "The grotesquely ursine Jim O'Heir adds a new dimension to the role of the enfant terrible with his uninhibited and enthusiastic portrayal of Frank, who will break your heart even as he turns your stomach."[8] Ernest Tucker of the Chicago Sun-Times described O'Heir's performance as very funny and "unforgettable",[3] and said he "held together this funny yet sick apocalyptic fantasy".[7] Stumpy's Gang closed in the fall of 1991.[7] Also with White Noise, O'Heir appeared in the play Ad-Nauseam, about a pair of writers who create an ad campaign about a character named Rim Shot, played by O'Heir. Rim Shot, dressed as a gladiator costume made up of bristle brushes and toilet detritus.[9]

O'Heir played the inmate Dale Harding in Dale Wasserman's stage adaption of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at The Theatre District in Hollywood, California.[when?] Backstage writer Terri Roberts said O'Heir stood out among the show's cast.[10]


O'Heir appeared in the 1996 baseball comedy film Ed[11] and 1998 fantasy television film Harvey.[11] He also appeared in the 2007 family drama film Welcome to Paradise.[1] O'Heir played Hathaway in the 2016 film, Range 15.


O'Heir has appeared in several television shows since the 1990s and 2000s, including 3rd Rock from the Sun, Malcolm in the Middle, Just Shoot Me, Star Trek: Voyager, Suite Life of Zack and Cody and ER.[11] Starting in 2000, O'Heir starred in a regular role in the Comedy Central series Strip Mall as Harvey Krudup, the unattractive husband of protagonist Tammi Tyler, who was played by Julie Brown. The character is the owner of the Starbrite Cleaners business, and Tammi marries him under the false assumption that he is rich.[12][13] After learning Harvey is not wealthy, Tammi makes numerous attempts to have him murdered.[14]

In November 2003, he made a guest appearance in the tenth season episode of Friends, "The One With the Birth Mother", where he played the manager of an adoption agency.[11] On November 28, 2004, he appeared in the Boston Legal episode "Loose Lips", where he played a man fired from being a department store Santa Claus because he is a cross dresser.[15]

Starting in 2009, O'Heir became a regular supporting cast member of the NBC comedy series Parks and Recreation.[16][17][18] He originally auditioned for the role of Ron Swanson,[19] before being cast as Jerry Gergich, a clumsy employee at a local government parks department who is often routinely mocked by his fellow co-workers who also called him one of four names, Jerry, Larry, Terry, and Garry. Although the character has been featured in the series since the first episode, he started to become more fully developed and play larger roles in the episodes during the second season.[17][18] The episode "Park Safety", in which Jerry pretends to have been mugged in order to avoid being made fun of for an injury, was focused almost entirely around Jerry and drew positive reviews for O'Heir's comedic performance.[18][20]

In 2011, O'Heir made a guest appearance on the NBC comedy-drama series Parenthood as a bar owner.[21] In 2013, he guest-starred on Good Luck Charlie as a couch surgeon and the owner of a couch store, and later in the year he had a main role in the Ion Television movie My Santa,[22] as Jack, Santa's right-hand man. That same year, he appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live as real-life Toronto mayor Rob Ford, who had recently been involved in a crack-smoking scandal. In 2016, he appeared as Sheriff Reynolds in two episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. In 2016, he voiced the character "Aiden" on Harvey Beaks, the grandfather of the titular character.

In 2017, O'Heir won a daytime Emmy for Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series for The Bold and the Beautiful. [23]



Year Title Role Notes
1996 Ed Art
1998 Spike Michael Short film
1999 H@ Bank Manager (voice) Short film
2000 In God We Trust Foreman Short film
2006 Accepted Sherman Schrader II
2006 Comedy Hell Wilford
2007 Welcome to Paradise Fred Fargo
2011 Grow Up Already Dad Short film
2012 Seeking a Friend for the End of the World Sheriff
2013 Mediating Kidnapper Doug Short film
2013 Armed Response Norval
2013 Boats The Boss Short film
2014 Naughty & Nice Harper
2014 Life After Beth Chip the Mailman
2014 The Turtle's Head Dr. Friel Short film
2015 If I Could Tell You Jim Short film
2015 Road Hard Mark Davis
2015 Life in Color Bill Winters
2015 Bad Night Bob
2015 Spare Change Don
2015 Helen Keller vs. Nightwolves Vance
2016 Mind Over Mindy Mr. Dick Wiener
2016 Halloweed Mayor Price
2016 The Dust Storm Steve Bundy
2016 Middle Man Lenny
2016 Range 15 Scientist Hathaway
2016 Astronaut Camp Harry Short film
2017 Take Me Stuart
2017 Landline Steve Gout
2017 Logan Lucky Cal
2018 Dance Baby Dance Mr. Dalrymple
2018 Bad Times at the El Royale Milton Wyrick
2019 The Last Whistle Ted
2019 When Jeff Tried to Save the World Carl Post-production
2020 Violet Dennis Fitcher Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1996 Harvey Duane Wilson Television film
1996 The Rockford Files: Godfather Knows Best Head Chef Television film
1996 Party of Five Plumber #1 Episode: "Deal With It"
1996 ER McKenna Episode: "Last Call"
1996 3rd Rock from the Sun Walt Episode: "Gobble, Gobble, Dick, Dick"
1996 Pearl Delivery Guy Episode: "Christmas Daze"
1997 Ellen Kelsy Episode: "G.I. Ellen"
1997, 2002 Just Shoot Me! Howie, Big Dan 2 episodes
1998 Step by Step Tom Garilick Episode: "Pain in the Class"
1998 Mr. Murder Swimmer's Father Television
1998 The Drew Carey Show The Maintenance Guy / Man in the Moon 2 episodes
1998 The Love Boat: The Next Wave Vince Deering Episode: "All That Glitters"
1999 Working Fryer Lawrence Episode: "Romeo and Julie"
1999 Diagnosis: Murder Howard Weber Episode: "Voices Carry"
1999 Ally McBeal Steve Mallory Episode: "Saving Santa"
2000 Martial Law Dr. Cheery Tooth Episode: "Freefall"
2000 Star Trek: Voyager Husband Episode: "Critical Care"
2000 Popular Warner Episode: "Are You There God? It's Me Ann-Margret"
2000 The Norm Show Mr. Wooten Episode: "Norm vs. Schoolin"
2000–2001 Strip Mall Harv Krudup 22 episodes
2001 Malcolm in the Middle Roy Episode: "Book Club"
2001 The Huntress Businessman Episode: "The Hunted/Vegas: Part 2"
2001 Dharma & Greg Chief R J Anderson Episode: "Educating Dharma: Part 1"
2002 George Lopez Reggie / Pete 2 episodes
2003 Grounded for Life Harry Episode: "Your Father Should Know: Part 1"
2004 Friends Adoption Agency Worker Episode: "The One with the Birth Mother"
2004 American Dreams Big Arnie 2 episodes
2004 Cold Case Ned Ryan Episode: "Maternal Instincts"
2004 Boston Legal Gil Furnald Episode: "Loose Lips"
2005 Less than Perfect Russell Episode: "I Just Don't Like Her"
2005 Jane Doe: Vanishing Act Air Traffic Controller Television film
2005 Without a Trace Mr. Ricker Episode: "End Game"
2006 Falling in Love with the Girl Next Door Reverend Mayfield Television film
2006 The Suite Life of Zack & Cody Maynard's Dad Episode: "Neither a Borrower Nor a Speller Bee"
2006 Desperate Housewives Sam Killian Episode: "I Know Things Now"
2006 Monk Park Ranger Episode: "Mr. Monk and the Big Game"
2007 State of Mind Administrator Episode: "Lost and Found"
2007 Saving Grace Mitch Duncan Episode: "A Language of Angels"
2007 Curb Your Enthusiasm Detective Episode: "The Therapists"
2008 Swingtown Mr. Stone Episode: "Friends with Benefits"
2008 Raising the Bar D.A. Thomas Sheridan Episode: "Guatemala Gulfstream"
2009 Safe Harbor Mr. Cook Television film
2009 Castle Hal Rossi Episode: "The Double Down"
2009–2015 Parks and Recreation Jerry Gergich 122 episodes
2011 Parenthood Pete Episode: "Qualities and Difficulties"
2011 Rizzoli & Isles Dr. Little Episode: "Don't Hate the Player"
2012 CollegeHumor Originals John Adams Episode: "Declaration of Email Signatures"
2012 The Mentalist Norris Episode: "The Crimson Ticket"
2012 The House on South Bronson Jim Episode: "Mansitting"
2013 Vegas Bank Manager Episode: "Scoundrels"
2013 Good Luck Charlie Alan Episode: "Teddy's New Beau"
2013 It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Doctor Episode: "The Gang Gets Quarantined"
2013 My Santa Jack Television film
2013 Non-Stop Howard Television film
2013 The Wrong Woman Ed Television film
2014 Math Bites Celebrity Guy / Singing Flower Head 2 episodes
2014 Geek Cred New Guy Episode: "Detective Comics Store"
2014 Switched at Birth Chuck Conroy Episode: "It Isn't What You Think"
2014 Fatal Acquittal Greyson Television film
2015 Hot in Cleveland Ross Episode: "Kitchen Nightmare"
2015 I Didn't Do It Principal McLean Episode: "Cheer Up Girls"
2015 Austin & Ally Santa Episode: "Santas & Surprises"
2016 These People Tom Episode: "Dad"
2016 Kidnapping Lizzie: Nightmare Visions Detective Williams Television film
2016 Veep Mr. Brookheimer Episode: "Thanksgiving"
2016 Harvey Beaks Aiden (voice) Episode: "The New Bugaboo/The Case of the Missing Pancake"
2016-19 The Bold and the Beautiful Matt Cannistra 6 episodes
2016 Dr. Havoc's Diary General Plague (voice) Web series
2016 Another Period Attorney 2 episodes
2016 This Isn't Working Mr. Golden Episode: "A Very Special Episode"
2016 Brooklyn Nine-Nine Sheriff Reynolds 2 episodes
2016 Edgar Allan Poe's Murder Mystery Dinner Party Constable Jim Mini-series
2017 Speechless Stu Episode: "H-e-r-Hero"
2017 Mommy, I Didn't Do It Ed Television film
2017 The Thundermans Farmer Ted Episode: "Date of Emergency"
2017 Superior Donuts Gary Episode: "Man Without a Health Plan"
2017 A Moving Romance Neil Wilson Television film
2017 Bill Nye Saves the World Rabies Episode: "Do Some Shots, Save the World"
2017 The Mayor Ross Gibbage Episode: "Buyer's Remorse"
2018 Alone Together Warren Episode: "Pilot"
2019 Bless This Mess Kent Recurring
2019 The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience Puka Shell Bob Television special
2019 Pearson Police Superintendent Chuck Hargrove 2 episodes
2019 The Neighborhood Maynard Episode: "Welcome to the Camping Trip"


  1. ^ a b Clark, Mike (April 16, 2008). "High School Spotlight: TF South". Chicago Sun-Times. p. 64.
  2. ^ Davidson, Phil (October 1, 2013). "Talking to Jim O'Heir About Playing Jerry on 'Parks and Recreation'". Splitsider. Retrieved 2017-03-10.
  3. ^ a b Tucker, Ernest (September 28, 1993). "White Noise Tale a Muted Effort". Chicago Sun-Times. p. 37.
  4. ^ Hevrdejs, Judy (November 11, 1988). "'Book of Blanche' A Wacky Subscription". Chicago Tribune. p. CN2.
  5. ^ Christiansen, Rrichard (July 20, 1989). "A drab 'Boys' seems to sour from the outset". Chicago Tribune. p. C22.
  6. ^ Hilsman, Hoyt (November 2, 1994). "Stumpy's Gang (Zephyr Theatre, West Hollywood; 75 seats; $ 15 top)". Daily Variety.
  7. ^ a b c Tucker, Ernest (August 20, 1993). "White Noise Will Go on 'Ad-Nauseam'". Chicago Sun-Times. p. 27.
  8. ^ a b Barnidge, Mary Shen (May 10, 1990). "Stumpy's Gang...A Comic Mutilation". Chicago Reader. Retrieved March 27, 2010.
  9. ^ Smith, Sid (September 2, 1993). "'Ad-Nauseam' comedy runs out of steam". Chicago Tribune. p. 10F.
  10. ^ Roberts, Terri (June 16, 2005). "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at The Theatre District". Back Stage West. p. 17.
  11. ^ a b c d Starr, Michael (November 3, 2003). "Starr Report". The New York Post. p. 85.
  12. ^ Kuklenski, Valerie (July 25, 2000). "'Strip' Tease; Julie Brown Kids the Valley...All in Fun". Los Angeles Daily News.
  13. ^ Gallo, Phil (June 19, 2000). "Strip Mall". Variety. p. 35.
  14. ^ Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (2003). The complete directory to prime time network and cable TV shows, 1946-present. Ballantine Books. p. 1142. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.
  15. ^ Starr, Michael (November 29, 2004). "Starr Report". The New York Post. p. 89.
  16. ^ Ryan, Maureen (March 15, 2010). "News bits on 'Bones,' 'Battlestar' alumni and 'Archer'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 27, 2010.
  17. ^ a b Weiner, Jonah (2009-12-02). "You really should be watching NBC's Parks and Recreation". Slate. Archived from the original on 2011-02-02. Retrieved 2010-01-01.
  18. ^ a b c Sepinwall, Alan (March 19, 2010). "Parks and Recreation, 'Park Safety': Andy Samberg, park ranger". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved March 22, 2010.
  19. ^ Lehman, Daniel (March 8, 2012). "John Lutz and Jim O'Heir Play the Punching Bags on NBC Sitcoms". Backstage. Retrieved Aug 17, 2012.
  20. ^ Gonzalez, Sandra (March 19, 2010). "'Parks and Recreation' recap: Let's hear it for the schlemiel and schlemazel". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 22, 2010.
  21. ^ Sepinwall, Alan (March 2, 2011). "Review: 'Parenthood' - 'Qualities and Difficulties': The play's the thing". HitFix. Retrieved March 21, 2011.
  22. ^ Pennington, Gail (November 27, 2013). "Snowed under: Christmas comes early, often on TV". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
  23. ^ Desta, Yohana (May 1, 2017). "Parks and Rec Punching Bag Jim O'Heir Is Now an Emmy Winner". Vanity Fair. Retrieved February 2, 2018.

External linksEdit