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Why Mr. Morton From Abbott Elementary Looks So Familiar

"Abbott Elementary" continues to stand out as one of the most interesting shows currently airing on television. A critical darling and ratings juggernaut, "Abbott Elementary" has found a loyal group of fans who enjoy the show's wholesome and insightful working class comedy. Set in a fictional Philadelphia elementary school, the series follows the trials and tribulations that public school teachers face. While the series mostly focuses on a core cast of diverse teachers, each who teach different aged students, the show occasionally shines light on other teachers and school staff members.

Season 2, Episode 8, titled "Egg Drop" puts the focus on Mr. Morton, an eighth grade science teacher who is teaching his class about the classic egg drop science experiment. Janine (Quinta Brunson) naturally involves herself in the science teacher's experiments, causing tension between the two. Fans of "Abbott Elementary" immediately found themselves as fans of Mr. Morton, the latest veteran educator who is frustrated with Janine. After falling in love with the guest character, many took to the show's unofficial fan subreddit to question where they've seen Mr. Morton before.

It turns out that Mr. Morton is played by Jerry Minor, a veteran of the Second City touring company who has nearly three decades of television credits under his belt. Playing a wide variety of roles throughout the years, fans have certainly seen the "Abbott Elementary" star in one of their favorite television shows.

Jerry Minor got his start with Mr. Show

Jerry Minor got to show off his comedic chops to the world when he appeared as a recurring guest actor on "Mr. Show," the sketch series headlined by Bob Odenkirk and David Cross. Celebrated by Rolling Stone as one the greatest sketch comedy shows of all time, "Mr. Show" ran for 4 seasons on HBO, launching both Odenkirk and Cross to comedic stardom. Joining them over their 30 episode run was Minor, who appeared in 12 episodes, primarily in Season 4.

The comedian is best remembered for appearing in Season 4, Episode 1, "Life Is Precious and God and the Bible," one of the highest rated shows from the HBO series on IMDB. Minor appears in the sketch "Lifeboat," which features feuding passengers on a lifeboat, hoping to be rescued. Minor's character, a strict believer in God, tells his fellow passengers to realize that "life is precious, and the God and the Bible." The small line has gone on to become one of "Mr. Show's" most memorable.

Minor has nothing but positive things to say about his time "Mr. Show." In a 2007 interview (via Vulture), Minor praised the collaborative but ultimately independent environment that Odenkirk, Cross, and the rest of the staff promoted. "The 'Mr. Show' staff really tried hard and cared about what they were doing, but they really took a personal interest and were left alone to do whatever they wanted," Minor said. "Mr. Show" ultimately wrapped up in 1998, paving the way for Minor to get his biggest gig yet. 

Jerry Minor joined the sketch show big leagues

After his stint on "Mr. Show," Jerry Minor ended up making jokes with the big leagues, joining NBC's iconic "Saturday Night Live." Debuting with Season 26 in 2000, Minor was featured alongside Tina Fey, who made the jump from writing to starring. The comedian's time with "SNL" saw him perform in a wide variety of sketches. He also lent his talents to the iconic "Weekend Update" segment. Perhaps Minors' most memorable sketch on "SNL" is when he rapped alongside Eminem

Minor consistently showed off his talent as an impressionist in Season 26. Some sketches he appeared in saw him doing impressions of actor Cuba Gooding Jr., musician Jimi Hendrix, and American politician Al Sharpton. Unfortunately, Minor was not asked to return for Season 27. According to Vulture, Minor and Chris Parnell ("Rick and Morty") were let go from "SNL" due to budget restraints. In a 2013 interview with Salon, Minor criticized the series for blindsiding and ignoring people of color and women. "When you don't have enough people of color with their views, people get in a vacuum, and they don't even think about it," Minor told Salon. "I had to make a concerted effort, and still have to make a concerted effort in my writing and ideas I come up with to include women." The actor also cited several moments behind-the-scenes where awkward discussions of race relations came up. 

Parnell would eventually be asked to return in Season 27, while Minor went on to appear in some of the most memorable sitcoms in recent memory. 

The Abbott Elementary actor played a cop in Arrested Development

Widely considered to be one of the best shows of all time, "Arrested Development" boasts a revolving door of outstanding guest stars who made the sitcom a cultural touchstone. In the beloved series, Jerry Minor was tapped to play police officer Carter, a recurring character during the show's tenure on Fox. The series saw him working with his "Mr. Show" boss David Cross once again. Part of the "Hot Cops" running gag, officer Carter was in a relationship with fellow officer Taylor (Jay Johnston). Season 2 saw the characters try for a baby via surrogacy. However, Season 1 saw the duo as fathers to daughters, who lose their children on Bring Your Daughter To Work Day. Clearly, there's a gap between the character's appearances in both Season 1 and 2.

Fans of "Arrested Development" have become obsessed with officers Carter and Taylor, creating a mythology about how the characters are inconsistent between the first and second season. "I like to think that the missing daughters don't actually exist. It's a ruse by the officers to hide their homosexuality by pretending to have kids. The writers knew what they were doing," wrote user u/yarnheadman in the unofficial fan r/ArrestedDevelopment subreddit. Minor appeared in the series five times, each time standing out as the confident but codependent Taylor. His appearance in "Arrested Development" would pave the way for future recurring roles in sitcoms, including "The Office."

Jerry Minor played a well-meaning custodian in Community

One of Jerry Minor's most beloved recurring roles was on NBC's "Community." The actor appeared as Janitor Jerry, one of the more prominent custodians at Greendale Community College. Appearing in five seasons, Jerry is best remembered for wanting to help Troy Barnes (Donald Glover) assume his destiny as a plumber after seeing the young student fix a water fountain and sink. Jerry first flirts with the idea in Season 1. Barnes ultimately rejects Jerry's advice to become a plumber, instead deciding to focus on his college experience with the rest of his study group.

It wasn't until Season 3 that Barnes decided to follow in Jerry's footsteps, finding joy and peace in being a plumber. However, Barnes' knack and enthusiasm for plumbing made him a prime candidate for Greendale's Air Conditioning Repair school, spearheaded by the nefarious Dean Robert Laybourne (John Goodman). Barnes decided to join the AC repair school, disappointing Jerry. After spending time as an AC repairman, Barnes realizes that both trades have their flaws, and decides to return to regular old Greendale. The AC vs Plumbing storyline is considered by "Community" fans on Reddit to be one the show's best. In general, Minor's character is beloved by "Community" fans, making him one of the most memorable recurring supporting characters. Jerry is also remembered for being one of the sole custodian members who has to clean the school after the annual paintball events.

Jerry Minor has since appeared in Netflix's "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," "Dr. Ken," and the recent "Sex Lives of College Girls." Here's hoping audiences continue to see the actor in "Abbott Elementary," hopefully as a main player.