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Parks And Recreation Fans Are Still Divided Over This Ongoing Jerry Joke

While the motley crew of government employees in "Parks and Recreation" may not have always agreed with each other, they always worked things out. Leslie's (Amy Poehler) bubbly optimism and Ron's (Nick Offerman) stoic individualism resulted in one of the best, unlikeliest friendships on television, and even frenemies April (Aubrey Plaza) and Ann (Rashida Jones) bonded over Cyndi Lauper's songwriting prowess. Things were less peachy, however, for Jerry Gergich (Jim O'Heir).

Jerry — also known as Garry, Larry, Terry, or even Barry — suffers untold indignities over the course of his seven seasons on "Parks and Recreation." He is the hopeless butt of many an office joke, a fact exacerbated by his own clumsiness and gastrointestinal distress (shout-out to the "fart attack"). As Ron Swanson sagely put it in a Season 2 episode, "A schlemiel is the guy who spills his soup at a fancy party. A schlimazel is the guy he spills it on. Jerry is both the schlemiel and the schlimazel of our office." Some fans, however, think the Jerry jokes went too far.

Some fans think Parks & Rec was too mean to Jerry

To some fans, the constant berating and belittling of Jerry is integral to the "Parks and Recreation" office environment. Others, meanwhile, find the excessive bullying grating. "Being mean to Jerry was the worst part of 'Parks and Rec,' u/Abbrder posited. "Change my mind." u/SwaggySwagS chimed in to agree, noting that the recurring gag pulled Jerry's coworkers out of character, especially in the case of the normally good-natured Leslie: "It felt as if ... the characters' personalities shifted completely for just harassing Jerry, then afterwards they pop back into their normal character."

Though the treatment of Jerry may have upset some fans, Jim O'Heir, the actor who portrays Jerry, didn't seem to mind. "The other actors were more concerned about me than I was," O'Heir told Esquire. "Maybe it's my sick sense of humor." Jerry lived a very charmed life outside of the office, which vindicated his horrible treatment at the parks department. "[Mike Schur's] theory on this is you can keep this up as long as this guy has some really amazing things in his life," says O'Heir. "And he does. Jerry has the best life of anyone in that office." Jerry enjoys a wonderful marriage to Gayle (Christie Brinkley), a timeshare in Muncie, plus some, uh, enviable physical attributes.

Luckily for O'Heir, the cast and crew were much kinder to him than his character, save one incident. When the actor received the script for the Season 5 episode "Jerry's Retirement," he assumed he had been written out of the show. The producers gave O'Heir the full Jerry treatment, letting him sweat for a full hour before assuring him he wasn't going anywhere. "That's how cruel those b******s are," O'Heir said. "In the best possible way."