Gerald "Garry" Gergich (also known as Jerry, Larry Gengurch, Terry Gengurch, and Mailman Barry ) was a major character in the NBC comedy Parks and Recreation. He is portrayed by Jim O'Heir.

Background[edit | edit source]

Jerry was a married father of three girls, who worked for the Department of Parks and Recreation. His wife Gayle is a beautiful blonde woman, and their daughters are similarly attractive.

Jerry was often mistreated due to his embarrassing history, which is a collection of awkward incidents resulting from his apparent clumsiness and ineptitude.

He seems to have a normal family life and a strong artistic side. He once created a mural of an alcove of Pawnee City Hall, which was actually composed of small pictures of Pawnee citizens. He is also a skilled pianist and an amateur inventor.

Due to his reputation as a sad excuse for a human, Jerry is often dismissed even if he is clearly in the right and what he has created is breathtaking.

Storyline[edit | edit source]

Season 1[edit | edit source]

Jerry's personality is not very developed at this point in the show, and his role mostly consists of being the co-worker who is constantly mocked by the other employees.

Season 2[edit | edit source]

In the episode "Practice Date", while the Parks Department is attempting to dig up dirt on one another, several things come out about Jerry. Dave Sanderson states Jerry has had a few public urination violations. Mark Brendanawicz reveals Jerry's adoptive mother was arrested for marijuana.  When asked if he knew about this, Jerry responded that he didn't know he was adopted. It's also revealed that Jerry was once hit by a fire truck and had to have plastic surgery.

When one of the city hall murals is defaced, the Parks Department is tasked with creating a new mural in the episode "The Camel". While presenting his work, a pointillism piece that includes pictures of all the citizens in Pawnee, he refers to it as a "murinal" rather than mural, opening him up to ridicule from the entire department.

In "Park Safety", Jerry claimed he was mugged and the office was more accepting of him as he recovered, but he later admitted to Leslie that he actually got hurt when he fell while trying to retrieve a burrito he had dropped at a park. When Mark pointed out to Leslie that Jerry was so terrified of being mocked by his co-workers that he made up a ridiculous story to avoid that, Leslie went along with the lie, and Jerry later returned to being his old self around the office.

Season 3[edit | edit source]

Jerry paints a portrait of Leslie Knope (It was not meant to be of Leslie, but he explains when he thinks of "powerful women," he thinks of Leslie) for a community art show that depicts her as a bare-chested goddess in "Jerry's Painting". However, the community demands that the artwork be taken down due to the nudity. Leslie and Jerry decide to create a duplicate painting, but one that has Tom Haverford as the centaur, so that the community wouldn't object to it anymore, while Leslie hides the actual painting.

Season 4[edit | edit source]

During Donna and Tom's "Treat Yo' Self", Jerry was left alone at the office so Chris Traeger gives him the day off. He invites Chris to go along with him to lunch with his daughter. At first, Chris declines but later accepts when he sees that Milly is very attractive. Jerry struggles with Chris and Milly's relationship, especially since Chris insists on giving Jerry constant updates on what he and Milly have been doing.

In "The Trial of Leslie Knope", it is revealed that his real name is Garry. On his first day, the old Director got his name wrong, and Jerry didn't think he should correct him. Jerry is conflicted even further when he finds out Milly plans to break up with Chris at the same time as Chris plans to ask her to move in.

In the Season 4 finale, Jerry was worried because he forgot to cast a vote for Leslie in the city council election. Luckily, she wins the election, but Ron reveals to Leslie that Jerry forgot to vote.

Season 5[edit | edit source]

In "Halloween Surprise" Leslie and Ann scared Jerry as he emerged from the men's room. He had a heart attack which resulted in a prolonged bout of flatulence. He survived, and Leslie arranged a tag sale/auction in an attempt to raise money for his medical bills.

Jerry and his family threw an elaborate Christmas party, to which Donna, Tom, Andy and April were surprised to find they had not been invited. They later learned that they HAD received invitations via e-mail, but those invitations had been removed by what they refer to as the "Jerry filter"on their e-mail accounts. It was also revealed that Jerry's co-workers collect money throughout the year whenever they laugh at something embarrassing that Jerry does, which they then use to treat themselves to a fancy dinner at year's end (without his knowledge). Ann shamed the group into giving this money to Jerry.

In "Animal Control" Jerry was an applicant to run the Pawnee Animal Control department. It was revealed that Jerry's degree was from a two-year college, meaning that he was not technically qualified for the job he had been doing in the Parks Department. Chris agreed to let Jerry keep his job, but at a reduced salary, which Jerry considered to be fair.

Jerry retired in the episode "Jerry's Retirement," but returned to work part-time at the Parks Department at Ron's request (which Ron did as a favor for Tom, who had found himself being treated as the "new Jerry" in the office). Andy called him Jeremy when he retired.

Season 6[edit | edit source]

After the merger of Pawnee and Eagleton, Jerry returns to the Parks Department full-time as a filing clerk. Seeking a fresh start, he asks everyone to call him by his real name of "Garry," however, after some confusion and annoyance (during which Jerry calls himself by the wrong name), everyone begins to call him "Larry." April went so far as to give him the new last name of "Gengurch," which Jerry then used on his outgoing voicemail message.

In "Recall Vote", Larry was tasked with carving pumpkins for City Hall's haunted house. He disappoints Leslie by carving the Gergich family's faces into the pumpkins.  He suggests to Chris and Ann that they should get married, observing how much in love they seem to be.

In "Anniversaries," he helps Ben organize surprises for Ben's and Leslie's first wedding anniversary one day early.  These include a couple massage, a ride in a horse-drawn carriage, tango lessons, and a meal.  However, due to Leslie's busy schedule Ben ends up spending the day with Larry and they get on really well. Later in the season, during the episode "Galentine's Day," Ben expresses his fondness for Larry to the rest of the Parks Department, even though it is tantamount to social suicide.

In "Flu Season 2," he was placed in a decontamination tent so that he does not spread his flu. 

In the two-part season finale "Moving Up," he helps out at Tom's restaurant but mistakenly includes graphic pictures of his dog on the menus and ends up knocking over several shelves with glasses.  At the end of the episode there is a time jump to three years later and he has been renamed "Terry."

Season 7[edit | edit source]

The show now takes place in 2017, where Larry works for Leslie on the 3rd floor. He is now known as "Terry," since there is already another Larry in the department ("2017").

At Donna and Joe's wedding everyone teases Terry for his name card for saying "Garry" and decide to call him "Garry" from now on. He's secretly very happy, because after 30 years his co-workers are finally calling him by his real name. It was Donna who set it up, as a treat to her friend. ("Donna & Joe")

In "Two Funerals" Garry becomes Interim Mayor of Pawnee after the death of Mayor Gunderson.

In the series finale, a flashforward shows that Garry will be elected mayor for several more terms. He remains happily married to Gayle and has several grandchildren and great-grandchildren who all love and adore him. It also shows he died peacefully on his 100th birthday. His last name is mis-spelled on his tombstone "Girgich."

Traits[edit | edit source]

  • Despite being in poor health as stated by Ron, having multiple diseases like being obese and diabetic, he managed to surprisingly live up to the age of 100.
  • Ron has observed that Jerry was only effective when no one is watching him.
  • In early season episodes, Jerry was often shown displaying frustration, disappointment and annoyance at the way he was treated around the office. Following his heart attack and truncated retirement, he more frequently accepts abuse and insults with avuncular good cheer. 
  • In some episodes (heavily featured in "Galentine's Day II") Ben acknowledges Jerry playing in to his role as clumsy and oafish.  
  • Jerry has a contentious relationship with Kyle. During Chris and Ron's burger cook-off, Jerry was uncharacteristically harsh in criticizing Kyle choice of words for being "pretentious." Later, in the episode "Farmers Market," Larry complains that Kyle has repeatedly parked in Larry's parking space.
  • Despite being constantly mocked in the office, Jerry seems very content in his life at home; his wife and three daughters are all strikingly beautiful, and his home life always appears cheerful. It is even a running gag among his coworkers to marvel at how he got Gayle to marry him (Ben goes so far as to predict that she was "hypnotized and just never woke up"). It is revealed by a doctor that Jerry has an enormous penis, which may explain why Gayle married him.
  • In "Jerry's Retirement," when Leslie dropped by Jerry's house to deliver a "year book" for Jerry's government service, she was invited to breakfast.  Approaching the end of the breakfast, Jerry easily caught a coffee mug that had been knocked off the table (using 1 hand). Some viewers have interpreted this as an indication that his clumsiness in the office is fake and that his incompetence at work is intentional, with Jerry using the deceit to avoid being given work assignments and instead spend the time having a great life with his family.  Another interpretation is that when Jerry is away from the stress, scrutiny, and abuse of the office, Jerry is a competent and coordinated (even graceful) man.
  • In the 7th season, Jerry appears to have changed the least amongst the old Parks Department employees in terms of success, family, relationships, and popularity.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • In the episode "One in 8,000", he revealed that he developed the renewable source of clean energy.
  • According to Officer Dave Sanderson, Jerry has been cited on more than one occasion for public urination.
  • Tom and April were always especially critical of Jerry, ready to pounce on him at any slip-up he made.
  • Jerry's career in local government began in the Animal Control department.
  • He suffered from diabetes, and used the same medication as Li'l Sebastian.
  • While extremely clumsy at work, Jerry can be seen as as quite agile during a breakfast that Leslie was spending with him and his family.
  • Jerry enjoyed mystery novels.
  • Jerry is excellent at artwork, but his talent is usually dismissed by everyone.
  • Jerry's birthday was February 29th, 1948. He was born during a Leap Year, which means that he only gets a "real" birthday celebration every 4 years. 2012 was his "sixteenth" birthday, though he actually turned 64.
  • According to Dr. Harris, Jerry's penis was the largest he had ever seen.
  • Gayle took his virginity when he was 24.
  • Jerry was a frequent customer at Sherm's Ice Cream parlor in Muncie, where he drops his ice cream "about half the time", resulting in the owner frequently making a backup cone.
  • Jerry met Gayle at Sherm's, and he claimed that when they met, she was not the type of woman to which he was typically attracted.
  • Jerry professed to be a big fan of Indianapolis Colts player Andrew Luck.
  • In "The Reporter," he reveals he teaches a Preteen Nature Hike. For a while, it was a Teen Nature Hike, but then they changed it because a girl got pregnant.
  • His Social Security Number as stated in "Campaign Ad" starts with 210, which means he was likely born (or at least raised) in Pennsylvania. Nowadays, parents can apply for a Social Security Number for their child right after birth (along with the birth certificate), but that hasn't always been the case. In the time period that Jerry was born, people were usually only issued a number when they entered the workforce.
  • He was able to perform magic and play the piano.
  • Jerry was adopted, though he was unaware of this until the Season 2 episode "Practice Date".
  • In "Smallest Park," he reveals he was working at the Parks and Recreation Department for 37 years.
  • In "Galentine's Day," he says he and Gayle have been married for 28 years.
  • In "Time Capsule," April reads from Jerry's mother's diary that "Gerald starred in his school production of Peter Pan." This would imply that Jerry's real name is Gerald, and that Garry is just a nickname.
  • In "Woman of the Year," Jerry says he has a pacemaker and a history of epilepsy.
  • He was forced to ask Gayle for permission before he spends over $25.
  • His house number was 420.
  • He was a Notary Public, and takes it very seriously.
  • He celebrates, and later dies after, his 100th birthday party during his flash-forward in One Last Ride.
  • Jerry's desk was moved to progressively smaller desks through the seasons to give way for newly taken positions: first when April got his desk when she became Ron's assistant, and another time when Tom was rehired and was given his desk because Andy, as Leslie's assistant, was at his old one.
  • He has a corgi named Lord Sheldon.
  • On his birthday, he and Gayle hold hands, listen to Anita Baker and Gayle goes out with her friends while he turns in early.
  • Gayle often buys him shirts.
  • Nick Offerman plays a character called Jerry on the West Wing in season 1 episode 5.
  • It was revealed in S2E4 that he got plastic surgery due to being hit by a fire engine.
  • Officer Clawhauser from Zootopia is based on Jerry.
  • Jerry has -2,287 Gryzzl Points as of A Parks and Recreation Special.

Photos[edit | edit source]

This character has a Photo Gallery.

Jerry's Art[edit | edit source]


Carved pumpkins of the Gergich family



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