Parks & Recreation introduced Jerry, the target of everyone’s jokes, but who ultimately lived a long life. Here’s how old he was throughout the show.
Parks & Recreation followed the main characters through many ups and downs, though no one went through as many problems and embarrassing situations as Jerry Gergich, who the audience saw go from office manager to mayor – but how old was he at the beginning and end of the series? Created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, Parks & Recreation made its debut on NBC in 2009 and came to an end in 2015 after seven seasons. Although the series struggled during its first season, the writers eventually found the right tone for it, and the rest of the seasons were received a lot better.
Parks & Recreation followed the daily lives of perky bureaucrat Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and her friends and coworkers from the Parks Department in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. In seven seasons, viewers truly got to know those working alongside Leslie, and one who made a big impression was Jerry Gergich (Jim O’Heir). Good old Jerry began as a recurring character and eventually made it to the main cast, but that upgrade came with some sacrifices, and Jerry became the target of all types of jokes and bullying among his coworkers, and it didn’t help that he was very clumsy. Still, Jerry became a fan favorite, and viewers were relieved to see that he lived a happy life.
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Early on in the series, Jerry (whose real name is Garry) often displayed frustration and annoyance at how he was treated around the office, but he softened after his heart attack and truncated retirement, though that also meant accepting abuse and insults. Many details about Jerry’s life were mocked by his coworkers, such as his poor health, clumsiness, and his birthdate. Jerry’s birthday was revealed in Parks & Recreation season 4 episode “Sweet Sixteen”, and he was born on February 29, 1948 – surely enough, being born during a leap year was good material to make fun of him. As the first season of Parks & Recreation was set in the year it was released, this means Jerry was 61 years old when viewers met him, with his “real age” being 15.
The rest of the seasons were also set in the year they were released, except for season 7, which began with a time-jump. Parks & Recreation season 7 was released in 2015 but set in 2017, so by then, Jerry was 69 years old. Season 7 also saw Jerry making a big career change, as he became Interim Mayor of Pawnee following the death of Mayor Gunderson (Bill Murray). The series finale of Parks & Recreation included a couple of flashforwards to give the audience a glimpse of what was to come for the characters, and they showed that Jerry was going to be elected mayor for several more terms. Jerry died on his 100th birthday, and Ben and Leslie were seen attending his funeral – sadly, Jerry couldn’t catch a break even when dead, as his last name was misspelled on his tombstone.
After all the bullying and abuse Jerry went through during all seasons of Parks & Recreation, it was only fair that he finally achieved success at his job and that he lived a very happy life alongside his family, and the writers giving him the chance to live for so long was much-needed. Just like the rest of the main characters in Parks & Recreation, Jerry Gergich went through a whole journey, and he did so with the best attitude, even if he was having a really bad time.
Next: Parks & Rec: How Old Leslie Is At The Beginning, End & Future Timelines
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