Jim O’Heir is good people. The performer figured prominently into Chicago’s theatre and improv scenes during the 80s and early 90s. In the time after, O’Heir made numerous appearances in TV and film before landing his trademark role in 2009 as Jerry Gergich on the critically acclaimed Parks & Recreations (9:30ET / 8:30CT Thursdays on NBC). Jerry’s the butt of many jokes on the show, and he often finds himself struggling between being liked, pitied, emotionally eviscerated by his coworkers.

O’Heir is able to inject humanity and his own keen comedic timing into all of it. In our chat together I noticed his affection and charming protectiveness for the character he plays. As O’Heir points out, though Jerry is often blamed when something goes wrong in Pawnee, he is still loved and appreciated by many. In this interview we discuss Christie Brinkley’s upcoming stint as Jerry’s wife, his character’s problematic flatulence, and when the hell I’m going to be able to buy a Ya Heard! With Perd commemorative mug:

A big thanks to Mr. O’Heir for speaking with me. Parks & Recreation‘s latest episode, entitled “Pawnee Commons,” airs this very evening at 9:30ET on NBC.