Catch more of Middle Man star Jim O’Heir in the full episode of Entertainment Weekly: The Show, available now on the People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the free app on your Smart TV, mobile and web devices.
When we told Parks and Recreation star Jim O’Heir we had some incriminating pictures of him, he agreed to answer some questions about his past, present, and future in exchange for our silence.
The actor, who currently stars in the comedy Middle Man in which he plays an unfunny aspiring comedian, shared how his early theatre days in Chicago helped his career. “I was in a group called White Noise and we were this crazy group at the time — we’re talking mid-’80s — and we were doing pretty crazy sh–,” he explains in the latest episode of Entertainment Weekly: The Show. O’Heir played a janitor in one of their plays called Stumpy’s Gang. “I credit Stumpy’s Gang with my career because we brought it to L.A. and it became a cult classic there too, so I got agents and managers and that’s what you have to get to start your career.”
While O’Heir’s first credits date back to 1996, his breakthrough came in 2009 when he landed the role of Jerry Gergich on Parks and Recreation, costarring in all but one of the hit NBC comedy’s 125 episodes. And he says he’s game for more. “It was heartbreaking,” the 55-year-old says of the show ending, “but it was time. We wanted to go out with people still wanting us there. … The love and the laughter of that show was every day for 7 seasons. So would I go back? Whatever it took. Whatever it took! Though, next time I would be the lead and Amy Poehler could do craft services. My character would at this point be called Marty — I don’t know why.”
While O’Heir (and all of us) wait for that reunion, he’s keeping busy with Middle Man and learning that stand-up comedy is no easy gig. “I give stand-ups a lot of credit,” he says. “I couldn’t do it. … These stand-ups get up there, it’s just them, live or die by it. I am in awe of them and I will not do that!”
Watch the full interview with O’Heir above. Middle Man is in theaters now.