Who Is the Voice Actor Behind Jerry Smith on ‘Rick and Morty’?

A trailer has finally been released for Rick and Morty season five, teasing that we will finally get some answers to burning questions. Which Beth is a clone, will evil Morty appear again, and what exactly is in Rick’s flask? Rick and Morty has been one of the most popular cartoons on Adult Swim, and even though the new seasons don’t come fast enough for most fans, no one wants to miss new episodes when they come out. 

Although everyone had been talking about the characters of Rick and Morty, there is one character who is always overlooked, Jerry. But Jerry plays an important role in Rick and Morty as the butt of Rick’s jokes and the inept father figure of the family. It is easy to forget Jerry even exists with so many interesting characters, but he is a crucial part of the cast and moves much of the action.

What is the premise of ‘Rick and Morty’?

Rick and Morty is the adventures of the smartestman in the world, Rick Sanchez, and his cautious grandson Morty. They are often caught up in ridiculous situations such as adventuring with inept superheroes, dealing with alien parasites that evolve from your memories, or exploring a theme park inside someone’s body. Rick is portrayed as a narcissistic drunk who, although super intelligent, has few social skills, and Morty is portrayed as his lovable sidekick, often helping Rick at the expense of his own safety.

Although Rick and Morty has a revolving cast of characters, including Morty’s love interest, Jessica, Morty’s math teacher Mr. Goldenfold and various Rick and Mortys from other dimensions, it does have a more regular cast that appears in almost every episode, including Morty’s sister Summer, a wise-cracking teen who often goes on adventures with Rick and Morty, Morty’s mother Beth, a smart and capable veterinarian who may or may not be a clone, and finally Jerry, Morty’s dad.

Who is Jerry?

Jerry is all at once the least sympathetic and most sympathetic character. He is not as smart as anyone in his house and compensates with false bravado. This often gets him into trouble with Rick, Morty, or Beth having to save the day. Beth and Jerry’s relationship evolves during the series from being in a loving, if deeply unequal, relationship, to getting divorced, to reuniting (of course, he may be reunited with Beth’s clone).

We often get to see Jerrys from various dimensions, all of whom are similar. There is even an interstellar daycare to take care of Jerrys while Rick and Morty are busy. Morty obviously loves but can’t possibly respect his father, while Summer is outright contemptuous of him. Although Jerry is the butt of every joke, his mishaps are often a core plot point for episodes, and his attempts to try and help his wife and children are often endearing. It takes a special actor to walk a tightrope between portraying Jerry as helpless and yet sympathetic.

Who is the actor that voices Jerry?

The amazing voice actor who plays Jerry is Saturday Night Live alumnus Chris Parnell.  Parnell has voiced other characters on Robot Chicken, Gravity Falls, and Archer. He has also portrayed Dr. Leo Spaceman on 30 Rock and Garth Holiday in Anchorman: The Adventures of Ron Burgundy. Parnell has perfected the everyman voice that is perfect for Jerry’s complete mediocrity. It is often from Jerry’s point of view, and Parnell’s mouth, that we connect with the rest of the Rick and Morty universe.

While we are unsure what awaits us in season five of Rick and Morty, we can always count on Jerry to be bumbling, endearing, and annoying all at the same time. Traits only someone of Parnell’s particular talent could succeed at.

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