Step Aside Negan, Ezekiel, and Daryl: ‘The Walking Dead’ Has A New Fan Favorite

Eight minutes and 46 seconds into the latest episode of The Walking Dead, the tone of the entire show shifted. A wave of relief rolled in. The brutal killings of Glenn and Abraham melted away, as peace settled reigned in a new colony called The Kingdom, ruled over by a man named Ezekiel. King Ezekiel was immediately beloved, offering the perfect antidote for the Negan haters. For many, he became a new fan favorite.

Standing in Ezekiel’s shadow off the his right, however, was the real new star of The Walking Dead, a faithful steward to Ezekiel, the court jester whose words left us all “pitch kettled.” His name is Jerry, and he’s the greatest thing to happen to The Walking Dead since Eugene’s mullet. Collectively, Jerry is our new spirit animal: A reminder to us all to let the intensity and violence of The Walking Dead, the anxiety of the election, and life’s daily obstacles wash over us. “Chill it up, S. Chill it up.”

“I don’t know what the hell is going on in the most wonderful way!” Carol exclaimed, speaking for us all, really. Because in the darkness of the zombie apocalypse, a lightness has torn through, a beacon in the night named Jerry.

It’s “Fruit Time” on The Walking Dead.

I know I wasn’t alone in my appreciation for Jerry, either. Twitter was aflutter.

The actor who plays The Walking Dead’s new best character is Cooper Andrews, and if he looks familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen Halt and Catch Fire, where he plays the similarly delightful Yo-Yo Engberk.

He’s incredible, and while I don’t know his story, his IMDb profile suggests that he spends much of his time working as boom operators, grips, and stunt coordinators. In other words, he’s a blue-collar dude in the industry who probably looked so likable to a casting director along the way that they decided to put him on camera to light up the screen, and light up the screen he does. Cooper Andrews seems like good people and The Walking Dead is lucky to have him.