Yuri Sardarov’s birthday: Why we love Chicago Fire’s Otis

CHICAGO FIRE -- "The Whole Point of Being Roommates" Episode 608 -- Pictured: Yuri Sardarov as Otis -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC)
CHICAGO FIRE -- "The Whole Point of Being Roommates" Episode 608 -- Pictured: Yuri Sardarov as Otis -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC) /

Today we’re wishing a belated happy birthday to Chicago Fire star Yuri Sardarov, by paying tribute to him and his character, the ever optimistic Otis.

It’s a day late, but we’re sending belated birthday wishes to Chicago Fire‘s own Yuri Sardarov, the man behind Brian “Otis” Zvonecek.

Otis is almost entirely used for comic relief around Firehouse 51. He’s the guy who comes up with the crazy ideas or who has the wisecrack ready for any situation.

In fact, when he comes into a scene, you pretty much expect that something funny or odd (or both) is about to happen.

But that’s also why we love him.

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There’s so much seriousness that happens on Chicago Fire every week, whether it’s trying to save someone’s life or worrying about the latest problem in somebody’s relationship. We need a character who can come in and break that up, who can remind us that the life of a firefighter is not all doom, gloom and kick-butt rescue sequences.

Otis is that guy. He carries that load along with his BFF and roommate Joe Cruz (Joe Minoso), Mouch (Christian Stolte) and Christopher Herrmann (David Eigenberg), but it’s Otis who is the clear leader in the comic relief department.

We mean, this is the guy who thought he was going to space. And the guy who ordered an expensive Japanese firefighting robot.

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But aside from being funny, there’s something incredibly endearing about Otis. This is a guy who gets knocked down a lot. Either his foolproof plans go awry, his colleagues poke fun at him, or he just misses a sign. (He’s basically the James S. Murray of Chicago Fire, for any Impractical Jokers fans out there.)

Yet Otis always gets back up. He might get upset, he might be heartbroken, but he always bounces back and moves on to the next idea. And that’s a resilience we could all learn from. Not to mention that Yuri Sardarov has mastered that adorable look when Otis wants something and/or he doesn’t get it.

That’s what makes Yuri Sardarov a valuable part of the Chicago Fire team. He can convey Otis’s big ideas, without making his character go too far over the top and be ridiculous. He makes you want to get on board even though you know Otis’s plots don’t usually work out. And he makes you love the guy, and root for him even when he gets knocked around.

He’s not just the comic relief of our show; he’s the heart, and a big one. Without him, Firehouse 51 would be a much less happy place. Happy birthday, Yuri and thanks for all you do in One Chicago!

Don’t forget to check out our interview with Yuri Sardarov to find out what’s in store for Otis in the rest of Chicago Fire season 6, and hopefully it’ll keep looking up for him because he has earned it!

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Join us in wishing Yuri Sardarov a happy birthday in the comments and on Twitter! Then don’t miss him as Otis in a brand-new Chicago Fire episode this Thursday.

Chicago Fire airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.