When Nick Offerman entered the room in an unbuttoned American flag shirt, carrying a guitar, and did a victory lap around the room, I knew this was going to be an awesome night.
For those not familiar with Nick Offerman, he is best known as the libertarian, woodworking, curmudgeonly director of the Pawnee Parks
Department on the NBC show Parks and Recreation. He recently had the opportunity to do a small tour of universities, testing out some stand-up and songs. I was lucky enough to snag a seat for Wednesday nights show at the University of Florida. In case you aren’t in one of the areas he’ll be visiting (there’s no schedule posted, but check your local universities… this gig was only announced about a week in advance), here’s a run down of what an evening with Nick Offerman is like.
The theme of the evening was Nick Offerman’s Ten Tips for a Prosperous Life, during which he addressed topics such as Sex (a lot), Faith, and Hobbies, sang some original songs, and talked about his role and experiences on Parks and Recreation. His first tip was to Experience Romantic Love and he used the opportunity to talk about his gorgeous wife Megan Mullally. Offerman claimed that fans are disappointed that he and Mullally are so boring (hanging out at home, watching HGTV, doing loads of cocaine), but honestly, that’s one of the things I love about them ever since I started reading about them as a couple. They seem so grounded and relatively normal and just fun. Case in point on the “fun” thing: the first song of the night was one he’d written for Mullally in answer to her request for a Rainbow for her 50th Birthday (can you believe she’s fifty, by the way?). Including references to Brian Adams, anal sex, and Megan’s “pot of gold.”
In his second tip, “Say Please and Thank You,” he uses the opportunity to rant about Leviticus, “the most fucked up book of The Bible.”
“Is the Bible great? Sure. Is the Koran great? Yes. Grimm’s Fairy Tales? Wonderful. They all have written moral lessons… It’s allegorical writing. It has great lessons in it. It wasn’t written by God or a fucking brontosaurus. It was written by dudes who were like ‘let’s write stories so people know not to steal from each other.’ That’s what it’s for. That’s all. It’s not for electing Presidents.”
“With all this hubub about gay marriage, I think we’re losing sight of the real problem: there are fucking vegetarians everywhere… A meal is a covenant being one man and a piece of charred animal flesh… Read the fucking constitution.”
Throughout the other tips, he extols the virtues of carrying a handkerchief, eating red meat, avoiding the mirror, getting a hobby (talking about the Offerman Woodshop), and using intoxicants, often exemplifying his tips with humorous, hilariously vulgar songs. He ends the last with his last tip, Paddle Your Own Canoe, explained through song.
Some other fun tidbits from Wednesday’s show that fans of Offerman might enjoy:
- That goofy laugh that Ron Swanson has: That’s Nick Offerman’s real laugh. And it’s amazing.
- His favorite grammatical-ism is “Spoonerism.”
- Nick Offerman auditioned for the parts of Samwise Gamgee and Wolverine. And is an X-Men nerd.
- On all of these speaking engagements, he’s been searching for the best burger in town and checking it out. He regrets that he didn’t think of setting up a Ron Swanson Burger Blog at the start, where all the ratings would be “Delicious.”
- He is not a fan of Feta cheese… sorry feta fans.
- “If someone has a nesting ability… to me that’s more legitimate as a fucking mate.” Hey there, ladies with hobbies.
- He was on Twitter for a few weeks, but found it way too much of a distraction, feeding into the notion that there’s always something better going on somewhere else.
- Yes, this is the talk where that quote that’s going around comes from: “Instead of playing Draw Something, fucking draw something.”
- On the similarities between himself and Ron Swanson: “[the writers expanded him] in Simpsons-like proportions… he’s all fucking bacon and eggs and he’s all mustache and he’s all Tammy.”
- He confirms that the cast of Parks and Recreation are great people: “It’s a ridiculous situation that we call this work and get paid,” and describes that they don’t want to go home at the end of the work day because they’re having so much fun.
- Contrary to what you might think, very little is improvised because the writing is so good. The writers basically provide occasional opportunities for improv, such as in the SnakeJuice episode (which was written by Amy Poehler).
During the post show Q&A, one audience member asked if Offerman would be releasing a comedy album, and it looks like there are definite plans to do so, hopefully towards the end of the year. So if you aren’t able to see his tour this spring, definitely keep an eye out for that album later this year.
Nick Offerman’s speaking engagement at the University of Florida was hosted by Reitz Union Board Entertainment, Accent Speaker’s Bureau, and Inter-Residence Hall Association.