This past Wednesday, I had the amazing opportunity to see Nick Offerman at Union Theater. A great many thanks to the Union Directorate for bringing Offerman to campus, and also for offering $10 tickets so Jaqueline, Val, and I could go for a Hamilton. (Hope you had a wonderful birthday, Val!)
Offerman, of Parks and Recreation fame, is a hilarious man with charm and charisma. His giggly laugh is contagious. It was alarming at first to hear him uncensored, but I loved the fact that he tried to distinguish himself from the character he plays. Yes, Ron Swanson also loves to drink, create things out of wood, and avoid librarians like Offerman, but everything about Ron Swanson seems to be an over-sensationalized character of who Offerman is. They both love whiskey, but Swanson “can have six whiskeys and make an Irish harp in a night” compared to Offerman who can craft a wooden table in two to three weeks. Just a bit of a difference.
The show was hilarious, but also educational. I learned about Offerman’s sense of humor, but also found out a lot about his views on life. His show, “American Ham,” is catered to the college-aged crowd and teaches ten lessons to lead a fulfilling life.
Nick Offerman looking very patriotic.
The ten lessons are as follows: love romantically, say please and thank you, carry a hankie, eat red meat, have a hobby, go outside and stay there, avoid the mirror, have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, use intoxicants, and paddle your own canoe.
With each of the lessons, Offerman told a story or explained his reasoning. He also incorporated songs he had written into the mix as well. The most surprising moment, for me, was when the former Fighting Illini got the crowd to do the ES/FU chant. It was something he was not expecting to catch on, but he did not seem to know is Badger crowd that well.
Offerman singing one of his original tunes.
The highlight of the evening was when Offerman opened up the evening for questions and answers. Of course, I shot to the line immediately to ask why Parks and Recreation had so much hate towards librarians. He first asked me to leave, backed as far away as he could from me, and got the crowd to boo at me. Then he expressed the joke behind it all. Libraries are difficult to hate. You don’t want free books, services, or DVD rental? Fine, but you’re quite odd. Also, he admitted that his sister and aunt are both librarians. Made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
It was a great show and I hope to see Offerman live again. Until then, I’ll make due watching Parks and Recreation every Thursday night.