By Zachary Swickey
LOS ANGELES – Anyone who is familiar with good comedy television knows the name Ron Swanson – the character portrayed by Nick Offerman on the hit show “Parks and Recreation,” who notably has the manliest mustache seen on television.
Offerman is by far one of the show’s highlights and he shares quite a few similarities with his onscreen persona. For example, Swanson is a carpenter on the program and Offerman has his very own online woodshop where you can buy a handcrafted redwood table from the burly man himself.
Luckily, this weekend I got to catch Offerman’s set (dubbed – “Nick Offerman: American Ham”) at the very wonderful Largo, which only seats 280 people and has a strict no cell phones policy. Offerman inexplicably walked onstage shirtless – exposing his obviously hairy chest – and clothed himself with a T-shirt, beanie and hoodie as he started the show. The actor’s “theme” for the evening was giving out his “tips for prosperity,” which once again showed just how similar he is to his television personality.
I don’t want to give out too many of the actor’s tips but numero uno was “Engage in romantic love” after which he showered his “smoking hot wife” with praises. That wife, of course, happens to be the charming comedic actress Megan Mullally (who portrays Swanson’s ex-wife, Tammy, on “Parks” as well). He talked about how lucky he was to have her for 12 years, but described their life as disappointingly boring to others, saying they are content with puzzles and HGTV. Offerman said the key to a lasting relationship is to make it a priority.
After telling an anecdote about how Mullally asked for a rainbow for her birthday, Offerman then performed “The Rainbow Song,” which he wrote specially for her. It was hilarious as it was charming – including the lines “You blew me away when you sang [Peter Gabriel’s] ‘Shock the Monkey’” and “She grows sexy instead of old.”
Offerman also discussed his childhood affinity for ’80s foul-mouthed comedian Andrew Dice Clay, who at 12 years old Offerman considered a “genius” – saying Clay “had it down,” as every other 12-year-old believed at the time. We got another funny song called “Staying Offline” when the actor gave us another prosperity tip: “Get a hobby” after which he then went on about his loving hobby of carpentry.
The evening’s finale was quite the spectacle as Mullally herself came out to join her husband for their new, recent duet “Wings of a Dragon” (above). The song originated as a viral video made for website Funny or Die and shows the duo sporting a country-western look as Offerman croons from the perspective of an (atheist) paleontologist, while Mullally sings as a Jesus-loving creationist. Hollywood’s cutest couple was showered with applause as the song ended and the evening regrettably came to a close.