Campus Events Campus News Entertainment Featured FEATURED STORIES Home MU Events MU Life

Life Lessons from Nick Offerman

(The Verge) – Actor Nick Offerman, best known for his role as the manly libertarian Ron Swanson on NBC’s Parks and Recreation performed his stand-up comedy routine on March 28th in Pollak Theater. Offerman and Swanson share many of the same characteristics, from the dry humor to the love of woodworking. The show was a delightful combination of personal anecdotes and acoustic melodies, all presented in the form of ten valuable life lessons.
Offerman started his show by nonchalantly walking onto stage shirtless, and shortly thereafter putting on an American flag-style button up. (Minor nudity was advertised.) He thanked Bobby’s Burger Palace for his impressive physique, saluted the flag on stage, much like Swanson would, and proceeded to tell the audience that he was not a comedian that would entertain them with fart jokes. Instead, he had put together the ten life tips he found to be most valuable.
The first tip was to engage in romantic love. Offerman spoke highly of his relationship with his wife of 13 years, comedian Megan Mullally. He emphasized that above all else, love should come first. He went into detail about his relationship, claiming that the two comedians were boring homebodies who “complete jigsaw puzzles, do cocaine and puzzle for days.” Offerman performed a heartwarming yet somewhat indecent song he wrote for his wife’s 50th birthday.
Second, always say please and thank you. A simple lesson which led Offerman into a discussion of Jesus and the different ways people interpret the Bible. He expressed his cynical yet comical views on Christianity and religion, while maintaining his stance that all people should be treated equally, and with respect.
Third, a lesson from Offerman’s father: always carry a handkerchief. Offerman pulled a handkerchief from his back pocket, which featured dancing mushrooms, and went on to sing a tune about all of the different uses for handkerchiefs, which ranged from using it as a tourniquet to using it as a pouch to collect acorns or pussywillows.
Fourth, eat red meat. Plain and simple.

Offerman, uniquely comedic, provided MU students with a cast of jokes that seemed to sit nicely. Image taken from:

Fifth, get a hobby. Or, as Offerman more aptly worded, “a discipline.” Offerman used this opportunity to talk about his passion for woodworking, and the pleasure that can be obtained from actually doing something. Instead of sitting on iPhones and the internet for hours on end, get away from it all and find something you love.
Sixth, “Go outside. Remain.”
Seventh, avoid the mirror. Vanity takes up too much of our time and effort. Offerman admitted he sometimes glances in the mirror to make sure there are no leaves in his hair or stuff on his face, but that’s where he draws the line. There is no need to constantly judge ourselves, and compare ourselves to some kind of unrealistic expectation.
Eighth: “Maintain a relationship with Jesus Christ.” After an extended pause, Offerman added, “If it’s getting you sex.” Offerman went on to talk about a sexually-driven high school relationship he had with a born-again Christian, while also pretending to follow the same religion.
Ninth, use intoxicants. Offerman is a firm believer in the idea that if you work hard, you should be able to reward yourself with a nice twelve-pack of beer. “If you have the beer without the work, that’s depression,” he added.
Offerman’s last piece of advice was to “paddle your own canoe,” which was followed by no explanation other than a song about living your own life.
The show was different than your standard comedy routine, and actually offered real-life tips and his audience engagement was quite unique and entertaining. It was a comedy show that people could learn from, while still being able to laugh the whole time.
Offerman ended his show, saying “Bye, bye, Lil’ Sebastian,” with his own beautiful rendition of “5,000 Candles in the Wind,” a favorite from Parks and Recreation.