Nick Offerman: The man behind the mustache

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Nick Offerman may be best known for playing the stone-faced, government-hating Ron Swanson on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, but he’s also an accomplished comedian and stage actor (not to mention woodworker). He’s currently on tour with his wife Megan Mullally, and her band, but took some time off to talk to the Metro about his show, his new book and his most famous co-star — his ’stache.

What can people expect when they come to see you?
Some cautionary tales. There’s a lot of gum-flapping. Some mediocre songs. Some woodworking tips. And some minor nudity.

Minor nudity! Sounds like an exciting show.
Well, you gotta get asses in the seats.

Do you perform with Megan’s band at all?
They open with a handful of songs and then I do my bit and then, just when I’m losing the audience and people are beginning to nod off or finger their parking stubs longingly, the band comes out and we wrap the evening up with a couple songs together.

Who would you say is the ideal audience for your upcoming book, Paddle Your Own Canoe?
I guess human beings. I think men will really enjoy the book from the point of view of a jackass man like myself, and I think the ladies will enjoy the book in terms of viewing their men through the lens of my writing.

In almost every interview a question comes up about your mustache. Why is the American public so fascinated by it?
It’s inexplicable. I am lucky enough to be literally riding the coattails of my mustache and I have the good sense to keep my mouth shut and stand behind it, try to look polite.

Let the mustache do the talking?
Yeah, soon after “Parks and Rec” came on the air, my mustache was signed by CAA and there’s a whole set of rules. I’m not allowed to make eye contact with it, and it doesn’t return my calls. I have to get hold of its representation if I want to talk about trimming or any sort of grooming.

Do you think it’s been ruined by fame or is it the same mustache it always was?
That’s a very good question, but I can’t really speak to it right now, if you get my drift. There’s someone in the car with me that might want to follow up.

Is the canoe on the cover of the book one you crafted?
It is, yeah. That’s my first canoe and her name is Huckleberry and she has treated me very well.

Does the canoe also have representation with CAA?
No, the big agencies are not as interested in the wood boats. My canoe’s with a smaller boutique agency and mostly looks for commercial work.

As Parks and Rec heads into its sixth season, how do you keep Ron Swanson fresh?
Well, to be honest, I’m such a lucky bastard that I don’t have to try very hard because I have a team of brilliant writers who keep Ron fresh. They go above and beyond … and provide us with new stories and new avenues to pursue so that the audience doesn’t get sick of the same old personality traits. I just mold my face into a constipated rictus and do my best to deliver the dialogue.


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