Entertainer Nick Offerman doesn’t care what you call his “Full Bush.” Naming the new comedy tour was a snap decision made during a phone call with an agent, but he stressed the title is irrelevant.
“It really doesn’t matter, you can call my show ‘Pickles and Gin,’” the actor/author/comic performer said. “Whatever you call it I will get on stage and gripe about things that I have strong opinions about.”
Offerman, 47, is best known for playing gun-toting Libertarian Ron Swanson on NBC’s hit comedy show “Parks & Recreation.” He will be performing at the University of Montana’s Adams Center this Saturday, Sept. 30. The famously-mustached talent will cover personal grooming at length, but also explore topics like survivalist living and “barrelling into the bush” as a life philosophy.
Offerman prefers to speak about positive subject matter, rather than descending into immaturity.
“It’s easy to talk exclusively about my genitalia and make people laugh, but that feels a little lazy,” he said. “I try to keep the genitalia talk to 17 to 22 percent.”
Offerman credits his success as a humorist to the gravelly tone and cadence of his speaking voice. He doesn’t write jokes and refuses to call himself a comedian. He said that even though he doesn’t try to be funny, talking about his passions usually ends up making people laugh.
“My friends that are the greatest comedians in the world work very hard at it and they have such a gift for writing jokes. I don’t operate that way,” Offerman said. “I’m willing to accept the title of humorist and comedy performer, but I think that great comedians have a special skillset that I don’t have.”
Offerman didn’t intend to work in comedy at all. After graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he moved to Chicago to pursue a career in stage acting. He went on to cofound the Defiant Theater while woodworking as a way to pay the bills.
Offerman has appeared on “ER,” “Will & Grace” and many other television shows. He has acted in films such as “Fargo” and “The Men Who Stare at Goats.” He won a Television Critics Association Award for Achievement of Comedy in 2011. He has also narrated books for Audible and once performed in an episode of the YouTube show “Drunk History.”
Despite his fame, Offerman remained humble when asked about his time on “Parks & Recreation.” He spoke highly of co-star Amy Poehler and called working on set “one of the best experiences of his life.” He doesn’t have a favorite moment or episode, but enjoyed the scenes where he acted alongside his wife of 14 years, Megan Mullally of “Will & Grace.”
In the show, Mullally played Ron Swanson’s ex-wife, Tammy Two. The unconventional couple engaged in toxic love affairs throughout the show’s run. He enjoyed these parts for “obvious reasons” and referred to his wife as a “comedy genius.”
The pair recently announced they were co-writing a book about their epic romance, to be released next fall. Offerman enjoys working with his wife, speaking at length about her talent and work ethic.
“It’s like being married to a Mel Brooks movie. She’s legendary,” Offerman said.
Those looking to make it in show business need to be tenacious, Offerman said. Famous comedians he knows work extremely hard but make it look easy. He urges aspiring performers to get on stage as much as they can, to work hard and to not be afraid of failure.
“Whatever your foibles are, whatever your weaknesses are, those are your greatest strengths. We’re all human beings. We’ll continue to fail by definition,” Offerman said. “If you can recognize what is unique and special about the way you fall down, you can achieve great success.”