30 Important Things We Learned From Nick Offerman’s Reddit AMA

By: 09.04.12  •  25 Comments

Late Friday afternoon Nick Offerman (AKA Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation) gave what is, hands down, the funniest Reddit AMA so far. It was nearly impossible to pick the highlights because it was all so manly and erudite. We’ve learned so much from this, you guys. Continue to the next page for the 30 most useful things Offerman taught us.

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We learned how to cook all the bacon and eggs we have:

TripSmick: Best way to cook Bacon and Eggs?
Nick Offerman: In an iron skillet, over a fire of oak at your cabin.

We learned about Nick Offerman’s manly morning routine:

sloaney: You are one of the manliest men of whom I have ever heard. What is your morning routine that begins a day of badassery?
Also, what is your favorite outdoor activity?
Nick Offerman: I awaken. I consume oxygen, then bacon, eggs and black coffee, then my wife, then bacon.
I love to paddle my own canoe, and also wife. Best while staring at the leaves of the maple or sycamore.

[via]

We learned how Nick Offerman and Ron Swanson differ:

cokobunner: I know you and your character have a lot things in common, in what ways are you drastically different from Ron? (if any)
Nick Offerman: I wouldn’t call it drastic, but my penis is 5/8″ larger than Ron’s, in both length AND breadth, but it is held that he wields his with greater aplomb.

[Editorial Note: This is no surprise, as it is quite large (NSFW).]

The_Flabbergaster: I’ve heard Ron Swanson described as a PG version of Nick Offerman. However, I’m not sure how accurate that can be if RS’s moustache rubbed off “from friction.”
Nick Offerman: I think it’s accurate, relatively speaking, for I once rubbed my own moustache off from sidling up to a Tom Sizemore lit fart. While urinating on an Amy Grant cassette.

heycheeahs: Are your political stances similar to Ron Swanson?
Nick Offerman: Well, I just went to discuss this question with Ron, and I found him staring stoically into a fire in which burned his VHS collection of Dirty Harry movies whilst he seemed to be mumbling the words to the Beastie’s High Plains Drifter, and welling up. I would not have expected Ron to be aware of Paul’s Boutique, I guess that seminal record really penetrated the generations. Anyway, I left him to his thoughts.
Ron-Swanson: Hey. How do you feel about religion?
Nick Offerman: Find your own.

We learned about the virility of Offerman’s moustache:

Son_of_Kong: Nick, I’m a great admirer of your moustache. Since I assume it’s all natural, what do you do in episodes where part of it needs to be burned off (Lil’ Sebastian’s funeral is on TV now) or removed for some reason? Do you actually have to mangle it and wait for it to grow back before you shoot another episode, or is there some kind of makeup trick to get that effect while still preserving the moustache’s integrity?
Nick Offerman: My moustache grows with such rampant, perpetual virility, that we need to trim it 3 or 4 times a day during filming. It was cool at first (grade school), but to be honest, it’s getting old.

[via]

We learned he adores his wife, Megan Mullally:

nsaucdiv151: Your wife is one of my favorite sitcom actresses, and I believe you guys met when Will and Grace was only a season or two in (correct me if I’m wrong). What was it like watching her show take off and seeing her become a well known TV personality in the early years of your relationship?
Nick Offerman: I met Megan right after season 2 of W&G, doing a play at The Evidence Room Theater in LA. It was immediately apparent that I was countenancing the premiere comic talent of our age. My wife is so funny and beautiful and sings like a goddamn angel bird pixie queen, that watching her career take off, and standing by her side as she received accolades all made a lot of sense to me, and has just continually served to remind me what a lucky bastard I am. I look forward to many more years of reminders.

We learned more about his homelife with Mullally:

CalamityJane1852: What’s a typical evening at home like with Megan?
Nick Offerman: Oh, gosh. Well, we get dressed up as Marx Brothers (she’s always Groucho or Harpo, and I’m Chico…whatever, she made the outfits.) and we get sauced on Gin and goofballs and run around the yard, sometimes with a lot of horn-honking, and then I set up the target rings at which Megan fires ping-pong balls and sometimes racquet balls from her vagina, often racking up an impressive tally of points (she got a 420 last night!), while I assemble my black powder muzzle-loader collection and fire lead balls at our neighbor, Charlie Sheen’s secret wife’s mom’s jungle cats (I miss on purpose, I’m not a dick.) Normal Hollywood shit.
bezaorj: I want the drugs you are taking.
ooo0ooo: He is drugs.
Vault-tecPR: Drugs take Ron Swanson when they want to get high.
FuzzyGunNuts: I’m almost certain that drugs take Nick Offerman to relax.

We learned that Nick Offerman will answer however he pleases and you will like it:

retinarow: What’s your favorite thing about each of the cast members of Parks and Rec? Do you worry that you’re going to be defined by this role for some time?
Nick Offerman: Ahem. I’m given to understand that Mr. Knight did not like to be portrayed as an angry, screaming basketball coach, especially in an Indiana sweater. One might ask, “What else do you think you are known for, Mr. Knight?”, but then one might get a knuckle sandwich across the chops, so maybe one should just keep such notions to oneself. It was sad for a moment, as he so encapsulated Ron’s attitude towards his govt. job, but Mike Schur, P&R creator and captain, made some delicious lemonade when he replaced Bobby K with a brunette holding (boner commencing) a plate of breakfast.
Nick Offerman: I swear to Christ there was a question about “what happened to that picture of Bobby Knight in Ron’s office?”. Where did it go?!?!? What the f-ck are you trying to do to me, Reddit?!?! You’re not the one. Can you see me right now?

[via]

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[via]

We learned about the appeal of woodworking:

bugzzzz: What about woodworking appeals most to you? Do you woodwork with friends?
Nick Offerman: The moments of truth in woodworking:
1) When you flood your finished wood with oil, and the grain, color and figure jump out like a visual lung-full of opium smoke (so I’ve read).
2) When the piece you have wrought comes into use. The canoe, the table, the canoe paddle, the pipe, the cribbage board…. when you rest your steak and your whiskey upon the table you have made, you feel pretty goddamn tall for keeping those treats off the ground..
Nick Offerman: Woodworking is a largely isolated pursuit, but it’s very gratifying to do it communally, whilst AROUND other woodworkers, so you can all put your heads together when one person has a puzzle to solve. I love puzzles. I love my community of woodworkers, both in my shop in LA, in NY, and all of my new pals from the world of Fine Woodworking Magazine across the country and AROUND THE WORLD.

[Editorial Note: He loves puzzles? Are those anything like riddles?]

We learned about the nature of various woods and their proficiency for cudgeling vegetarians:

bigwillFTW: Nick, I watched in awe your web video in which you built a canoe and must say that it’s quite impressive. My question is simple, whats your favorite type of wood to work with, and why?
Nick Offerman: It’s difficult to name a favorite wood. They are all so noble, each with its own special characteristics.
Oak is mighty and dense, for the hull of your square-rigged sailing ship, but also, when quarter-sawn, its medullary rays can make your library table sing with erudition. Maple and Birch are creamy and many colored, like a delicious bowl of only Lucky Charms marshmallows. Cedar and Redwood are lightweight but extremely high in tensile strength, rendering them perfect for boatbuilding in the smaller classes of watercraft. Bamboo (a grass) makes nature’s bong. Walnut (esp. California Claro) is my gold standard for depth of figure, strength, beauty, and workability. Ash and Hickory, straight-grained and true, make excellent bludgeons, dandy for the cudgeling of vegetarians.

We learned about his favorite woodworking achievement:

zroy33: I know you are a master woodworker, and I was just wondering what is your favorite piece you have ever made? And what is the most intricate?
Nick Offerman: So far, the answer to both questions is the same: My first canoe, Huckleberry. In case anyone wants to grow quickly bored by tables and boats, please avail yourself of: www.offermanwoodshop.com

We learned Offerman is not a fan of libraries:

LibRAWRian: I work with your sister (literally, my username should confirm this for you). Is there any truth to the stories about you at family dinners, refusing to eat your tuna casserole, which always ended in you “crying like a little bitch”? Her words not mine.
Nick Offerman: I have no sister. After that bit of whistle-blowing. BACK TO THE LIBRARY WITH YOU!

Sir_Walter_Dibs: I used to work in a library and always loved the portrayal of libraries on Parks and Rec. I was wondering why Parks and Recreation chose to hate such an institution
Nick Offerman: Libraries are horrible and the people who work in them, with the exception of Shirley Jones, are the scum of the earth. Book-peddling, cum-belching street whores. Is, I think, the reason.
CubbyRed: That’s it – I’m quitting my library job on Tuesday.
Nick Offerman: If my AMA can get just ONE library (p-tooey!) employee to quit, then I have done my job.

He’s not a fan of Veggie Grills either:

kennethreitz: I saw you while I was eating last week at Veggie Grill in Hollywood. Should I have come over and said hi?
Nick Offerman: That’s a goddamn lie.
poktanju: You must be mistaken. In no way, shape or form would he patronize a business so poorly named.
Nick Offerman: I concur. “The Veggie Grill” is like “The Eunuch Whorehouse”
Naggers123: Eunuch Whorehouse is what I’m calling my library from now on.

We learned more about the moustache:

Tyler182: How much can your mustache bench press?
Nick Offerman: 114 lbs. of wife.

We learned what’s he’s building in those Conan sketches:

JakeLunn: What exactly are you building in the “Nick Offerman reads tweets from young female celebrities” sketch?
Nick Offerman: I’m building character, young man. Watch it in slo-mo, you can see my hit points accumulate. And yes, that Forstner bit on the drill press is vorpal. Carbon Steel plus one, my bitches.

We learned about what won’t kill Nick Offerman:

sterlingarcher0069: Have you ever eaten a turf ‘n turf?
Nick Offerman: Have you ever eaten a fatal amount of beef? I have not.

[via]

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We learned not to mess with Aubrey Plaza:

OuchWhatDoYouDo: To me your character is honestly the funniest on the show. Being so deadpan, how often do you crack or cause others to crack while delivering lines? I’d like to see you and Aubrey face off in a “who can get the other to smile first” contest.
Nick Offerman: I will never defeat Aubrey in any contest, because, quite simply, she employs black magicks in her combat, which some would call unfair or “morally bankrupt”, but I would never cast such a aspersion, for fear of her macabre retribution. Aubrey is kin to the Black Goat Mother of a Thousand Young, yea, she has known the spoor of Shub-Niggurath, and upon the black midnight of her birth, every blossom of the pretty little Gilly flowers perished all across Trafalgar Square. Up jumped the Devil, and off they crept. In short, she is League with Lucifer, but I really respect her work.

[Editorial Note: yes, he made a Lovecraft reference. Did you know Nick Offerman “was super into ‘Call of Cthulhu’ LARPing in college”?]

[Photoshop based on “Cthulhu’s Approval” by hwango.]

We learned about his other castmates as well:

cutiepatootieadipose: How hard is it to keep such a straight face when filming Parks and Rec?
Nick Offerman: It is very hard to keep a straight face because my castmates are literally the funniest collection of people working today. Amy and Pratt and Aubrey and Aziz and Adam and Rob and Rashida and Retta. Every single cast member. Devastatingly funny.
CubbyRed: Poor, poor Jerry.

retinarow: What’s your favorite thing about each of the cast members of Parks and Rec?
Do you worry that you’re going to be defined by this role for some time?
Nick Offerman: Amy – Her ability to combine mischief with leadership and generosity of spirit.
Adam – His sweet, gumdrop caboose.
Pratt – Best personality ever, like a golden lab meets Don Knotts. Also a fine backside.
Rashida – Incredibly well-adjusted and lovely for having been bitten by Michael Jackson’s monkey as a child. Not a euphemism.
Aziz – He can say anything in the most hilarious way – also keepin’ them buns tight.
Aubrey – She is beautiful and wonderful – not evil, don’t be ridiculous.
Rob – A champion in every way, super funny – wouldn’t mind a tad more junk in his trunk.
Retta – Could rule the world if she so chose. DISCERNING. Beautiful.
As far as typecasting, I honestly don’t really give a shit. I feel pretty damn lucky to have landed in the role of Ron, and if I am defined that way, well, I can think of worse problems. If no one will hire me after Ron then I’ll have to suffer through making things in my shop, performing live theater, and paddling my canoe with my wife. Yes, that was a euphemism.
sew3: Of course he leaves out Jerry.

We learned about a Parks and Recreation pitch that needs to happen:

Rossymagic: There’s a person here in the UK who represents manliness, stoicism and simple pleasures. His name is Des Lynham. After using devious means to watch P&R I came to the conclusion that both you and he should put your heads together to make a collection of manly fragrances.
Cut Grass, Woodsmoke, Black Coffee and Garden Shed would all give the florid notes of Givenchy, Channel and CK the fear of god
Nick Offerman: Funny, I pitched a story to Parks and Rec in which Ron turned out to be old pals with fragrance king Dennis Feinstein (Dante Fiero), played by my hilarious pal, Jason Mantzoukas, and my fave part was pitching fragrances like Gravel, Tool Steel, Flank, etc. I won’t list my best couple, in case it becomes an episode some day…No Spoilers!

We learned more about Amy Poehler’s awesomeness:

wheredidjp: How much of Parks and Recreation is improvised? When did you first meet Amy Poehler, and how awesome is she in real life? Also, sharing this awesome photograph. A friend spotted this and took a photo while walking around the Coachella 2012 campgrounds (this was taken on the first morning of the second weekend of the festival; we were just a few cars away from this camp)!

Nick Offerman: Too many questions. That looks like a fine camp at Coachella, one in which I would like to consume intoxicants. A small portion of P&R is improvised, although we have a lot freedom to spout off as we see fit. The thing is, the writing is so sublime, there is seldom any need to improve upon it. We do love to play, so we always start having extra improv fun in the later takes. I met Amy in the early 90’s and she is like a superhero mixed with both Coach and Tammie Taylor from FNL, as well as Tim Riggins and a little Landry.

We learned about Chicago in the mid ’90s:

FkYouFlipFlops: Living in Chicago in the mid-90s; did you ever feel like joining the ever-popular improv scene?
Nick Offerman: No, I did not. The comedy world and the “straight theatre” were very self-contained, very autonomous groups, and I was in 100% ignorance to that fecund chuckle-field. I was working on plays, mostly with my company, The Defiant Theatre, 24/7, so it was all I could do to see another play that a friend was in, let alone go see comedy.

[Editorial Note: Had to include this for the use of “fecund chuckle-field” alone.]

We learned what action refers to:

M374llic4: How much action does your mustache see? Is it more than you actually see yourself?
Nick Offerman: If by “action”, you mean “the puss”, I’d say that is not for public consumption, either literally or figuratively. The rumors that my moustache has a burgeoning career in Japanese porn are almost entirely unfounded. As far as I know.

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We learned he and Aziz Ansari have a very normal friendship:

TaxPeel: Do you and Aziz do anything weird together?
Nick Offerman: Hm. Sometimes we pretend we’re on a CSI program and examine each other’s underpants under a huge Sherlock Holmes magnifying glass….we like to go around the lot where we shoot and see whose pet’s heads we can fit in our mouths (I always win with Jim Belushi’s (miniature) Corgi), but no, nothing weird comes to mind. Oh, we both really love to enact Rush Limbaugh radio vomit with hand-puppets made from pig intestines, which is hilarious good fun, but I think a lot of people do that. On the coasts, anyway. So, no.

We learned he has a healthy respect for Teddy Roosevelt:

pietya: On a one on one fight you against Theodore Roosevelt at your age, who would win and why?
Nick Offerman: Ted Roosevelt would hand me my ass in moments. He was a goddamn man and soldier who could kill with his hands. Let’s remember, I am an actor who is handy with a sopkeshave.
Nick Offerman: Spokeshave. Apologies, Shakers.
Veryfancydoily: no one corrects Ron Swanson’s grammar except Ron Swanson.

And who would win in a bacon-eating contest:

lazythinker: You, Clint Eastwood, and Teddy Roosevelt have a bacon eating contest. Who wins?
Nick Offerman: Teddy is no longer with us, so a moment of silence for #26. You had a hell of a run, Theodore. Then, I handily defeat Clint, since he is an old – oh, wait, he pulls out a gun and shoots me, drooling something about Commies and pinko f*ggots and his cold, dead fingers, before falling out of his chair and soiling himself. Thanks a lot, lazythinker.
sat0123: But then he sits and has a conversation with your empty chair, so it’s ok.

[Context]

We learned about his favorite beer:

sheeshSGL: What’s your favorite beer?
Nick Offerman: Cold. Closely followed by, you guessed it, warm.

We learned about his acting challenges:

alvinsinge: what is the hardest part of acting as Ron Swanson
Nick Offerman: Stopping at the end of the day.

We learned about a hot new TV show:

twoclose: Can you please suggest to the writers to write-in an episode of Parks and Rec where you have a pet swan named “Swan Ronson” that has your hair and a mustache?
Nick Offerman: You are thinking of an entirely different show, and that show is called: “Monkey Doctor”.

[via]

We learned something new about Rainn Wilson and a table:

redditizio: What’s the deal with the beefcake shot of Rainn Wilson/Dwight Schrute on www.offermanwoodshop.com?
Nick Offerman: I made an incredibly sturdy oak table for Rainn’s kitchen/dining area, and upon delivery, he disrobed and laid himself across it. I snapped a photo before making sweaty, grappling love to him.

We learned how to choose Monopoly pieces:

ambrosius23: When you play monopoly, which piece do you choose to represent you on the board, and why?
Nick Offerman: I choose the thimble because no matter where I roam, you can’t prick my motherf-ckin’ thumb with your bitch-ass Scottie Dog. Can I cuss on here?
Endyo: F-ck yeah you can cuss. This is America.
PdubsNWO: My guess would have been top hat or wheelbarrow.
Nick Offerman: The wheelbarrow is a noble second choice, and the Top Hat can go suck an egg.

And, finally, we learned sausage should be quantified in linear feet:

Par_Avion: Whats going on here?

Nick Offerman: My wife is just apeshit for grapes. We had just done a 3 week tour of Vienna, Bruges, and Prague, over Christmastime, and every day in these venerated European cities, in a picturesque town square, centuries old, I would purchase a 12-inch pork sausage, some variety of Bratwurst, and wolf it down, muttering my adoration of Europe all the while. If your math is sound, that’s about 21 linear feet of pork sausage, 1 1/4″ in diameter on average. Then I was reminded that I had a naked photo shoot in NY upon the day of our return. I laughed from deep in my pork-lined belly, long and loud. It was worth it.

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