Advice from Nick Offerman


Last night, students flooded Salomon to see the one and only Nick Offerman. You might know Nick from his roles in We’re the Millers and 21 Jump Street, or most notably from playing the notorious Ron Swanson in the NBC comedy Parks and Recreation. If the aforementioned are unrecognizable to you, you might be the type more familiar with his role as “Metal Beard” in the recently released Lego Movie.

Nick is a very wise man; he wrote a book titled Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man’s Fundamentals for Delicious Living. In the hopes that he would make our lives more delicious, because who wouldn’t want that, Nick shared some of his fundamentals with us last night. He also shared a lot of graphic details about his sex life, and a lot of graphic details about other things, like his passion for carpentry. But you know what they say–it’s all in the details.

In his first two minutes of “lecturing,” Nick said, “Being in the same room as my genitals is the most magical part of the show.” If you were in lower Salomon, as Nick likes to call “Room Double-O One,” then you missed out. There was magic. There’s really not much else to say here besides a straightforward: sorry-not-sorry. Nick was so funny that most of the time, his jokes prompted a booming laughter that was eerily reminiscent of a laugh track from a 1960s sitcom, or from a live Comedy Central special or something like that. Even the simplest, and perhaps the wisest, words he said made the room literally vibrate with laughter: “I wanted a job to make sure I could pay for my weed. College is paid for, but fuel is not.”

Here are Nick’s fundamentals to living deliciously, which is something we probably should all aspire to do:

1. Engage in romantic love. (It’s not a joke.)

2. Say please and thank you.

3. Carry a handkerchief, hanky, or hand kerchief. (It’s amazing what you can do with a small cotton square in your pocket. I, personally, don’t want to even think about the extent to which these possibilities can go.)

4. Eat red meat. (No further comment.)

5. Give yourself a discipline or hobby. (Intoxicants and hedonistic pleasures don’t count.)

6. Go outside where there are first and most importantly trees and a stream. Then, secondly important, where there are “tits.”

7. Avoid the mirror.

Overall, Nick Offerman was even better than we thought he’d be. And that’s considering the fact that we didn’t think he’d be bad. When it came time for his talk to end, he passionately, and seriously, told us about his frustration with everyone’s attachment to technology and the desire to photograph and tape everything to share rather than living in the moment. There’s a magic in the room, he said, that is completely broken once people take what happened or what is said at a talk and let it go viral. This time, I don’t think he was referring to the magic brought on by the presence of his genitalia. However, he did tell us that he loves being Ron Swanson, and the people he works with on Parks and Rec use him in a better way than he could ever use himself. That one you can interpret on on your own.

And if you want advice for growing great facial hair, like one question-asker did, Nick says, “There’s no advice. [Pause, contemplation.] Don’t shave.”

Image via Hannah Pasternak ’17.

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