Nick Offerman at 2012 TBS Just for Laughs | Comedy review

U.S.A.-loving, red meat-consuming woodcutting afficianado Nick Offerman would make a great Republican—if he weren't so God-damned liberal. At American Ham, his solo show at TBS Just for Laughs on Saturday, the hirsute Parks and Recreation star (his Ron Swanson is often that show's highlight) hit the stage barechested, slightly overweight and damn proud of it. In a show that was occasionally uplifting, often funny and sometimes felt like a work in progress, Offerman delivered his ten tips on how to live. Here they are, with recaps:

#1: Engage in romantic love
Offerman is married to Megan Mullally, who opened the show with her band Nancy and Beth, and is clearly head over heels for her (and who wouldn't be?). "Please do not laugh," he said after announcing this first bit of advice. "This is not a joke." Offerman waxed effusive about his relationship with Mullally, emphasizing its simplicity as its strength and offered up easy ways to keep your mate happy like, "Make a card for your significant other." He ended with a song.

#2: Say 'please' and 'thank you'
In demonstrating the need for civility, Offerman mostly took on the very uncivil religious zealots who use the Bible to promote bigotry. "If you love comedy, go read Leviticus," he suggested. Instead, Offerman facetiously read from the Book of Nick in his letter to Iowans and talked in earnest about the importance of same-sex marriage, a message which he sprinkled with humor. "Why all the hubbub about gay marriage when there are vegetarians walking amongst us?" said the avowed carnivore.

#3: Carry a handkerchief
Remember when men always carried handkerchief's with them and ladies in turn might keep tissue in their purses? Offerman made a heartfelt plea to return to those halcyon days, arguing that a good handkerchief is handy for collecting pussywillows, plugging up a dyke or wiping ejaculate from your chin.

#4: Eat red meat
No explanation needed.

#5: Get a hobby
Offerman admitted at the top of this sage bit of advice that, "Hobby sounds lame, like underpants or Mitt Romney." Instead, he prefers the word discipline—and his is woodworking. When I spoke to him via phone for a TOC interview a couple weeks ago, he was taking a break from building a canoe. The guy is clearly passionate about his hobby, er discipline, and offered numerous suggestions for the audience. He used the example of knitting as an excuse to bring Mullally back onto the stage in a knit dress. Offerman got so hot and bothered that he dropped his pants and feigned copulation. He ended by suggesting, "Instead of playing Draw Something [the iPhone app]—draw something!"

#6: Go outside
No explanation needed.

#7: Avoid the mirror
"It's where 'they' get you," said Offerman referring to advertisers. "It's the conduit into your house." Sure, he might glance in the mirror to brush out a leaf in his hair he admitted, but otherwise he recommended passing up the easy opportunity the mirror offers to make one feel less than. "You're made by nature, you're beautiful."

#8: Maintain a relationship with Jesus Christ...if it is getting you sex
"That pause is my favorite part of the show," quipped Offerman as the audience relieved itself of its worry that the star had swerved suddenly to the right on them. Instead, Offerman retreated to his high school years where he nailed the prettiest girl in school under the guise of being a born again Christian. He also earnestly talked about good Christianity (Meals on Wheels) versus bad (televangelists).

#9: Use intoxicants
As the show wound down, Offerman encouraged the use of soft drugs like beer, wine, whiskey and the lesser spirits and even encouraged occasional recreational pot smoking.

#10 Paddle your own canoe
Again, little explanation was offered, but Offerman merely put out the idea that we're better off when we choose our path in life. After recapping the show, he invited the band back to the stage where he and Mullally performed a couple of duets that ended a pleasing night of music, solo performance and even a little bit of Parks alter ego Ron Swanson. When someone in the audience made a shout out to Swanson's skills as a sax player Offerman replied, "They tell me he can blow like a motherfucker."

Follow us

Time Out Chicago on Facebook   Time Out Chicago on Twitter   Time Out Chicago on Instagram   Time Out Chicago on Pinterest   Time Out Chicago on Google Plus   Time Out Chicago on Foursquare   Time Out Chicago on Spotify

Send tips to:

Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)