A highlight from Nick Offerman


Most certainly knew that he played Amy Poehler's boss Ron Swanson on the sitcom Parks and Recreation. And you might know he's married to Megan mullally of Will & Grace and he appeared on that show as a plumber. But did you know that Nick Offerman is also a professional boat builder? And that he's written not one not two, but 5 really funny books. His latest is where the deer and the antelope play the pastoral observations of one ignorant American who loves to walk outside. He joins me to talk about his remarkably variegated career and to talk about his brand new book. Nick Offerman welcome to design manners. Thank you so much. I'm so pleased to be here. So is it true that your ultimate soundtrack for lovemaking is Peter Gabriel's music for the last temptation of Christ? Well, I mean, you'd be hard pressed to find a more suitable record, you know, it has it has romance. It has ambiance, and it also has screams of agony. So if you time it right, you know, it's like putting dark side of the moon to The Wizard of Oz. If you sink it upright, everything matches up. What makes it such an aphrodisiac, though, is that is there something about this sort of crescendo? I mean, I don't know, when that record came out for those who aren't familiar with it, it's a mostly instrumental Peter Gabriel tour de force. It's really drum heavy and period sounding, like otherworldly screaming and orchestrations. And so I've just always found it to be really moving. No one has ever asked me why so really examined it, but I guess I guess his rhythm in my own must align something about his music gets my juices flowing. Nick, you were born in the little town of manuka, Illinois, did I pronounce that correctly? That's right, yes. And your mom was a nurse, your dad taught social studies at the local high school. And I understand you grew up working on your grandparents farm where they grew corn and beans and raised pigs. What kind of work did you do on the farm? Oh, just menial labor. I mean, my first job, you know, if you work in agriculture, you hope to have kids because that's your labor pool. And they'll work for a sandwich generally. And so as a really small kid, grandpa would have me shovel out the poop out of the pig barn. That was my first job. Bailing hay, which means writing out behind the Baylor as the hay is harvested and stacking the bales, you know, throwing them up in the barn. And then on a soybean farm, one of the most prevalent summer jobs for young people is called walking beans. Where you actually walk up and down the rows of the entire fields of soybeans, just killing the weeds. We all learn to drive by the time we were 11 or 12, so we could haul empty wagons out to the field to be filled with corn and soybeans and stuff like that. And then just odd jobs. There is another job picking up rocks. So once the harvest would be done and last year's stems would be plowed under and the dirt would be turned over, often rocks, sometimes as big as your head would be turned up in the soil. And so you would be sent out with a tractor and a little trailer to just cover the entire field and pick up all the rocks you see. I read that when you were in the fourth grade studying vocabulary when your teacher taught the class, the word nonconformist. She defined it as a person who did the opposite of what everybody else was doing. Upon hearing that you raised your hand and told misses Christensen, you wanted to be a nonconformist. Where did that sensibility come from? Your question reminds me of at a young age, I want to say maybe first or second grade, I remember an art class. We had this project where we got a little piece of wood and a little paper cut out of a smiling clown head and then another little paper cut out that said a smile is the nicest kind of welcome. And the job was to stain the piece of wood and then glue the clown head and the text onto the thing and then varnish the whole shebang and take it home for mom and dad. And I remember looking at that sentiment, a smile is the nicest kind of welcome and it made me feel kind of whimsical. And so I tilted my clown head to what I considered a rakish whimsical angle and my teacher gave me a C and said, look at this, the head is crooked. And I said, ma'am, that is a rakish angle. I will one day come to know that that's called panache. And so I just always had this sensibility of like adding a little bit of a jaunty kick to whatever I did. And so when I heard that that was called nonconformity. I said, yes, please, please count me in for one of those. Nick, I know you were also an altar boy at church and have said that that helped you become very good at I acting. What is I acting exactly? I mean, you know, just the obvious of acting with your eyes. How do you do that? What I determined from, you know, my first stage was the altar of the Catholic Church where they never gave me any lines. And so I realized if I was going to get any response out of the crowd I was going to have to learn how to use my eyebrows and my intense gaze. And it was there that I began to understand deadpan. I did get to ring the bells a couple times during the mass. And so with my timing and depending on my eye line, I could really make my friends laugh just with my demeanor. And eventually they had me start doing the gospel readings in a position known as the lector. And so then it carried over where I found that if I had the right amount of gravitas and intense focus, the parents would be tricked into thinking that was sincerity and reverence. While all my friends just thought it was the most hilarious Leslie Nielsen in airplane kind of delivery. At that point in your life, what did you think

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