'Parks and Recreation' Star Nick Offerman Spins Tales of Sex, Drugs and Break-Dancing With His New Book


At the Saturday Book Soup event, the man behind the moustache touted "Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living" and admitted he cried when he got the part of Ron Swanson.

"I've never sat in this theater when I wasn't baked," joked Nick Offerman as he took the stage at the New Beverly Cinema to promote his new book, Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living at an event hosted by Los Angeles' Book Soup.

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Several hundred fans turned out to see Ron Swanson in the flesh read from his collection of essays for the everyman, sing a few songs and take questions from the audience.

But perhaps Offerman wasn't joking in his introduction, considering he dedicates a page to the benefits of marijuana, that "sweet, sweet lady."
Stoned or not, Offerman led his audience through 60 minutes of zany reflection on life growing up in the cornfields of Illinois, his long and happy marriage to another NBC comedy legend, Megan Mullally of Will and Grace, and musical interludes of an old-timey nature you might expect to hear on A Prairie Home Companion -- that is until you listen to his lyrics.
Kicking off the night with a song he wrote to Mullally for her 50th birthday, Offerman strummed his acoustic guitar and purred these lyrics to "The Rainbow Song":
You RED me my rights when you arrested me,
You put me on trial and gave me a life.
But ORANGE you glad I didn't say banana,
When you made me your bitch and I made you my wife?
Having established himself as a raunchy romantic, Offerman then read from a chapter of his book entitled "Walking Beans," which details his childhood on the family farm -- and the summer that break-dancing hit rural Illinois. He described his "two-man break-dance team" that he formed with his cousin Ryan in the mid-80's.
"I was Tick-Tock and he was Flip-Flop. Tick-Tock was named because of my propensity for popping and locking" he read, suggesting an entirely different image of himself from the conservative scotch-and-sawdust one he portrays on Parks.
Offerman picked up the guitar several more times throughout the night, once for a medley of wood-working songs set to the tune of Johnny Cash classics ("I Chalk the Line,") and later for a hysterical parody of Carrie Underwood's "Jesus Take the Wheel," here renamed "Jesus Take the Weed," a rebuttal to the popular country song whose message had Offerman "quite angry."
Walking the audience through Underwood's story of a mother who relinquishes control of her car to Jesus on an icy road, Offerman bellowed, "You better fucking take the wheel, Carrie! Your child is in the vehicle," before launching into his version of a greener god. "I'm waiting to hear from Ms. Underwood's people about our feud," he concluded.
Of course no night with Offerman could be complete without discussing that moustache, the hallmark of the man-among-men character he plays on TV.
Reading from the chapter "The Moustache Makes the Magick," Offerman declared that the power of his timeless facial hair is to "be reminded that I am a fucking animal, and I'm ready to reproduce, or rip your throat out if called upon, because I come from nature."
During the audience Q&A that followed the reading, Offerman elaborated on his Parks and Recreation casting, which he also details in his book, insisting that he had heard so many no's in his career before then that he didn't take the opportunity for granted, no matter how perfectly suited he was for the role.
"Just because it was written for you doesn't mean Leslie Moonves will think you're worth the investment," he said. But luckily the higher-ups at NBC did, giving the Chicago theater-trained and self-described "thespian" the career-launching role that had so long eluded him in Los Angeles.
"Imagine the fucking guy calling you and telling you you got the job as Ron Swanson," he said to cheers from the audience. "You'd cry your f-----g eyes out, too."