Saturday, February 16, 2013

Nick Offerman: A Girth of Character

Few venues rate as special in my book: One of them, the Warner Theatre played host to actor/carpenter Nick Offerman last night. The star of NBC's Parks and Recreation performed two shows at the historic DC landmark. Since the first show had already sold out, I decided to attend the 10:30 show (for those who don't know me, that's late.) Offerman clearly has no trouble entertaining a full house; but his 90-minute routine was long and (at times) preachy. Coupled with a dreadful opening act (Jon Cunningham AKA Corn Mo,) I sadly have to rate the night's entertainment as disappointing.

That's not to say Offerman didn't have his moments. After suffering through a Corn Mo trio of songs that began with "I got my new dirty pants on" and wrapped up with a didy about his brother and two guys named Jason (one of which pissed on the other) the Gallagher look-alike gave way to Offerman, who stole the crowd early with a shirtless entrance. From there, the man best known to America as Ron Swanson slipped on an American flag shirt, before offering his audience yet another strip tease... this time, pointing to different spots on his self-admitted ample tummy and referencing DC eating spots (Ben's Chili Bowl, Founding Farmers and Chef Geoff's) as the culprits. One final disclaimer, 'Minor nudity advertised. Minor nudity achieved,' and the crowd was Offerman's to lose.

The next few minutes proved entertaining, especially a warning from Offerman regarding the use of cell phones. Unfortunately, the theme of his show (10 Tips for Prosperity) was D.O.A. I don't know about you, but I don't tune into Parks and Rec for life lessons. Yet, that's exactly what Ron proceeded to do... Say please and thank you. Carry a handkerchief. Avoid the mirror; and maintain a relationship with Jesus... as long as it gets you sex. These are just some of the subjects the 42-year-old decided to pontificate upon. Considering Nick is two years younger than me, I saw no need in it; and a good number of the 30-something crowd appeared to agree with me.

Response was so-so... Bigger when Offerman referenced drugs, meat, sex and various characters from Parks and Rec (especially Jerry.) The rest of the time, he rambled on about religion (apparently Offerman is no fan of the Bible) and time wasted on Angry Birds, cell phones and Twitter. If you didn't know him from TV, you might think it was someone's grandfather on stage... You kids today don't know what real fun is all about.

I like to think I know what real fun is all about, and it's not necessarily Offerman's stage act. He's extremely likable; but sounding like Ron Swanson is no substitute for his television persona. Maybe I just don't want to paddle my own canoe (the 10th and final tip for prosperity.) Thankfully, I plan on keeping my DVR tuned into Thursday nights for the real Ron Swanson.

P.S. Maybe not the best decision, to sell beer to patrons in glass bottles: The final hour was littered with the sound of them rolling down the aisles. Also, what kind of guest tosses half a box of popcorn (piece by piece) at his friends before the start of the show? I could write a book on "audience participation." For example, the "over-laugher... you know, the guy who claps and howls longer and louder than everyone else" who got up five different times to use the bathroom. Five times for a guy who's probably in his mid-30's? I wonder what Ron would say about that? I know what I would.