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American Ham with Nick Offerman

Nick Offerman, probably most known for his Libertarian Parks and  Recreation Director character Ron Swanson, has begun touring the country on a comedy/inspirational monologue show called "American Ham." While Offerman doesn't perform the show in character, his own stage persona is so similar to Swanson that I can't imagine anyone leaving the show disappointed.

This is not stand-up, precisely. Although Offerman's perceptions of the world, his particular perverse approach to story-telling, are hilarious, they aren't really jokes. Instead, Offerman seems to borrow a page from motivational speakers and arranges the various topics of the show around a "10 Tips for Prosperity." Highlights of the List:

Number One: Engage in romantic love.

Number Three: Carry a hankerchief.

Number Four: Have a hobby or discipline ("The word hobby is strange. On one hand it shares many of the same letters as 'hobbit,' which is a great word. On the other it's the kind of word that grown men don't usually say, like 'buddy' and 'Romney')

Number Six: Go outside and remain.

Number Ten: Paddle your own canoe.

So this is self-help from the same universe Ron Swanson inhabits. But where Swanson is a stoic, emotionally unavailable government-hating bureaucrat, Offerman is a stoic, defiantly romantic (in the 19th century meaning of that word) progressive libertarian. In between the items on the list above, Offerman would veer between stories of his love for his wife, Meghan Mullally, profane ruminations on the authors of Leviticus, songs about handkerchiefs, and sincere advice for living a more grounded, fulfilling life.

Imagine Bill Hicks, add a guitar, subtract the misanthropy.


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