Nick Offerman brings unique charm to Stephens Auditorium


Courtesy of Neil Grabowsky

Best known for his role as Ron Swanson on “Parks and Recreation,” Nick Offerman brought his legendary stand-up to Ames on Thursday.

Cameron Bristow

It was a superb Thursday night in Ames as legendary comedian, actor and woodworker Nick Offerman took the Stephens Auditorium stage.

The “Parks and Recreation” star performed for a full house as he stopped by for his new “All Rise” tour.

The comedian started off his show by talking about how he is excited to be in Iowa, saying he was “with cornhuskers last night” and he “can smell the better quality beef here.”

The show began to get more politically-themed, but Offerman successfully stuck to his promise to not go after the “low-hanging fruit.” The actor provided his thoughts in an enjoyable way with humorous fresh takes, such as joking about the recent Trump marker-altered hurricane map controversy. With his unexpected and unique quips, the audience was able to see Offerman’s effective sarcasm, acting in a way similar to that of the Stephen Colbert character on “The Colbert Report.”

Offerman stands out from the crowd of typical stand-up comedians in not only the area of jokes, but also in his effective use of music. Throughout the show, the comedian would pull out his acoustic guitar and sing songs on subjects ranging from the Brett Kavanaugh controversy to “The American Dream.”

While these were all quite funny, the actor also proved himself to be a good country singer in the process.

Performing for approximately 90 minutes, Offerman had audiences laughing until their stomachs hurt as he showed off his exquisite storytelling ability. The actor was able to express his tales, visions and thoughts in a way where one could picture in their head what the comedian was talking about, such as when he told a detail-ridden dream about his wife, multihyphenate Megan Mullally. 

After performing his completely new set, Offerman temporarily left the stage, coming back only seconds later to monstrous cheers and applause. The comedian asked the audience to cheer if they were not very familiar with “Parks and Recreation,” which resulted in little sound from a few scattered individuals.

Offerman then talked about the show, specifically talking about the events from the episode “Li’l Sebastian,” such as how important Li’l Sebastian was to the show’s setting: Pawnee, Indiana. With this, Offerman went on to perform fan-favorite song, “5,000 Candles in the Wind” from the episode for an over-joyous audience, leading to a sing-along by the end of the song. Leaving the stage to a standing ovation, it was truly a one-of-a-kind experience and connection for everyone in the room. 

If Offerman is ever to come to Ames or the surrounding areas again, he is undoubtedly a must-see comedian. With his unique and topical jokes, meticulous stories and songs that will have one falling out of their chair, it is an experience in a class by itself.