Nick Offerman

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Nick Offerman
Nick Offerman 2018 (cropped).jpg
Offerman in May 2018
Born Nicholas Offerman
(1970-06-26) June 26, 1970 (age 48)
Minooka, Illinois, U.S.
Alma mater University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
Years active 1997–present
Megan Mullally (m. 2003)

Nicholas Offerman (born June 26, 1970) is an American actor, writer, comedian, and woodworker who is known for his role as Ron Swanson in the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation, for which he received the Television Critics Association Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy. Offerman is also known for his role in The Founder, in which he portrays Dick McDonald, one of the brothers who developed the fast food chain McDonald's. His first major television role since the end of Parks and Recreation was as Karl Weathers in the FX series Fargo, for which he received a Critics' Choice Television Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Movie/Miniseries.

Early life[edit]

Offerman was born in Joliet, Illinois and grew up in Minooka, Illinois.[1] He is the son of Cathy (née Roberts), a nurse, and Ric Offerman, who taught social studies at a junior high school in nearby Channahon.[2][3] Offerman was raised Catholic.[4][5] He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in 1993.[1] That year, he and a group of fellow students co-founded the Defiant Theatre, a Chicago-based theatre company.[1]



Offerman lived in Chicago in the mid-1990s, where he participated with theatre companies such as Steppenwolf, Goodman, and Wisdom Bridge. At Steppenwolf, he also worked as a fight choreographer and master carpenter.[6] During this time, Offerman became acquainted with Amy Poehler, who was heavily involved with the Chicago improv comedy scene.[1]

In 2003, he married Will & Grace actress Megan Mullally and has also appeared on her talk show, The Megan Mullally Show. At the same time, he began appearing on television: as a plumber on Will & Grace during its fourth season's Thanksgiving episode, on The King of Queens, in three episodes of 24, and in an episode of The West Wing. Prior to Parks and Recreation, his most prominent role was as factory worker and Benny Lopez's love interest Randy McGee on George Lopez. He appeared twice on Gilmore Girls, in 2003's "The Festival of Living Art" and 2005's "Always a Godmother, Never a God". Offerman played would-be assassin of Wild Bill Hickok, Tom Mason, in an early episode of the HBO series Deadwood and in the third-season episode of Monk, "Mr. Monk and the Election" as a helper for the campaign of Natalie Teeger. In 2007, Offerman co-starred in the Comedy Central series American Body Shop.

Offerman with the cast of Parks and Recreation in 2012

In 2009, The Office producers Michael Schur and Greg Daniels offered Offerman a regular supporting role in their NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation: that of Ron Swanson, the deadpan, government-hating head of a city parks department and boss of Amy Poehler's character Leslie Knope.[1] Slate magazine declared Offerman "Parks and Recreation's secret weapon", and said he regularly stole scenes and "has a gift for understated physical comedy."[7] The role weaves antagonism and political philosophy with humanity, while the intense libertarian philosophy the character lives out is often played off against the equally intense liberalism and 'do-gooder' mentality of Poehler's character. Offerman said that supporting parts such as that of Parks and Recreation are his ideal roles, and that he draws particular inspiration from Reverend Jim Ignatowski, the character played by Christopher Lloyd in the sitcom Taxi.[1]

Offerman has also been featured in the Adult Swim series Childrens Hospital with Rob Corddry and Rob Huebel. He is the voice of Axe Cop in the animated series of the same name that premiered on July 27, 2013.[8] In the same year, Offerman portrayed Johnny Cool in the "Boston" episode of Derek Waters' Drunk History on Comedy Central.

Offerman has appeared in films, such as November (2004), Cursed (2005), Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (2005), Sin City (2005), The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009) and The Kings of Summer (2013). He also appeared in the 2006 film Wristcutters: A Love Story as a cop who attempts to arrest Shannyn Sossamon's character, Mikal. 2012 saw him in two film roles, as 21 Jump Street's Deputy Chief Hardy and in Casa de Mi Padre as DEA Agent Parker. He reprised his role as Deputy Chief Hardy in 22 Jump Street two years later. Additionally, he starred in and produced an independent film, Somebody Up There Likes Me (2012), shot in Austin, Texas. He appeared in the 2013 comedy We're the Millers, which starred Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston, and voiced MetalBeard in The Lego Movie. Offerman conceived of and starred in punk band FIDLAR's 2013 video for their song "Cocaine".[9] Offerman also played an alcoholic college guidance counselor in Believe Me (2014). Offerman played the recurring role Karl Weathers in the second season of Fargo (2015). Offerman voiced Grandpa Mike alongside wife Megan Mullally who voiced Grandma Linda in Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015). He portrayed the first establisher of McDonald's, Dick McDonald, in The Founder (2016).


In addition to acting, Offerman is also a professional boat builder and has a side business as a wood craftsman. Offerman makes furniture and other wooden structures such as canoes and boats at his woodshop.[10] He also released an instructional DVD in 2008 titled Fine Woodstrip Canoe Building with Nick Offerman, shot by Jimmy DiResta. Diresta's pay for shooting the DVD was a canoe, the second Offerman has built.[11]


Offerman has released three semi-autobiographical publications: the first, Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living was released in 2013; his second, Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America's Gutsiest Troublemakers, was released May 26, 2015; the third, Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop, was released October 18, 2016.

Personal life[edit]

Mullally and Offerman at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival

Offerman married actress Megan Mullally on September 20, 2003.[12] They met while acting in The Berlin Circle,[13] a play produced by the Evidence Room Theatre Company, and married after dating for 18 months. While they were dating, Offerman appeared in a guest role on Mullally's sitcom, Will & Grace, in a 2001 Thanksgiving episode. He later guest starred in a different role in a 2017 episode. Mullally later had a recurring role on Parks and Recreation as Ron Swanson's second former wife, Tammy 2. The couple have also appeared together in films such as The Kings of Summer and Smashed, as well as performing voice work together in Hotel Transylvania 2.

Offerman and Mullally did a live comedy tour in 2016, the theme of which was their sex life.[14][15]

On whether he is a libertarian like his character Ron Swanson, Offerman has stated, "While I admire the philosophy of the libertarian mindset, I think it's proven to be ineffectual in actual governance. So no, I'm not. I'm a free-thinking American."[16]

During his time on Parks and Recreation, Offerman was able to show off his ability to play the saxophone, although he has confessed to not being able to play as well as his character, "Duke Silver", thereby suggesting that at least some of his playing may have been dubbed for broadcast. As seen on Season 1 Episode 5 of Making It, Offerman also plays the trumpet.



Year Title Role Notes
1997 Going All the Way Wilks
1998 City of Angels Construction Worker
1999 Treasure Island Samuel
2000 Groove Sergeant Channahon
2002 Murder by Numbers Officer at Richard's house
2004 November Officer Roberts
2005 Cursed Officer
2005 Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous Karl Steele
2005 Sin City Shlubb
2006 Wristcutters: A Love Story Cop
2006 3 lbs Dr. Coffey
2007 The Go-Getter Nick the Potter
2008 Harmony & Me Meter Maid Man
2009 The Men Who Stare at Goats Scotty Mercer
2009 Taking Chances Sheriff Hoke Hollander
2010 Audrey the Trainwreck David George
2010 All Good Things Jim McCarthy
2012 Somebody Up There Likes Me Sal Also producer
2012 Smashed Dave Davies
2012 21 Jump Street Deputy Chief Hardy
2012 Casa de Mi Padre DEA Agent Parker
2013 The Kings of Summer Frank Toy
2013 In a World... Heners
2013 We're the Millers Don Fitzgerald
2013 Paradise Mr. Mannerhelm
2014 Nick Offerman: American Ham Himself Also executive producer
2014 The Lego Movie MetalBeard (voice)
2014 Ernest & Celestine George (voice) English dub
2014 Date and Switch Terry
2014 The Gunfighter Narrator (voice) Short film
2014 22 Jump Street Deputy Chief Hardy
2014 Believe Me Sean
2015 A Walk in the Woods REI Dave
2015 Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Greg's Dad
2015 Knight of Cups Scott
2015 Danny Collins Guy DeLoach
2015 Welcome to Happiness Moses
2015 Hotel Transylvania 2 Mike (voice)
2016 Ice Age: Collision Course Gavin (voice)
2016 Sing Norman (voice)
2016 The Founder Richard McDonald
2017 Gunter Babysits Norman (voice) Short film
2017 The House of Tomorrow Alan Whitcomb Also executive producer
2017 The Little Hours Lord Bruno
2017 The Hero Jeremy
2017 My Life as a Courgette Raymond (voice) English dub
2017 Infinity Baby Neo
2018 Nostalgia Henry Greer
2018 Hearts Beat Loud Frank Fisher
2018 Bad Times at the El Royale
2019 The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part MetalBeard (voice) In post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1997 ER Rog Episode: "Ambush"
1998 Profiler Bobby Episode: "Double Vision"
1998 KaBlam! Colonel Kudzu 2 episodes
1999 The West Wing Jerry Episode: "The Crackpots and These Women"
2001 Will & Grace Nick the Plumber Episode: "Moveable Feast"
2002 The Practice Charles Rossi Episode: "Manifest Necessity"
2003 Good Morning Miami Police Officer Episode: "About a Ploy"
2003 24 Marcus 3 episodes
2003 The King of Queens The Man Episode: "Thanks, Man"
2001–2003 NYPD Blue Steven Debrees / Billy 2 episodes
2003–2004 George Lopez Randy 8 episodes
2004 Deadwood Tom Mason Episode: "Deep Water"
2005 Life on a Stick Greg Episode: "The Gods of TV"
2005 Monk Jack Whitman Episode: "Mr. Monk and the Election"
2003–2005 Gilmore Girls Beau Belleville 2 episodes
2006 CSI: NY Joe Green Episodes: "Cool Hunter"
2006 3 lbs Dr. Coffey Episodes: "Lost for Words"
2007 American Body Shop Rob 10 episodes
2008–2015 Childrens Hospital Chance Briggs 14 episodes
2009–2015 Parks and Recreation Ron Swanson 124 episodes
TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy (2011)
Nominated—TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy (2010)
Nominated—Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (2011–2012)
2012–2014 Bob's Burgers Cooper / Pete (voices) 2 episodes
2012 The Cleveland Show Harris Grundle (voice) Episode: "Tis the Cleveland to Be Sorry"
2013 Conan Ron Burgundy Episode: "Occupy Conan: When Outsourcing Goes Too Far"
2013 Out There Doug (voice) Episode: "Viking Days"
2013 Drunk History Johnny Cool Episode: "Boston"
2013–2015 Axe Cop Axe Cop (voice) 22 episodes; also executive producer
2014 Comedy Bang! Bang! Himself Episode: "Nick Offerman Wears a Green Flannel Shirt & Brown Boots"
2014 Kroll Show Vanya Episode: "Krolling Around with Nick Klown"
2014–2015 Gravity Falls Agent Powers (voice) 4 episodes
2014 The Simpsons Captain Joseph Bowditch (voice) Episode: "The Wreck of the Relationship"
2014 Sofia the First Whiskers (voice) Episode: "Winter's Gift"
2014–2015 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Guest actor 2 episodes[17][18]
2015 Fargo Karl Weathers 5 episodes
Nominated—Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Movie/Miniseries
2015 The Muppets Himself Episode: "Bear Left Then Bear Write"
2015 You, Me and the Apocalypse Buddy Episode: "Still Stuff Worth Fighting For"
2015 Brooklyn Nine-Nine Frederick Episode: "Ava"
2016 Ask This Old House Himself Season 14, Episode 24
2016 Life in Pieces Spencer Episode: "Annulled Roommate Pill Shower"
2016 Son of Zorn Dr. Klorpnis (voice) 2 episodes
2017 Comrade Detective Captain Covaci (voice) 5 episodes
2017 Curb Your Enthusiasm Cody Goodger Episode: "Fatwa!"
2018 Will & Grace Jackson Boudreaux Episode: "Friends and Lover"
2018 Making It Himself (host)

Video games[edit]

Year Title Voice role
2015, 2017 Lego Dimensions MetalBeard / Michael Knight / Garthe Knight


  1. ^ a b c d e f Ryan, Maureen (September 23, 2009). "Nick Offerman serves up solid comedy on "Parks and Recreation"". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 17, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Local News", The Herald-News (Joliet), November 30, 2003
  3. ^ Ken O'Brien (October 19, 1997). "Cast party: When NBC's "ER" drew a large national audience... – Chicago Tribune". Retrieved 2014-01-02. 
  4. ^ Rock 'n Roll Ghost. "TV Interview: Nick Offerman – Parks and Recreation (NBC)". Retrieved 2014-01-02. 
  5. ^ "Nick Offerman, deadpan man – Viewer Discretion". February 24, 2010. Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  6. ^ Adams, Erik (June 21, 2012). "Showrunner Michael Schur on building Parks And Recreation's fourth season (Part 4 of 5) | TV | The Walkthrough". The A.V. Club. Retrieved September 6, 2012. 
  7. ^ Weiner, Jonah (December 2, 2009). "You Really Should Be Watching Parks and Recreation". Slate. Archived from the original on February 2, 2011. Retrieved 2009-12-06. 
  8. ^ Fitzpatrick, Kevin (January 8, 2013). "FOX RELEASES 'AXE COP' VOICE CAST, SETS SATURDAY ANIMATION DOMINATION HD PREMIERE". ScreenCrush. Retrieved May 11, 2013. 
  9. ^ "How Punk Band FIDLAR Recruited 'Parks and Rec' Star Nick Offerman for NSFW Video (Q&A)". Retrieved November 6, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Offerman Woodshop". Retrieved September 6, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Ace on the House Premier". January 14, 2011. Archived from the original on July 1, 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2012. 
  12. ^ Fox, Jesse David. "The History of Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally's Awesome Marriage". Vulture. Retrieved March 31, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Nick Offerman Talks Costarring With Wife Megan Mullally". Huffington Post. May 29, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2014. 
  14. ^ Eakin, Marah (August 22, 2016). "Nick Offerman on middle-aged sex and what people get wrong about Ron Swanson". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 24, 2018. 
  15. ^ Emling, Shelley (August 23, 2016). "Nick Offerman On His Very Active Middle-Aged Sex Life". Huffington Post. Retrieved January 24, 2018. 
  16. ^ GQ (2017-06-28), Nick Offerman Goes Undercover on Twitter, YouTube, and Reddit | Actually Me | GQ, retrieved 2017-09-23 
  17. ^ Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: State Legislatures and ALEC (HBO). YouTube. November 2, 2014. Retrieved September 19, 2015. 
  18. ^ Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Sex Education (HBO). YouTube. August 9, 2015. Retrieved September 19, 2015. 

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