Nick Offerman brings his “Full Bush” to Taft Theatre

Photo: Nick Offerman brings his “Full Bush” tour to Taft Theatre this Saturday

By Tim Walker

Nick Offerman—successful actor, author, comic, producer, and enthusiastic woodworker—is speaking to the Dayton City Paper from his home in Los Angeles, and bemoaning how sound bites, screen culture, and technology have changed and cheapened human interpersonal relationships. Offerman’s current stand-up show, the “Full Bush Tour,” which runs through December, deals with those same subjects in depth, although in the humorous, positive, and encouraging manner his fans have come to expect.

“It’s a treatise against consumerism,” says Offerman. “It’s a really fun and optimistic show, to combat the divisiveness and the ire that seem to be filling our social feeds these days. ‘Full Bush’ is a way of life that involves making things with your hands and communing with people face to face rather than through screens, and ultimately encouraging the hug before the punch.” Offerman will be bringing his “Full Bush Tour” to Cincinnati’s Taft Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 18.

Nick Offerman is perhaps best known to the general public for his role as staunch Libertarian Ron Swanson, from the hit sitcom Parks and Recreation, which ran from 2009 to 2015 on NBC. In 2010, he received the Television Critics Association Award for “Individual Achievement in Comedy” for the role. Although he is best known for embodying the Swanson character on that show, he has also appeared in a number of other films and television series, including the FX series Fargo, for which he received a Critics’ Choice Television Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Movie/Miniseries. He is the voice of Gavin in the “Ice Age” films as well, and has also appeared in films such as “21 Jump Street,” “Sin City,” and “Wristcutters: A Love Story.”

When asked his opinion of what happens to humanity when people choose to relate to each other only through tiny screens, Offerman doesn’t hesitate to offer his opinion. “It’s part of consumerism in general. It exacerbates the great dumbing-down of society,” he says. “Instead of dealing with the complexity of the fully rounded human being, we’re instead dealing with sound bites, and the brevity of tweets, to then think we have the whole grasp of any given situation… I’m an avid reader, I love to try and be as informed as possible. And I know that the more I read, the more I’m aware of how ignorant I am. And sort of necessarily, how ignorant we all are. You know, these topics are too complex to just say ‘You’re evil and I’m good’ and vice versa, so instead I’m trying to encourage myself and my audience to focus on being good neighbors, no matter how blue or red your haircut is, we all are still sharing the same piece of dirt and the same body of water. Let’s try and shake hands and get along while we do it.”

Offerman’s endorsement of thinking for yourself and enjoying a hands-on DIY lifestyle is best exemplified in the titles of his various books, all available on Amazon: “Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop” (2016), “Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom With America’s Gutsiest Troublemakers” (2015), and “Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man’s Fundamentals for Delicious Living” (2013). Close to home in California, Offerman maintains the Offerman Woodshop, described on its website as “a small collective of woodworkers and makers based out of Nick Offerman’s kick-ass woodshop in East Los Angeles.” The collective focuses on handcrafted sustainable wood rescue and prefers to work with fallen trees from throughout Northern California and the urban environment around Los Angeles.

When Offerman is asked about the nation’s current president, and whether his theories on our love of technology and our sound-bite mentality might explain Trump’s election victory, the actor and writer is surprisingly positive—and strangely patriotic.

Offerman says, referring to Trump, “He’s not the virus—he’s one of the results of our social malaise. By now, we’re not even a year into his reign of terror, and basically two-thirds of the country despises him and sees through him. The other third knows that’s the case, and yet they’re obstinately sticking to their guns. Which is admirable, in its own way.

“I can’t agree with them,” he laughs. “But I have to say that’s about as American as it gets.”

Nick Offerman’s “Full Bush Tour” comes to Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St. in Cincinnati on Saturday, Nov. 18. Show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets start at $37. For tickets please visit Ticketmaster.com.

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Tim Walker
Tim Walker is 51 and a writer, DJ, and local musician. He lives with his wife and their two children in Dayton, where he enjoys pizza, jazz, and black T-shirts. Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Walker at TimWalker@DaytonCityPaper.com

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