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Parks and Recreation’ star Nick Offerman pushes envelope at Ohio State

Cody Cousino / Photo editor

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With a heavy ‘stache, meat-and-potatoes attitude and love for the outdoors, Nick Offerman proved his TV persona isn’t far from the real deal.

Offerman plays park district manager Ron Swanson on the NBC comedy “Parks and Recreation.” Wielding an acoustic guitar, Offerman gave about 1,500 students his “Tips for a Prosperous Life” Monday in the Ohio Union’s Archie M. Griffin Grand Ballroom in an event sponsored by the Ohio Union Activities Board.

In his first show at a college on his “American Ham” tour, Offerman won over Ohio State students in the first five minutes with a comment about Michigan.

“If I were younger, I would pull my balls out right now and make a joke about hanging brain over the Wolverines,” Offerman said. “But I’ve matured.”

Offerman, who is also a craftsman and woodworker, strongly encouraged students to get off the Internet, work with their hands and enjoy the great outdoors. He said it is important to have something to show for your free time.

“I want to assure you that most handcraft disciplines are not nerdy, they are actually super sexy,” Offerman said. “Handcrafts take a little patience and a little practice, not unlike the art of oral sex.”

Offerman, 41, explained his tip, “Push the Envelope,” with a story about his youth as a shoplifting college student in Illinois. He said after getting arrested for “shoving eight Ronnie Milsap cassettes in his pants” at a Kmart, he realized being a decent person was more important than entertaining his friends.

“If you want prosperity, do something different from what everyone else is doing without breaking the law,” Offerman said.

Offerman said the incident made him realize that it is important to have respect for others, part of his tip “Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.'”

“I don’t care if you’re a network executive, a Presbyterian, a stripper, or a fan of ‘Two and a Half Men,'” Offerman said. “We’re all equal brothers and sisters and we all deserve the respect of good manners.”

Offerman referenced the Bible several times during his performance.

“I think we all know ‘Leviticus’ is one of the most f—ed up books,” Offerman said. “Why are gay people forbidden a legal wedding, but vegetarians are allowed to marry, procreate, ride the bus and use our water fountains?”

Offerman explained his love of Jesus Christ through a story about his first girlfriend for whom he became a born-again Christian.

“We would kneel face-to-face and pray for the strength to resist, all the while drinking deep of each others musk … then we would f—,” Offerman said. “We would scrump and munch upon one another with pure animal abandon, and then we would cry some more and pray for forgiveness.”

Offerman said the blend of religious-right patriotism with country music makes him dislike Jesus at times. Offerman performed his own rendition of Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus Take the Wheel,” in which he smokes weed with Jesus.

“Jesus take the weed,” Offerman sang. “You’re the lord on high and you seem like an awesome guy.”

Offerman also talked about his wife and “legal property,” Megan Mullaly, during his performance. In his fourth tip for a prosperous life, “Engage in Romantic Love,” he called her his “smokin’ hot woman.”

“I don’t know what I did to end up with a ridiculously hot goddess as my bride,” Offerman said. “But I do know that it helps that I’m helplessly devoted to her. It’s cute, it’s sappy, suck it.”

Offerman said he and his wife are boring for a Hollywood couple.

“We really like to stay home and read books, play cards, watch HGTV,” Offerman said. “We do a s—load of cocaine and just hang out.”

Offerman also encouraged students to listen to Tom Waits, read Wendell Berry, and stay away from mirrors.

“All the companies that sell you s—, the mirror is their conduit into your house,” Offerman said. “Guess what people, you’re f—ing beautiful. Quit looking in the mirror and go make a goddamn  chair.”

Mark Lasch, a first-year in biomedical engineering, said he thinks OSU students could benefit from Offerman’s message to enjoy the outdoors.

“In the wintertime, people put their heads down and shuffle between classes, but there are still open skies on the Oval,” Lasch said. “We have a beautiful campus. People should get outside and have some fun.”

Allison Sasso, second-year in art, said she loves Offerman because of his “sheer awesomeness.”

“He only drinks whiskey, he eats eggs and bacon and he’s a libertarian,” Sasso said. “I’m so happy OSU brought him here.”

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