Nick Offerman

Nick Offerman

Offerman in October 2013
Born (1970-06-26) June 26, 1970
Joliet, Illinois, U.S.
Alma mater University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (BFA)
Occupation Actor, voice actor, producer, author, writer, musician, humorist, stand up comedian, carpenter
Years active 1997–present
Spouse(s) Megan Mullally (m. 2003)

Nick Offerman (born June 26, 1970) is an American actor, voice actor, author, writer, producer, musician, humorist, stand up comedian and carpenter widely known for his breakout role as Ron Swanson in the acclaimed NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation, for which he received the Television Critics Association Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy. His first major television role since the end of Parks and Recreation was his role 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

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][4] Offerman was raised Catholic[5][6] and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts 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 at the 2014 Sundance Awards Ceremony

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.[7] 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.

In 2009, 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".[8] 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.[9] 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. 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".[10] 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)


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.[11] 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.[12] The writers of Parks and Recreation added a fondness for woodworking to Offerman's character. Offerman has also written a book, out on October 18, 2016, about woodworking including several project tutorials, titled Good Clean Fun.[13]


In addition to his other work, Offerman is also known for his writing. He 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.

Offerman writes using his extensive vocabulary, and the contents and subject matter are generally reflective of his life experiences, personal philosophies and belief system of how an individual may use this information in bettering one's self.

Personal life

Offerman married actress Megan Mullally on September 20, 2003.[14] They met while acting in The Berlin Circle,[15] 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. 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.

Offerman is a die-hard Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears fan.[16] He and his wife play guitar together in their free time.[17]



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 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 Only
2014 Ernest & Celestine George Voice Only
English Language Version
2014 Date and Switch Terry
2014 The Gunfighter Narrator 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 Only
2016 Ice Age: Collision Course Gavin Voice Only
2016 Sing Norman Voice Only
2016 The Founder Richard McDonald Post-production
2017 The Story of Ferdinand Voice Only
2017 The Little Hours 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"
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–present 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[18][19]
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 Life in Pieces Spencer Episode: "Annulled Roommate Pill Shower"
2016 Son of Zorn Dr. Klorpnis (voice) Episode: "The Battle of Thanksgiving"

Video games

Year Title Voice role
2015 Lego Dimensions Metalbeard

Music videos

Offerman starred in the music video for "Cocaine" by Californian garage punk band FIDLAR. He directed the music video for "Low Key" from Tweedy's debut album, Sukierae and appeared in the music video for The Decemberists' song, "Make You better", playing a faux German music show host.[20]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Ryan, Maureen (September 23, 2009). "Nick Offerman serves up solid comedy on "Parks and Recreation"". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. Retrieved 2009-10-17.
  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". Unknown parameter |accessdatetp= ignored (help)
  4. Bill Cribbs. "Northeastern Illinois Obituary Collection – 140". Retrieved 2014-01-02.
  5. Rock 'n Roll Ghost. "TV Interview: Nick Offerman – Parks and Recreation (NBC)". Retrieved 2014-01-02.
  6. "Nick Offerman, deadpan man – Viewer Discretion". February 24, 2010. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
  7. 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 2012-09-06.
  8. Weiner, Jonah (December 2, 2009). "You Really Should Be Watching Parks and Recreation". Slate. Retrieved 2009-12-06.
  9. Fitzpatrick, Kevin (January 8, 2013). "FOX RELEASES 'AXE COP' VOICE CAST, SETS SATURDAY ANIMATION DOMINATION HD PREMIERE". ScreenCrush. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  10. "How Punk Band FIDLAR Recruited 'Parks and Rec' Star Nick Offerman for NSFW Video (Q&A)". Retrieved November 6, 2013.
  11. "Offerman Woodshop". Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  12. "Ace on the House Premier". January 14, 2011. Archived from the original on July 1, 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  13. Amazon, Site:. "Amazon". Amazon. Amazon. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  14. Fox, Jesse David. "The History of Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally's Awesome Marriage". Vulture. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  15. "Nick Offerman Talks Costarring With Wife Megan Mullally". Huffington Post. May 29, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  16. "10 Things You Didn't Know About Nick Offerman". Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  17. "Nick Offerman Interviews Chris Baio". Interview Magazine. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  18. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: State Legislatures and ALEC (HBO). YouTube. November 2, 2014. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  19. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Sex Education (HBO). YouTube. August 9, 2015. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  20. The Decemberists – Make You Better (Official). YouTube. November 24, 2014. Retrieved September 19, 2015.

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