Our brothers in arms over at UrbanDaddy Chicago recently caught up with Illinois’s native son Nick Offerman, best known for his mustachioed brawniness (and playing a guy named Ron Swanson on TV). Below, we’ve got the full interview, including a few additional nuggets of wisdom that didn’t make it into the article.

We’ll spare you the Ditka jokes.

You’re performing a play called American Ham. Word on the street is it’s a collection of cautionary tales, woodworking tips and songs with minor nudity. How minor? Did you write this show? What can people expect?
The nudity is minor, but it comes right away in the show. I did write the show, top to bottom, and people can expect to have a few chuckles, and several guffaws. I also provide life tips for achieving prosperity.

You grew up in Minooka. Anything like Pawnee? How much are they alike?
Alike in climate, pretty dissimilar in size. Pawnee is much bigger than Minooka, I’d say it’s more like Joliet, but we definitely run into the same types of rural characters at our citizen’s gatherings.

What neighborhood did you live in when you lived in Chicago?
Rogers Park, then my last couple years were in a warehouse at North and Clybourn. I had a sweet setup there, with a couple thousand square feet of space to build scenery for my company, the Defiant Theatre, and then also a cozy corner to rest my head at night.

Sounds like quite the bachelor pad.
The ladies I dated had to be prepared to rough it a bit, since you had to walk half a block to find a bathroom. We gents just tinkled off the fire escape. I had a small refrigerator and a hot plate. I made a lot of quesadillas.

Any great watering holes that you return to when you’re in town? What were your haunts when you lived here?
I tended bar at O’Rourke’s, the great Irish pub that existed across Halsted from Steppenwolf. That bar was legendary, Guinness and whiskey, Tom Waits and Nina Simone on the jukebox. I loved the theater haunt the Old Town Ale House on North, that’s where I’d go to find Mike Shannon if I needed to discuss the state of the world. Moody’s Pub has the best garden/patio, it feels halfway to Middle Earth, and their burger is amazing.

Any mustache grooming secrets?
Rub a dollop of animal fat into your whiskers once a week. Then comb. Repeat. Beef tallow will do wonders for the sheen of your pelt.

—C.L.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Chris LaMorte