Nick Offerman, who played Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation, reveals the strategy he uses when fans gift him an excessive amount of bacon.
Due to his role as Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation, Nick Offerman is sometimes given excessive amounts of bacon by fans, but he’s got a great strategy to deal with it. First airing on NBC in 2009, Parks and Recreation follows passionate, midlevel bureaucrat Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) as she attempts to beautify her small Indiana town. Offerman also plays a pivotal role in the show as Swanson, a meat-loving libertarian who serves as the director of Knope’s department. Parks and Recreation ultimately came to an end in 2015 after seven successful seasons, but it continues to prove popular on various streaming services.
In a recent interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Offerman explains how his role as Swanson on Parks and Recreation has continued to follow him throughout his career and how he is often mistaken for having some of the same extreme characteristics as the beloved character.
Offerman is now more than seven years removed from the end of Parks and Recreation and most recently appeared on HBO’s The Last of Us, but he is still often recognized because of his role as Swanson. One particular aspect of Swanson that some fans have honed in on is the character’s love of meat and, in particular, bacon. While not opposed the generous meat offerings he sometimes receives, the actor reveals that he does have a useful strategy when the quantity becomes overwhelming. Check out Offerman’s full comment below:
“It’s interesting. I mean, one of the gratifying things is I never had to start working out at comedy clubs because I already had this built-in audience thanks to the generosity and spirit of the Parks and Recreation audience. And so I’ll show up at a college or at a theater and people will come tailgate as though it’s some sort of Ron Swanson barbecue. So, often they want to hang out with me before the show and they do because I roll in and they say, like, ‘Cheddar burgers,’ or ‘bratwurst.’ And I’m like, ‘I’ll be right with you. Nice to meet you guys. Can I sign your spatula?’
And then humorously, after the show, I usually need a beer or something to cool down or to bring the adrenaline down. Sometimes the hotel would be closed so I’d go to a bar or restaurant, and again, people they conflate me with Ron Swanson. So things started happening where like a cheeseburger would arrive with an inch and a half of bacon stacked on it. An impossible amount of bacon. And I would look over and out of a kitchen window a cook would be like [gives thumbs up]. You can’t eat that much bacon, you’ll die. He’s watching me so I’ll eat a little bit, maybe even hazard a bite of the burger with it. I’m like, ‘Okay, thank you.’ And then you surreptitiously put it in your pocket because you can’t send it back. This is this guy’s greatest story of his life. I’m not going to take that away from him. But I’m also not going to put my cardiologist’s kid through college by eating the whole damn thing. I learned a long time ago to carry small Ziplocs all over my person.”
Why Ron Swanson Remains One Of TV’s Most Memorable Sitcom Characters
There are a handful of memorable sitcom characters from the mid-2000s that have since become beloved figures in pop culture, including the likes of Dwight Schrute from The Office, Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother, and Tobias Fünke from Arrested Development. Swanson is also one of these characters, in large part due to Offerman’s performance and sensibilities. The very premise of the character is, itself, also hilarious, with Swanson, a strong proponent of small government, actively trying to sabotage government projects in Parks and Recreation while himself serving as the head of a municipal department.
Parks and Recreation takes this further, however, building out Swanson as an old-school man’s man who loves red meat, wood carving, and avoiding expressing any sort of emotion. Although he is wacky in his own ways, he comes across in Parks and Recreation as something of a straight man, playing off of more spirited or quirky characters like Knope, Andy (Chris Pratt), April (Aubrey Plaza), Tom (Aziz Ansari), Donna (Retta), and Jerry (Jim O’Heir). Swanson is certainly funny on his own, but it’s really how he plays off of the rest of the show’s characters that makes him so entertaining.
Plus, while Swanson largely stays the same throughout all seven seasons of Parks and Recreation, he is also shown to have the capacity for change. After spending several seasons avoiding doing any work or furthering any government projects, Swanson’s inner humanity does sometimes shine through when he helps Leslie or one of the other characters. While Offerman’s story suggests that there are certainly some similarities between him and Swanson, including a love of meat, the sheer quantities involved mean that he does occasionally have to whip out a Ziploc.
Source: Jimmy Kimmel Live
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