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article imageReview: Nick Offerman goes 'full bush,' endears Canadians at JFL42 Special

By Michael Thomas     Sep 21, 2014 in Entertainment
Toronto - Fans of the NBC hit 'Parks of Recreation' likely know what it sounds like when Ron Swanson giggles. As it turns out, Nick Offerman has the exact same laugh — it was one of many ways Offerman endeared himself to the Sony Centre on Saturday night.
Nick Offerman is probably best known for playing Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation. As it turns out, he's also come into his own with a stand-up show he calls "Full Bush." It may not be him grumbling about the overreach of big government and his favourite meat items, but it had plenty of proverbial meat to it.
He began his show (after being introduced as "a woodworker and a humourist") by first reassuring the Toronto audience that despite the fact that Ron Swanson hates Canada, Offerman himself is quite fond of the country. There are in fact a few similarities between Offerman and Swanson; they're both passionate about woodworking and outdoorsy activities. Canada, Offerman said, embraces the outdoors a lot more than the U.S. does.
He explained the idea behind "Full Bush" as a show name — "there are multiple entendres working here," he said. He said going into a situation with no preparation is going "full Bush" (like the former U.S. president), but it can of course also refer to genitalia.
He also spoke of his adoration for his wife, Megan Mullally — Saturday night was actually their 11th wedding anniversary — and it segued into his first of many musical numbers, "The Rainbow Song." Apparently he and Mullally like to give each other gifts, and she asked him to giver her a rainbow for her 50th birthday. He couldn't give her an actual rainbow, so he wrote a song that punned on each colour of the rainbow (except for indigo, which he admitted in-song as being hard to riff on).
He imparted several nuggets of wisdom over the course of the night, the first being to always carry a handkerchief. He even sang a song about its multiple uses, some outrageous.
His passion for woodworking is no small hobby — he showed the audience a ukulele he made, and played "The Ukulele Song" despite his saying that his thick fingers make playing the tiny instrument difficult. He messed up his intro a few times before getting into the swing of the song, and he told the audience he'll need to work on that a little more.
Being in Canada, Offerman actually tailored a lot of his material to his audience. He spoke of his love for Lee Valley, the Canadian woodworking and gardening tools shop, and also about being invited to the Canadian Canoe Museum. He even sang a song inspired by Gordon Lightfoot. "Have you ever heard of a local artist named Gordon Lightfoot?" he asked the audience. "He's got talent. I think we'll be hearing more from him."
He also sang a song about how macho Canadian men are, naming off the likes of Burton Cummings, Pierre Trudeau and Ben Mulroney, before ending his song with one Canadian man he says isn't macho — Justin Bieber.
One part of his act, subconscious or not, got audiences laughing every single time he did it — his giggling.
Having a bunch of renowned comedians visiting Canada is nice, but it's unlikely that a non-Canadian comic will be as complimentary to our fair country as Nick Offerman. And if that wasn't enough, he clearly also knows who his audience is — his last song of the night was "5000 Candles in the Wind." the song written in tribute to the fictional miniature horse, L'il Sebastian.
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