The Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) will present funnyman Nick Offerman on Thursday, May 28 at 7 p.m. at the Merle Reskin Theatre in downtown Chicago. The Parks and Recreation actor, humorist, and New York Times bestselling author will regale audiences with a reading and performance of his new book Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America's Gutsiest Troublemakers.
After the success of his autobiography, Paddle Your Own Canoe, Offerman now focuses on the lives of those who inspired him. From George Washington to Willie Nelson, he describes twenty-one heroic figures and why they inspire in him such great meaning. He'll combine both serious history with light-hearted humor--comparing, say, George Washington's wooden teeth to his own experience as a woodworker. The subject matter will also allow the actor turned author to expound upon his favorite topics, which readers love to hear—areas such as religion, politics, woodworking and handcrafting, agriculture, creativity, philosophy, fashion, and, of course, meat.
Entertainment Weekly says "(Offerman) explores his Paul Bunyan-like image with tongue-in-cheek lessons on manliness, complete with illustrations and advice . . . (and) hilarious anecdotes from his career."
Born in Joliet and raised in Minooka, IL, Offerman is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He lived in Chicago in the mid-1990s, where he participated with theater companies such as Steppenwolf, Goodman and Wisdom Bridge, as well as the Chicago improv comedy scene.
Formerly a star of the hit TV show Parks and Recreation, where he played Ron Swanson, Offerman has also appeared in the films 21 Jump Street, The Lego Movie, The Kings of Summer, A Walk in the Woods, and the upcoming Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. He spends his spare time touring as a humorist and running the Offerman Woodshop, where he has built canoes, tables, and one ukulele (to date). Offerman’s biography stresss he’s married to “the most beautiful and talented actress working today, Megan Mullally.” We couldn’t agree more. The two live in Los Angeles, CA, “with their poodles and an impressive collection of assorted wood clamps.”
For tickets to Nick Offerman: Relighting the Torch of Freedom at the Merle Reskin Theatre on May 28, call the CHF box office at 312.494.9509 or visit chicagohumanities.org.
Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
Actor/author Nick Offerman (photo by Associated Press).