Thursday, May 24, 2012

U of I Alum Update: Nick Offerman, American Ham

U of I alum Nick Offerman (Class of 93), perhaps better known as Ron Swanson on TV's "Parks and Recreation," will be part of the Just For Laughs Chicago comedy festival, along with people like Vince Vaughn, Patton Oswalt, Janeane Garafolo and Bill Engvall, and coinciding with Conan O'Brien bringing his show to Chicago June 11 to 14.

Offerman will offer "Nick Offerman: American Ham," in which he promises to bring his "honey-glazed hindquarters" onstage for "a humorous entree called American Ham, which features a veritable smorgasbord of cautionary tales, tunes and tips for prosperity (with minor nudity).

I don't remember the name of the play he and his U of I cohorts performed at the Armory Free Theatre way back when, but it definitely involved more than minor nudity. He was a burglar and the boy of the house (played by Jimmy Slonina, who is now a clown touring with the Handsome Devils after finishing a stint with Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas) turned the tables on him, making Mr. Offerman's character strip and put on Mom's scanty black undies and then stick his arm down the garbage disposal. So, yeah, there was Nick Offerman, starkers in the Armory Free Theatre.

I think he was also at least partially nude when he did "A Clockwork Orange" at Steppenwolf. Didn't see the show, but those were the reports coming back, that he was on a swing over the audience, with his bare bottom to the four winds.

In any event, it does not appear that "American Ham" is predicated upon nudity in its two shows at the Vic Theatre on the evening of June 16th. But I guess you'll have to go to find out for sure.

Offerman has a lot of friends in the Chicago theater community from his years with the Defiant Theater and roles at the Goodman, Wisdom Bridge and Steppenwolf Theatres, so tickets are sure to sell briskly. You can buy tickets yourself if you click here and drop down to one of the two green boxes offering tickets for the 7:30 pm or 10 pm shows on June 16th.


  1. I don't know. I wish I went to more things in Chicago than I do.

  2. That play was called Like Family. Nick was a hit man, not a burglar.