Chicago Humanities Festival Presents Nick Offerman at Merle Reskin Theatre (May 28, 2015)

Nick Offerman enters center stage sneakily through the center curtains and approaches the mic. “Since tonight is about a book, there won’t be any singing or dancing [unlike his comedy special, American Ham. Or maybe a little dancing [followed by a few quick dance moves].”  Just like that, he has won over the entire audience.  The star of NBC’s Parks and Recreation then goes on to read a sample of his new book, Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America’s Gutsiest Troublemakers.  He tells us the story about one interview that took place in a New York diner on a cold winter day with George Saunders.  After only ordering coffee, the waiter was becoming insistent that they order food or move along.  Nick slipped him a twenty and the slow paced interview was allowed to continue.

Next, Mark Bazer comes on the stage.  Nick pulls out the seat for him and helps him get settled.  Then, he stands next to his seat and looks over at Mark.  Mark gets up and proceeds to help Nick get into his seat.  It’s a funny little bit that has the whole audience chuckling. Bazer goes on to ask about the process of writing the book.  Offerman replies that it was an excellent trick to be able to meet with many of his heroes! He was also able to stop putting off reading about them since now it was his job, getting paid to do what he would otherwise do for free! Afterward he took a few questions from the audience followed by a book signing. Overall, it was a humorous and thoughtful evening with an entertaining and charming author at the top of his game!

Quinn Delaney

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