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NICK OFFERMAN @ Crown Theatre gets 8/10


Nick Offerman All Rise @ Crown Theatre

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

8/10

Nick Offerman is best known for his role as Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation, and it was clear that his fans were out in full force to support their favourite whisky drinking, steak eating, all American comedian returning down under.

Starting off with some light cardio by running onto the stage, Offerman kicked off his night of self-deprecating country music and sarcastic comedy with a joke about the alleged Trump golden shower tape. And that was just the beginning. No topic was left unmentioned in his pursuit to evaluate human nature in the age of #MeToo and social media, underlined by his deadpan tone and self-aware tunes exploring the warped perceptions of the white supremacists and bible-thumping ultra-conservatives that started this whole mess. An approach rarely taken by straight white male comedians, Offerman explored the collective faults of the human race, pulling apart the misunderstandings and impacts of sexism, white privilege, sexuality, gender and what it means to be a man, interspersed with personal stories and his signature contagious giggle.

Consulting notes, and riffing on their vagueness, the evening felt more like a conversation than your standard comedy show. Instead of ‘bits’ and carefully planned antics, Offerman provided blunt commentary on society that, paired with his straight-faced delivery and pregnant pauses, became a joke by their sheer nature alone. The only moments that fell short were the many American-specific references, with mentions of Taco Bell, malls and boba tea that unfortunately stopped your laughter short and pulled you out of the experience.

Of course, Offerman couldn’t let it end without discussing Parks and Recreation, the show that put him on the map for many an audience member. For those who were less familiar with the popular mockumentary style sitcom, the switch from politics to crooning a soulful country ballad lamenting the fact that he was no Ron Swanson may have felt a little jarring. But the audience loved him nonetheless, and he finished off the night with a fan favourite song from the show, 5000 Candles in the Wind, inviting the crowd to sing with him.

Overall, the show was a resounding success, with a packed crowd laughing and cheering all the way to the end. Offerman is a delight to watch perform and brings levity to a trying political and social climate, reminding you that “us dipshits gotta stick together”.

LINDIE NAUDE

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