Nick offerman talks marriage, woodwork and lumbersexuals ahead of his full bush tour
Usually they carefully engineer their work and travel commitments so they are never apart for more than two weeks. Offerman’s Australian tour will be the first time they have broken that rule in their 16 years together. It was originally planned as a trip for the both of them, performing their ribald show Summer of 69: No Apostrophe. However, Mullally had to pull out due to filming commitments.
Instead Offerman has brought his one-man show Full Bush, which combines musings, songs and tips for living a more fulfilling life. Its title has many meanings, he says.
“It mainly refers to the lush carpeted region of the human anatomy that is much maligned these days, which I think is a terrible disservice to mother nature.”
But in a wider sense, he says, it’s about “the lifestyle choice or philosophy of letting one’s wildness grow free”.
Chatting to Offerman is less of a conversation and more akin to listening to a monologue about good values, adjusting priorities and living a better life. He speaks in a very considered, eloquent manner, like a comforting radio broadcast from yesteryear heard from the comfort of sitting around the family hearth.
As well as performing, he also owns a woodwork shop and is a keen carpenter and craftsman.
“In my life, woodwork and making things with my hands to me is part of the antidote,” he says. “I think that corporate interests would just love us all to stay home and stay online and play video games and order shoes over the internet. And in my own life, to combat that I have a wood shop and I go make things. I make tables and canoes and ukuleles, and by doing so I’ve learnt that I don’t need shoes from the internet.”
With his interest in woodworking, bulky physique and often hirsute appearance, he is often lauded as a figure of peak masculinity. He points out that he left his farming family to go to theatre school and become a “sissy” performer. However, he says being genuine is part of the formula for manliness.
“I try to be true to myself and if people perceive that as manly, that’s where the lesson is. I think if you’re trying to do things that are perceived as manly, then you’re going to come off as a douche in some way.”
He talks about the curse of bearded hipsters and the “lumbersexual”. “To ever be suggested that I would remotely be a fan or involved in that is quite abhorrent to me.”
He says people should be more interested in elements that make life satisfying and complete, rather than “fashionable signposts”.
“My bag is preaching a lifestyle choice with a sense of humour and in this case I hope that a percentage of the audience will leave my show thinking they don’t ever need to get waxed again, both literally and figuratively.”
Full Bush is at the State Theatre, January 28 and 29. For the full tour, see livenation.com.au.