My first thoughts as I began reading Nick’s book (I call him Nick. He’s my TV boyfriend, deal.) was SOULMATE!!!! I mean, here’s a man who both is and is not Ron freakin’ Swanson, making him the best of both worlds, in my opinion. And he has manly facial hair which… okay, I don’t really like moustaches, but it is manly. Also, he’s originally from Chicago. Yes he is, he’s from Minooka IL, which as you should know is Chicago by default because it’s north of Kankakee. Technically Chicago is bounded by Kankakee in the south, Lake Geneva in the north, and the Mississippi in the west. And there’s a bigass lake to the east which is ours too. This is not my fault, I didn’t make the rules.
Then I calmed down and admitted that Nick might not be my soulmate because he seems to have found one in Megan Mullally, a perfectly hilarious woman to whom I willingly relinquish any soulmate claims on Nick. Instead, I believe him to be a kindred spirit. He’s smart, he’s funny, and he doesn’t give a damn what people think of him. I like his politics, I like his attitudes, and I like his style. If that’s not a kindred spirit, I don’t know what is.
I’ve seen reviewers complain that this book is anti-religion, and I’m here to tell you it’s not, not at all. Offerman (I just put my reviewer cap on over my fangirl cap, so now I’m being all review-y.) says upfront that religion is a good thing when you keep it in your church, your family, your heart. When you try to put it into your government, when you try to use it to define your society, that’s his line in the sand. (Mine too.) That doesn’t make him anti-religion, that makes him anti-authoritarian and anti-jerk, which in my book is a good thing.
I’ve seen reviewers complain that this book is profane. I resist the word in this context because of its Puritan-level prissiness. Offerman’s language is bawdy in the best sense of the word; a big, Falstaffian lot of cussin’ and good, honest sexual innuendo, neither of which will kill, maim, or otherwise do jack to another human being. Or to put it into perspective, he’s not shooting people, is he? So calm the hell down.
What he is doing in this wonderful, hilarious book, is telling the story of his life, crediting his family, particularly his parents, his friends, and his wife with making him as good a man as he is able to be, which seems pretty darn good to me. From his origins in Minooka, to his college years in Champaign-Urbana, to theater in Chicago, and then to film and television in Los Angeles, Offerman gives us not only his own story, but an insight into how a working actor becomes a working actor. In his case it involves high production values, and a good bit of weed.
One of my favorite stories is how he developed a running joke about proposing to Mullally, first by accident, then as a series of practical jokes, and finally for real. Their romance warmed the heart of an old cynic like myself, and made me laugh.
I don’t really know if you’ll love this book the way I do. I hope so. I hope you will love it and leave a message saying, “We must be kindred spirits.” Because there’s nothing better in the world.