Plenty of actors are lucky enough to have traits in common with their characters. In the case of funnyman Nick Offerman, there were so many similarities between him and his Parks and Recreation alter ego Ron Swanson that it could be hard to tell where Offerman stopped and Ron began. One hobby that Offerman and Ron had in common was woodworking, and Offerman used his carpentry skills to say goodbye to Parks and Rec in a way that only he could: by crafting mementoes out of wood from the set.
The tweet from Ken Tremendous – AKA Parks and Rec co-creator and executive producer Mike Schur – isn’t the first time that behind-the-scenes tidbits about the end of the series have hit the web, but it has to be one of the quirkiest. At the same time, what parting gift could be more appropriate from Nick Offerman? Pictures can be lost and memories can be muddled, but canoe paddles are forever.
Nick Offerman first got to show off his woodworking back in Season 2 of Parks and Rec, when Ron Swanson had to accept help from city planner Mark Brendanawicz to bring his massive workshop up to code. To thank Mark, Ron made him a full-size wooden canoe… and left it in his office. Ron’s handiwork only got more extravagant over the years. He has some grand carpentry accomplishments to his name, but I’d say that singlehandedly and secretly remodeling the floor of City Hall has to be his greatest.
The man who brought Ron Swanson to life hasn’t been shy about showing off his woodworking magic in real life. His video on Conan advertising handcrafted wooden emojis is as hysterical as it is disappointingly farcical. We may not all be able to get our hands on special Parks and Rec canoe paddles, but a wooden emoji or two would surely have a place in any household.
Parks and Recreation came to an end back in February of 2015, so Mike Schur’s tweet of Offerman’s glorious gift is a nice reminder of what made the show so great. There were absurdities aplenty throughout the seven seasons the series ran, but characters like Ron Swanson and actors like Nick Offerman created something unique. The show never got the ratings that it deserved, so I’m just glad we got to see everybody come to natural conclusions instead of cut off at a cliffhanger.
Parks and Rec is unforgettable for many reasons, not the least of which was introducing audiences to the man who would go on to star in massive big screen hits Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy. On the whole, however, it’s impossible to imagine the show lasting for as long as it did without Nick Offerman as the mustache-wearing Libertarian with a magnificent workshop and heart of gold.