When people start to walk out during a movie while the majority of the audience is laughing loudly, you know there is something special about this movie. That is exactly what happened at a recent festival screening of Nick Offerman: American Ham. The actor who has become a cultural icon thanks to his everyman personality displayed both on the TV show Parks and Recreation as well as in his real life has a live humorist show that he performs and this was one of those shows.
Nick Offerman on the popular sitcom plays a true blue collar man and that fits his real persona perfectly. At home, his favorite hobby is woodworking, and despite the fact that he is married to the beautiful actress Megan Mullally, the two have a quiet home life that is a complete reversal from what most people expect when they hear the term Hollywood couple.
At the end of the day, that is what Nick Offerman: American Ham is all about – a man who is a big TV star explaining to his audience his guidelines to living a happy life. So, what is it that was so controversial that people got up and walked out in the middle of the movie?
Well, for one thing, I viewed the movie at the deadCENTER Film Festival in Oklahoma City. Being in the middle of the heartland, there is a code of life for many long time residents. That means that when Offerman began making jokes concerning parts of the Bible, he was crossing into a taboo subject matter that is normally off limits in the Bible belt. As a Christian myself, I personally found the jokes hilarious.
One of the big jokes surrounded an Old Testament scripture where the sins for a woman entering menstration was to bring two turtles to the church and he joked about how the priest who made that declaration was probably not allowed to make any more laws. He also took a lot of time to talk about how it boggles his mind that people are against homosexuality when there are so many vegetarians out there to hate instead.
The other thing that probably caused a lot of walk outs was his language and subject matter in parts of his show. The entire theme was 10 things to help you lead a happier life and the first item was to engage in romantic love, which he accompanied with a song dedicated to his wife that had some pretty raunchy lyrics in it – some of which he said his own wife suggested.
What made Nick Offerman: American Ham so great was that, while it was raunchy, dirty and sacrilegious at points, it was also incredibly funny. Also, at the end of the day, almost all of Offerman’s advice, through the jokes, was spot on. This was a movie that made people laugh but also meant something at the end. There are a lot of comedy concert movies out there, but Nick Offerman: American Ham might be the most unique I have ever watched.