Nick Offerman almost competed on Survivor — and remains open to possibility in the future

The Parks and Rec actor has always wanted to be a castaway

Nick Offerman Photo by Emily Shur survivor
Nick Offerman, photo by Emily Shur

    One of the (many) great things about Nick Offerman’s character Ron Swanson from Parks and Rec was that so much of it was true-to-life for the actor. Offerman really is an outdoorsy, wood-crafting, whiskey lover. Sure, he was playing a part, but the skills required to convincingly portray the character were real. Some might say that such prowess would make Swanson an excellent Survivor contestant — and Offerman would agree.

    It turns out the actor once came very close to participating in CBS’ reality competition, as he and his wife, Megan Mullally, revealed on Conan O’Brien’s new podcast, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend. During the latest episode, O’Brien recalled a time when he watched Offerman mend his exploded bike chain with nothing but a flat rock, and Mullally noted his survival skills go beyond simple vehicular repair.

    “We have always said that we thought that Nick would kill on Survivor,” she said. “Not even Celebrity [Survivor]; regular Survivor.


    “It’s been discussed,” added Offerman. “We’ve sincerely looked at it in reality.” They considered it so closely, in fact, that he apparently almost appeared on the show, but had to back out when he got an acting job.

    “I would love to. I think it would be really fun,” Offerman said of the possibility of appearing on the show in the future. “I think I’d be good at some things, but I’m not certain that… I’m not sure how well I’d fair at the social aspect of the game.” Mullally pointed out that everyone loves him, but O’Brien noted that he has “no guile” and wouldn’t fair well at the mind games.

    “His brain, he’s not effed up enough to think of how to screw everybody over,” said Mullally.


    Whether or not Offerman ever ends up competing on Survivor remains to be seen. In the meantime, he’s currently hosting his own reality series, Making It, with former Parks and Rec co-star Amy Poehler. Recently, the show was picked up for a second season.

    Listen to the Offerman and Mullally’s appearance on Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend: