Describing his first Tuesday guest as “a calming presence,” Stephen Colbert did his best to make The Great North star, New York Times best-selling author, and vaunted worker of all woods Nick Offerman feel at home. Indeed, Offerman spent the first few minutes of his latest Late Show appearance admiring the deliberately rough-hewn beauty of the three-legged stool Colbert had ordered up for Offerman’s late-night beverage (with coaster). Which makes sense, since it’s the very bay laurel (or pepper tree, as Offerman helpfully explained) furniture piece Offerman gifted to Colbert some time ago. “It’s sincerely more beautiful than I remember,” noted Offerman, which might be immodest if not delivered in Offerman’s unpretentious, soothing tones, and if the thing weren’t undeniably a fine piece of work.
Offerman, there to promote his latest chart-topping book of manly rustic rumination, Where The Deer And The Antelope Play, effortlessly continued to paint his life as one long and leisurely stride through life’s most bucolic glories. He and wife Megan Mullally spent much of their pandemic snugly isolating in an Airstream camper, tooling across the country from one trailer park to another. (Always get the “full hookup,” is Offerman’s no-doubt sound advice.) Plus, as he told the envious Colbert, he’s developed a suitably bluff and perambulatory friendship with two other unique chroniclers of the great American outdoors in Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy and acclaimed author George Saunders.
With Colbert demanding that Offerman whip out his phone for a quick video message to the group chat the three regularly engage in (and showing the more wood-savvy Offerman how to work the video feature), Offerman explained how it was Colbert himself who initially brought the unlikely yet somehow inevitable friends together. “I met them separately, and we hugged, and agreed to be together,” is how Offerman explained the trio’s immediate kinship, telling Colbert that it was during the writing of his second book, 2014's Gumption, that Offerman, Tweedy, and Saunders began what he termed their “three-way bromance,” which was cemented after Tweedy and Saunders appeared on the last-ever Colbert Report.
Well, that’s all the in Colbert needed, using Offerman’s phone to invite himself along on their next hike through one of the nation’s most picturesque places. (Colbert showed a picture of the hardy three-man band paused in their tramp through Montana’s Glacier National Park.) In the photo, Offerman is seen sporting a beard he calls “the full Gimli,” while, on the show, the actor explained that some recent, clean-shaven film work has left him with merely a seven-day (but still starkly glorious) face full of stubble, much to Mullally’s relief. (Offerman conceded that his wonted facial forest traditionally leaves his wife dealing with “a mouthful of thistles.”) Still, Colbert’s up for some actual rough terrain, promising that he can keep up with Offerman and his pals, especially as Offerman promised the chafing-prone Colbert relief via Saunders’ “butter trick.” “Cow butter or cocoa butter?,” Colbert reasonably asked, with Offerman noting that either will get the job done. Adding to the picture of Nick Offerman as benevolent woodland Tolkien character, the actor also said that, in a pinch, a poultice made from that end table could do Colbert some good, too.