My first meeting with Mike Schur, one of the two creators, about Ron Swanson, we almost opened the meeting by saying, “Well, this guy has a kickass mustache.” And I don’t usually wear a mustache. I think Mike had once seen me at an audition forThe Office with a mustache, so that was where we started.
There was a side of my demeanor—I’m not always stoic and expressionless like Ron, but sometimes I am. So I think Mike took that plainspoken, no-bullshit side of me, and liked that color a lot. They found it incredibly hilarious that someone would have a wood shop and make things out of wood for fun so they laced that into the character.
In honor of Parks and Recreation making its return tonight, here’s Parks director Ron Swanson giving his thoughts on how to innovate and improve local government. We can’t say we support his ideas, but we admire his forward thinking. Parks comes back after a long hiatus, during which it was pushed aside for Outsourced—Outsourced!—and moved to a new time slot following The Office. Hopefully it can improve on the 4.5 million viewers it was averaging last season and avoid another extended hiatus—we imagine having Dunder-Mufflin as a lead-in will be a big help.