Ron f*ckin’ Swanson.

That’s how the other characters on Parks and Recreation refer to him — and for good reason.

The man is awesome sauce and without question the best character currently on TV.  Here’s why:


Ron Swanson is a die hard libertarian who not only supports individual liberty and freedom of expression and action, he also believes strongly in the minimization and elimination of the state.

In other words, the man absolutely hates with a passion all forms of government.

The fact that Ron Swanson is stuck in a mid-level city government job as the head of the city of Pawnee, Indiana’s Parks and Recreation department is hilariously ironic — and this paradox makes for endless and great comic fodder.

Since Parks and Recreation is filmed in a mock documentary style like The Office, the one on one interviews where Ron Swanson talks directly to the camera are some of the show’s most hilarious moments.  Here’s a quote during on of these interviews that best exemplifies Ron Swanson’s thoughts on government:

I don’t want this parks department to build any parks, because I don’t believe in government. I think that all government is a waste of taxpayer money. My dream is to have the park system privatized and run entirely for profit by corporations, like Chuck E. Cheese. They have an impeccable business model. I would rather work for Chuck E. Cheese.”

I’m pretty sure that Jasper T. Jowls would get more votes than Sarah Palin.


If there were a singular source for Ron Swanson’s greatness, then it would have to be the mustache.

Ron Swanson has strong opinions on facial hair:

Facial hair should be full, thick and square.  Nothing sculpted.  If you have to sculpt it, that probably means you can’t grow it.”

Ron Swanson’s mustache is more than just a style choice — it’s a statement.  Ron Swanson uses it to intimidate the crap out of other city employees and exude epic confidence.

His mustache has become so popular there is even a website dedicated solely to its awesomeness:

Not since Tom Selleck burst on the scene as Magnum PI has a mustache been so cool, and thanks to Ron Swanson, mustaches are coming back with a vengeance.

No longer is a bristly and lustrous mustache only for a cop or a porn star.  Ron Swanson is single handedly returning honor to this particular style of facial hair, despite the fact that for years it has been neglected by most men and routinely abused by celebrities.

I’m talking about these two dipshits.


In this year’s Parks and Recreation season premiere, Ron Swanson got stuck coaching a youth basketball team.  Rather than go through the motions, Ron Swanson took on coaching like he does everything — balls to the wall.

As a result, Ron Swanson shared his Pyramid of Greatness with his team, which includes his thoughts and advice on everything from buffets to capitalism.

Click on the pyramid to enlarge mankind’s greatest teachings since the Ten Commandments.

Here are just a few of my favourite Ron Swanson pearls of wisdom:


Give 100%.  110% is impossible.  Only idiots recommend that.


Acceptable at funerals and the Grand Canyon.


Should be thick and impenetrable.

The Swanson Pyramid of Greatness also tells you to avoid skim milk (twice) and has an entire row dedicated to different types of animal protein.

This Pyramid of Greatness proves Ron Swanson is an ingenius man and master motivator.  Not to mention the fact that he could beat the crap out of Tony Robbins.

Not even that freakishly large head would intimidate Ron f*cking Swanson.


In Season 2 of Parks and Recreation, it was discovered that for years Ron Swanson has been moonlighting as sexy saxophonist Duke Silver.

“Jazz sax is a connection to the heavens.  Human breath enters, and Angel breath leaves.”

– Duke Silver

Once a month Ron Swanson’s altar ego performs at Cozy’s Bar in Eagleton, Indiana, where he makes sweet sax magic while ladies lust after him with more fervor than tweenage girls at a Justin Bieber concert.

In fact, Duke Silver is such a lady killing jazz stud he’s even got his own website:

He’s made three albums so far, including my personal favourite Memories … Of Now (2009). This is the official description for the album:

The most recent trappings of Duke’s spirit. It has the lush jazz landscapes of albums past, mixed with the tranquil explosions of Duke’s recent inner-musical-triumphs. A must have for any fan of anything.”


Once while attending a work function with Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), Ron Swanson knocked back several glasses of whiskey.  When he attempted to drive home, Leslie refused to let him do so because according to an intoxication chart she had in her purse, Ron Swanson was over the legal limit.

Leslie Knope didn’t believe Ron’s claim that all Swansons have a preternaturally high tolerance for alcohol, even when he explained that his father used to put Wild Turkey on his corn flakes.

As a result, Ron Swanson went home, proceeded to drink a dozen whiskies, and photographed himself using dangerous machinery in his workshop while he crafted a beautiful antique style harp — all to prove to Leslie that Ron Swanson can damn well hold his liquor.

Ron Swanson: woodworking piss tank.

However, it turns out susceptibility to alcohol is not the only immunity that Ron Swanson has — he is also unaffected by the kinds of foods that would raise the cholesterol of a normal person.

As a result, Ron Swanson loves greasy breakfast food, consumes steak dinners daily and considers fish a vegetable.  I’m not exaggerating.  Here’s a picture of Ron Swanson eating a bacon wrapped turkey leg from his favourite street vendor.

They call that a “Swanson.”


Ron Swanson loves the ladies.  He does, however, seem to have some difficulty when it comes to selecting the right woman for himself.

Ron Swanson lives hard.  Ron Swanson loves hard.

He has two ex-wives, both named Tammy, which coincidentally just happens to be his mother’s name too.  Sure, Freud might have had a field day with that one but it doesn’t change the fact that Ron Swanson remains a hopeless romantic.

On his new girlfriend: (from the episode “Rock Show”)

My ex-wife Tammy cheated on me, then we divorced, then last week I ran into her sister Beth here; turns out she hates Tammy too, so we started dating. It’s like a fairy tale.”


This is without a doubt the biggest reason for Ron Swanson’s awesomeness.

Nick Offerman is a long time character actor best known for bit parts in movies and television.  Never has Offerman been given the platform to showcase his comedic abilities like he has on Parks and Recreation, and he has certainly made the most of it.

His comic timing is impeccable, he steals the show with his deadpan delivery and he literally oozes testosterone on screen — these are just a few of the reasons he makes Ron Swanson such a hilarious and iconic character.

Not since Will Arnett’s GOB on Arrested Development has their been a character on TV that could deliver laugh-out-loud moments with such consistency.

The fact that Nick Offerman hasn’t already won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series is ridiculous. The fact that he has yet to be even nominated in that category is downright tragic.

Is it possible I’m overselling Offerman?  Could Ron Swanson possibly not be as great as a character as I’ve claimed?

The answer is no.  Here is the proof:

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  1. Tom says:

    What the f**k is a german muffin?

  2. Storm says:

    That’s quickly become one of my favourite Ron Swanson quotes ever. This remains my first:

    “I was born ready. I’m Ron f**kin’ Swanson.”

  3. God says:

    Ron is nowhere near the best character in the show. Tom and Leslie and Andy are wayyy better

  4. [...] and Recreation is a required part of my TV-viewing on Thursday nights in the fall. I tend to find Ron Swanson and Tom Haverford the funniest, with Chris Traeger and April Ludgate providing the rest of my [...]

  5. Storm says:

    Hey God,

    While I do love me some Andy and Leslie, I gotta disagree with you there as nobody tops the Swansonator in my books.

    By the way, thanks for all the great weather lately!

  6. Magic Kenny says:

    “I know more than you” and “I can smell the sulfur coming off her cloven hooves” is all you need to know. Is it a coincidence that both “Ron” and “God” have “OHs!” in them? I think not.

  7. [...] opportunities to watch “Somebody Up There Likes Me,” starring Nick Offerman, TV’s Ron Swanson. Posted by: Rachel Stone on April 4th, 2012 in All Blog Posts, Arts, Entertainment, Events No [...]

  8. [...] should be able to swing a sword with such a testosterone-charged alpha dog brutality that even Ron Swanson would be [...]

  9. [...] the other greatest character on TV, Park’s and Recreation’s Ron Swanson, is set to return on September 20th, and it’s a safe bet that his [...]

  10. [...] better than watching the best character on television bang on bongo drums while reciting an ode to the world’s most delicious breakfast [...]

  11. sedaberry says:

    top five

    1) Raaaaaandy! i mean Tom

    2) Ron swonson

    3) Jean- ralphio…. very underrated

    4) Jerry

    5) Andy

    the character i cannot stand is Chris (Rob lowe) please get him off the show hes not funny at all!!!!

  12. [...] But by far the most ridiculous Emmy feat is that for the past three years the best supporting actor in a comedy award has gone to actors from Modern Family and not the greatest character on television. [...]

  13. [...] And Recreation is one of the funniest shows on the air, and in addition to featuring the best character on TV, packs a surprisingly sentimental punch that is effortlessly layered into the show.  Parks And Rec [...]

  14. Rob says:

    Ron is definitely the best character on the show and on the whole television.

    I hate Tom
    I hate Jean- ralphio

    What you probably just heard was: I don’t like Tom and Jean-ralphio
    What I actually said was: I HATE Tom and Jean- ralphio.

    That will be all