Swanson’s Swansong

Ron Swanson
Nick Offerman stars as Ron Swanson in NBC comedy "Parks and Recreation." The show airs on Thursdays on NBC (8:30-9 p.m. ET). (Mitchell Haaseth/Courtesy NBC/MCT)

From your Dumbledores to your Dr Coxes to your Obi Wan Kenobis, the patriarchal substitute is a staple of pop culture, seen in every incarnation imaginable. But just as I was about to write off this done-to-death figure, along came the man, the myth, and the moustache that is Ron Swanson.

Bacon-loving, master-craftsman, anti-government Ron is the leader we didn’t know we needed. From his thoughts on clear alcohols (only consumed by “rich women on diets”) to his philosophy on success (“never half ass two things, whole ass one thing”) it is hard to not think of all of Ron’s moments as his best. He is the cantankerous crank who hates his job and 95% of the human race, but becomes a reluctant father figure, and friend (although he is quoted as saying “one to three [friends] are sufficient”).

Though Ron, much like Madonna, should be studied as a complete work, an entire body of thought and wisdom as opposed to dissected chapters, below are what we consider to be some of his finer moments for the newly acquainted.

7. None of us know our limits.

You can forgive yourself for your drunk-dad-dancing to Uptown Funk now.

6. When he taught us to forgive ourselves for questionable choices because even the great Ron Swanson has psychotic exes.

“Every time she laughs, an angel dies”
(Fun fact; Ron’s ex Tammy is played by his real-life wife Megan Mulally, who played Karen Walker in Will & Grace. American sitcom’s royal couple.)

5. When he summed up what visiting a famous landmark really feels like.

Leave it to him to subtly reveal the emptiness of our society created by the excessive need of documenting our every move. Am I reading too much into this? Perhaps, but I have seen so many photos of the Eiffel Tower on my Instagram that I wouldn’t look up from my phone if I walked past it tomorrow.

4. When he revealed the painful family secret he had hidden for so long


3. A man so great that he needs two personas.

Duke Silver for the gold, am I right ladies?

2. Ron teaching us that there is beauty all around us, if we only choose to see it.

I would very much like to see Ron’s reaction if he was dropped off in Shoreditch for a weekend.

1. When he made our hearts grow three sizes, just like the Grinch.

After six glorious seasons of TV masterclass, NBC’s Parks and Recreation will be taking one final bow this year. There will be many things to miss about the show that gave us Lil Sebastian, a pre-Hollywood-hunk chubby Chris Pratt and, of course, Amy Poehler, but Ronald Ulysses Swanson I think we’ll miss you most of all.