If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you know who Nick Offerman is. If you know who Nick Offerman is, there’s an even better chance you love him. The actor, comedian, author, musician, television host, and woodworker first achieved notoriety and cult hero status by way of his breakout role as Ron Swanson on Parks And Recreation. Long before making his mark as the eternally quotable man’s man on the celebrated comedy that ran from 2009 to 2015, however, Offerman was a struggling actor who was trying to pay the bills as he waited for his big break.
Beyond a semi-recurring role on George Lopez, a three-episode arc on 24, and a stint on something called American Body Shop, Offerman mostly relied on small parts in films and brief (often uncredited) cameos on sitcoms or procedurals from the time he broke into the business in the early ’90s until he finally landed the role of a lifetime more than 20 years later. Though he can now be far more selective about the projects he takes part in, Offerman didn’t exactly have the luxury of being too picky about the parts he took early in his acting career. Sometimes he even had to portray characters with beliefs that drastically differed from his own.
It’s safe to assume his appearance on Arli$$ was one of those instances. In a 1998 episode of the HBO show, Offerman—a Joliet, Illinois native and an unabashed Chicago sports fan—played what might be the most challenging role of his career…a Green Bay Packers fan. The brief appearance in an episode called “Fans First” finds Offerman playing a super fan who dons “Cheesehead” apparel in a sports bar. It was actually one of his first roles.
Why are we showing you this now? We don’t fully know. Nick Offerman rules and we just thought you’d like to see footage of the future Ron Swanson sporting Pack—er, um, Cheesehead gear in a ’90s TV clip. Enjoy!