Exclusive: Fox Can Finally Confirm the Voice of Axe Cop: Nick Offerman
Offerman is also an executive producer on Axe Cop, which is based on a popular comic book series about an unconventional crimefighter who sports a hefty moustache, sleeps just two minutes a night and eats only birthday cake.
The show debuts July 27 at 11/10c as part of the network's quirky new Saturday late-night programming block, Animation Domination High-Def.
But until now, the actor providing the voice of "Axe Cop" remained anonymous - sort of. While it was pretty clear that the Parks and Recreation star (who plays gruff Ron Swanson) is the voice behind the 'stache, Fox wasn't allowed to credit Offerman due to his contractual obligations to the NBC comedy.
As a result, Fox was set to credit "Axe Cop" as providing the voice of Axe Cop. "We had this huge game play," ADHD head Nick Weidenfeld says. "But now we can finally talk about Nick being involved. I wouldn't have made the show if it hadn't been for him. He's so integral and important to the Axe Cop story."
Weidenfeld was an Adult Swim exec working on Children's Hospital when Offerman (a regular guest star on that show) emailed him about the Axe Cop comic. "I checked it out, and he told me, 'If you ever make this thing, I want to be Axe Cop," Weidenfeld says. "From the beginning, he was this huge fan."
When Weidenfeld took the ADHD job and made a deal for Axe Cop, he called Offerman. The actor took an active role in developing the show, even though he couldn't be credited for his work. "He understood that certain deals prevent certain things," Weidenfeld says. "This is why you want to work with people like Nick."
Weidenfeld credits Offerman with bringing a warmth and likeability to the character. "This is not just a funny novelty," Weidenfeld says. "There is something deeper here."
That's why Weidenfeld is so pleased to now be able to credit Offerman. "We were really giddy about it," he says. "It's not just that now he can do interviews or promote it on Conan, but it's the fact that he can be more visibly involved in something he believes in."
The rest of the Axe Cop cast includes Offerman's wife, Megan Mullally, Patton Oswalt and Ken Marino. The comic is based on stories from Malachai Nicolle, a 5-year-old boy who came up with the ideas, which were then illustrated by his adult brother, Ethan Nicolle. Fox is hoping Axe Cop and its companion, High School USA!, will provide an alternative to NBC's dominant Saturday Night Live. But where would it rank on Ron Swanson's pyramid of greatness?