The Great ‘Scott vs. Swanson’ Debate

While perusing Twitter the other day, I came across one of the most thought provoking polls I’ve seen to date courtesy of @CogginToboggan (no relation to Dr. Mantis Toboggan). The question? What would make a better crossover show: Ron Swanson on “The Office” or Michael Scott on “Parks and Rec”? This is a mind-blower. These are two of the greatest characters in television history, so to pick one over the other in general is borderline impossible. This isn’t a debate on who’s a better character though, it’s about the crossover, so let’s try to get to the bottom of this. Before we dive in, let’s take a closer look at our contestants:

Michael Scott

Innovative Office Solutions


  • One of the greatest salesmen in Dunder Mifflin history
  • Founder of the prestigious Scott’s Tots Foundation
  • Held title of “World’s Best Boss” for 7 consecutive seasons
  • Can run at a speed of 31 mph


  • Awful with the ladies
  • Awkward AF
  • Sometimes wears women’s clothes by accident
  • Shitty plasma TV

Ron Swanson



  • 110% Man
  • Ability to digest excessive amounts of meat
  • Woodworking skills
  • Look at that ‘stache


  • Miserable demeanor
  • Hates Local Government yet works in Local Government
  • Crazy ex-wife


Now that we’ve gotten a glimpse of our competitors, let’s get to the real issue here. Which guy would thrive in the other’s environment?

Michael Scott in Pawnee

Here’s my issue with Scott joining the Pawnee crew: he might not even be the funniest guy in the office. Andy Dwyer has him beat in both boyish charm and stupidity. This would reduce Michael to a secondary character as opposed to the nucleus that he is in Scranton. The beauty of Ron Swanson is his disgust of dealing with bullshit, so when someone steps into his office for any reason, he’s pissed before they even open their mouths. Michael, on the other hand, is desperate for human interaction so he would eat that shit up. The humor factor is greatly reduced. There’s some potential for comedy gold, though. Michael trying to organize some kind of party to get the office to stop hating on Jerry and completely botching it, resulting in everyone hating Jerry even more. Maybe Michael goes out with Leslie on the campaign trail and destroys any chance of her being elected by offending the whole town somehow. Michael trying to dress like Tom Haverford or pretend he knows anything about hip hop to become friends with Tom, perhaps. There are possibilities for this to work. For the most part though, this move is a demotion for Scott.

Ron Swanson in Scranton

As I mentioned earlier, Ron hates people, and Scranton has plenty of challenging individuals to deal with. I’m seeing a lot of potential here. Imagine Ron’s face when Dwight barges into his office for the 10th time in a day. Ron eating a porterhouse in the break room and Phyllis strolls in and microwaves leftover fish. Ron’s reaction when Andy Bernard breaks out into song. Maybe Ron bangs Meredith after too many whiskeys and awkwardness ensues. Yea, I like where this is going. This would be the gift that keeps on giving. The comments Ron would be able to make anytime Kevin talks would be priceless. Maybe Oscar makes a pass at him because he’s just so goddamn manly. The way he’d react to anything Creed says or does. SO MANY POSSIBILITIES. As close as this matchup seemed in the beginning, and as evenly matched as these two are as individual characters, the winner is clear…

THE VERDICT: Ron Swanson on The Office would be the superior show

In all fairness, I’ll mention that the poll that initiated this discussion in the first place disagrees with my conclusion, but 53% of those participants are WRONG:

-The Elder


Featured Image – BuzzFeed

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