By Eliza Berman
November 25, 2014

We know Nick Offerman best as a man’s man, a man of few words whose stoicism rarely betrays the emotions within. And that’s why the times when he does express an ounce of sadness or regret cut a little bit deeper. In this video for the Decemberists’ “Make You Better,” Offerman gets laughs as a fumbling German talk show host interviewing lead singer Colin Meloy. But it’s his portrayal of longing and insecurity that makes the performance memorable.

Though he’s all moustache and bravado on the outside, Offerman’s character faces that familiar pain of unrequited love, and a nerve too weak to proclaim it. As he struggles to find the right words, the Decemberists play a song of need and regret to match the shape of his wound. The premise is funny, but the execution, a little bit heartbreaking.

“Make You Better” appears on the forthcoming album What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World, which drops on Jan. 20.

Write to Eliza Berman at eliza.berman@time.com.

SPONSORED FINANCIAL CONTENT

Read More From TIME

EDIT POST