Ben Schwartz

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This article is about the comedian and actor. For the scholar, see Benjamin I. Schwartz. For the American trader and entrepreneur, see Ben Schwartz (entrepreneur). For people with a similarly spelled name, see Benjamin Schwarz (disambiguation).
Ben Schwartz
Ben Schwartz.jpg
Schwartz performing in 2009
Born (1981-09-15) September 15, 1981 (age 33)
The Bronx, New York
Medium Television, sketches, webisodes
Notable works and roles Jean-Ralphio Saperstein in Parks and Recreation
Bill Hoyt in Undercovers
Clyde Oberholt in House of Lies
Emmy Awards
2009 Emmy for Outstanding Writing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Special for coauthoring Hugh Jackman's opening number for the 81st Academy Awards[1]

Ben Schwartz (born September 15, 1981)[2] is an American actor, comedian, and writer. He is perhaps best known for portraying Tom Haverford's friend Jean-Ralphio Saperstein on the sitcom Parks and Recreation. In 2012, he joined Showtime's television comedy House of Lies as the ambitious, brash, and insecure management consultant Clyde Oberholt.

His feature film credits include Peep World[3] with Rainn Wilson, Michael C. Hall and Sarah Silverman as well as Everybody's Fine with Robert De Niro. Additionally he had a role in The Other Guys starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg and directed by Adam McKay.


On television, Schwartz guest-starred as Jean-Ralphio Saperstein on NBC’s Parks and Recreation[4] and is a lead in the Showtime show House of Lies with Don Cheadle, Kristen Bell and Josh Lawson. In 2010, Schwartz played series regular Bill Hoyt on J. J. Abrams' one-hour spy drama Undercovers for NBC.

Schwartz has been writing, directing and acting in his own short films for some time. He had his own segment on HBO’s Funny or Die Presents called Terrible Decisions with Ben Schwartz and has appeared in multiple CollegeHumor[5] sketches including the popular web series Jake and Amir. Schwartz has been nominated for two Emmys and won the 2009 Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special for coauthoring Hugh Jackman's opening number for the 81st Academy Awards.[1][6]

He was recently hired by Paramount Pictures to re-make the 1991 classic comedy Soapdish,[6] retitled El Fuego Caliente and reworking the original's American soap opera into a Latin telenovela,[7] with producers Rob Reiner and Alan Greisman, and he sold an original pitch to Universal Studios based on an idea by Brian Grazer with Imagine Entertainment attached to produce. He was a staff writer for the third season of Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken and served as a freelance writer for the Weekend Update segment of Saturday Night Live as well as the monologues for the Late Show with David Letterman.[4]

Schwartz is an alumnus of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (UCBT)[4] and continues to perform there regularly. He is a member of the improv group "Hot Sauce" with Adam Pally and Gil Ozeri, the group performs their long-form improv show "Something Fresh" at UCBT every month.

Personal life[edit]

Schwartz grew up in Riverdale, a neighborhood in the Bronx in New York City.[8] In an interview with Kevin Pollak, he stated, "When I told people I was from the Bronx, it was like 'Oh, do you have bullet wounds?' And I'm like 'No, it's just me and, like, Jewish people.'"[8]

Schwartz grew up in a family of social workers and Bronx school teachers,[8] including his mother, a music teacher.[9] He graduated from Union College in 2003 with a double major in psychology and anthropology.[10]


Year Title Role Notes
2007 Starveillance Glenn - Host (voice) TV Series
New York City Serenade Russ Movie
Bronx World Travelers Ben TV Series
2008 Mayne Street Evan Mintz TV Series
2009 Happiness Isn't Everything Jacky Hamburger TV Movie
Mystery Team Dougie's Buddy Movie
I Hate Valentine's Day Tammy's Date Movie
Everybody's Fine Writer Movie
Intercourse With A Vampire Waiter TV Series (1 episode)
Accidentally On Purpose Max TV Series (1 episode)
CollegeHumor Originals Ben/Multiple personas Web series specials of the mini-series "Jake and Amir". From 2009 to present.
2010 The Other Guys Beaman's Assistant Movie
Peep World Nathan Meyerwitz Movie
Undercovers Bill Hoyt TV Series
2010-present Parks and Recreation Jean-Ralphio TV Series, recurring character
2011 Funny Or Die Presents... Ben TV Series, host of segment "Terrible Decisions"
Mad Narrator, Statler, Jim Halpert, Cyclops (voice) TV Series (1 episode)
2012-present House of Lies Clyde Oberholt TV Series, Main Cast.
Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja Randy Cunningham (Voice) Animated TV Series
2013 Arrested Development John Beard Jr. TV Series (1 episode)
Turbo Skidmark (Voice) Movie
Coffee Town Gino Movie
Comedy Bang! Bang! Harrison Ford's Publicist TV Series (1 episode)
Better Living Through Chemistry Noah Movie
Runner Runner Craig Movie
2014 This Is Where I Leave You Charles “Boner” Grodner Movie
2015 The Walk Movie


  1. ^ a b "Primetime Emmy® Award Database". Primetime Emmy Award Database. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Fernandez, Jay (25 February 2011). "TRAILER: Rainn Wilson and Sarah Silverman in 'Peep World'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c "Ben Schwartz". Upright Citizens Brigade. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  5. ^ ""Ben Schwartz" Stuff on CollegeHumor". CollegeHumor. Retrieved 27 February 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Kit, Borys (23 February 2011). "Ben Schwartz to Pen 'Soapdish' Remake for Paramount". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  7. ^ Finke, Nikki (12 December 2011). "The Black List 2011: Screenplay Roster". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c Pollak, Kevin. "Kevin Pollak Chat Show: Ben Schwartz #143". Kevin Pollak Chat Show. YouTube. 10:30. Retrieved July 13, 2012. 
  9. ^ Marsh, Steve (12 January 2012). "Ben Schwartz '03". Vulture. Retrieved 18 June 2012. 
  10. ^ "Notable Alumni in Entertainment". Union College. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 

External links[edit]