Billy Gardell

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Billy Gardell
Birth name William Gardell
Born (1969-08-20) August 20, 1969 (age 45)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Nationality American
Spouse Patty Gardell

William "Billy" Gardell (born August 20, 1969) is an American stand-up comedian, actor and voice artist. He has been visible within the comedy world industry since 1989. Gardell currently plays police officer Mike Biggs on Mike & Molly. He also made an appearance in a dozen episodes of My Name Is Earl as a police officer.[1] Gardell voiced Santa in Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas, as well as starring on Sullivan & Son in the recurring role of Lyle Winkler.

Early life[edit]

Born in Swissvale, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh,[2] Gardell attended Winter Park High School in Orange County, Florida during the mid-1980s.[3] As a child, he moved to Florida with his mother and younger brother and sister after his parents divorced and only visited Pennsylvania in the summers.[4] He has said living in Florida was a positive experience.[5] At the age of 15, he started working at a department store warehouse in the receiving area where he would unload trucks and stack pallets.[4] In 1987, he started cleaning bathrooms, seating people, and answering phones at a local comedy club, Bonkerz.[3] On December 28, he started performing at the comedy club's open-mic nights after he made a dare with some co-workers. "If I didn't do an open mic night, I couldn't cover the bet. I was running my mouth that I would do it. They bet me I wouldn't", he explained. He eventually started opening for Dennis Miller and George Carlin.[4]

Gardell was a member of International Thespian Society Troupe 850 (whose other notable alumni include Amanda Bearse, also a graduate of Winter Park High School, and Ben Rock of The Blair Witch Project).[6]

Career[edit]

Gardell is known for his comedic roles and is influenced by Jackie Gleason.[4] He has also listed Richard Pryor, George Carlin, John Candy,[7] and John Belushi as his influences.[8] Although Bonkerz helped launch his comedy career, he has credited the support from his grandmother, saying "She told me when I was 8 years old that I could be a comic".[5] Before Mike & Molly, Gardell revealed that he was actually considering a career in radio after being on the road for his comedy act was affecting his family time.[4] He has performed in several feature films, including Bad Santa (with Billy Bob Thornton) You, Me, and Dupree (with Owen Wilson) and Avenging Angelo (with Sylvester Stallone and Anthony Quinn) as well as appearing numerous times in recurring roles in several U.S. television series, including NBC's Heist, The Practice, Yes, Dear, Desperate Housewives, Lucky, Bones, My Name Is Earl, Monk, and The King of Queens. Gardell appeared as himself on the Comedy Central series Make Me Laugh. Subsequently, he appeared on Miller’s television program Dennis Miller, telecast on the U.S. financial news network CNBC (conducting “man-on-the-street” interviews). Notably, he created and staged a SNL-style charity performance of a piece called Winter Park Live, the proceeds from which were donated to Comic Relief.

Gardell continues to make weekly appearances on hometown local radio station, WDVE, appearing on The DVE Morning Show.[9] Gardell also appeared on Chelsea Lately, as a roundtable participant. Gardell appeared on a special for Comedy Central Presents in 2007 that aired on April 4, 2008. Gardell also played the host of Pizza Talk, an imaginary TV series, in commercials for Round Table Pizza.

In 2006, Gardell's first comedy album, Billy Gardell: Throwback, was released.[10]

Since September 2010, Gardell has starred in Mike & Molly, alongside Melissa McCarthy.

In November 2011, he lent his voice to Santa in Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas.

His new stand-up special Halftime was released in 2011 and aired on Comedy Central. It was filmed in Pittsburgh and profiles working-class America.[10] As of 2011, he continues to tour as a stand-up comedian in addition to acting.[3] In a 2011 Orlando Sentinel article, Gardell said he wouldn't mind doing movies again.[3]

In 2015, Gardell will host the Monopoly Millionaires' Club game show, featuring contestants who bought tickets for the Monopoly Millionaires' Club lottery game; the latter debuts October 19, 2014.

Personal life[edit]

Gardell has been married to Patty (née Knight) Gardell since 2001.[5][10] They have an 11 year-old son, William. In a 2011 USA Today article, Gardell said he may retire when his son is a teenager to spend more time with him.[4] His parents still live in Florida and he occasionally visits them.[3] Regarding his weight, Gardell has explained that he "always had a little gut" and weighed 350 lbs. at one point.[4] Gardell is allergic to dogs.[11]

Gardell is a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, having participated in several Terrible Towel waves with other Steeler fans at Heinz Field. His favorite player growing up was Jack Lambert, with his son liking former Steeler Hines Ward.[12]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2000 Gary the Rat Jack Harrison (voice)
2002 Avenging Angelo Bruno
2003 Bad Santa Milwaukee Security Guard
2006 Room 6 Taxi Driver
2006 You, Me and Dupree Bartender Dave
2007 Alive 'N Kickin' Billy Television movie
2007 Dragon Wars: D-War Mr. Belafonte
2011 Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas Santa (voice) Short film
2014 Jersey Boys Our Sons Owner
2015 Undrafted Umpire Haze Post-production
2015 Dancer and the Dame Dancer Post-production

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2000 The King of Queens Billy Kelner Episode: "Block Buster"
2000 Judging Amy Lyle Cooper 4 episodes
2001 Cover Me Mike Dulgari Episode: "Vegas Mother's Day: Part 2"
2001 It's Like, You Know Eddie Episode: "Lust for Life"
2001–2006 Yes, Dear Billy Colavita 26 episodes
2003 Lucky Vincent Sticcarelli 13 episodes
2003 Gary the Rat Jackson Buford Harrison (voice) 3 episodes
2003 Monk Ian Agnew Episode: "Mr. Monk and the 12th Man"
2004 The Practice Manny Quinn 4 episodes
2004 Quintuplets Brad 2 episodes
2005 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Charlie Jackson Episode: "Iced"
2006 Heist Billy O'Brien 6 episodes
2006 Las Vegas Sid Turner Episode: "Delinda's Box: Part 1"
2007–2009 My Name Is Earl Officer Billy Hoyne 12 episodes
2008 Comedy Central Presents Himself Episode: "Billy Gardell"
2008 Desperate Housewives Roy Harding Episode: "The Gun Song"
2009 Bones Bob Sayles Episode: "The Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"
2010–present Mike & Molly Mike Biggs 99 episodes
2012 Family Guy Mike Biggs Episode: "Ratings Guy"
2012–2014 Sullivan & Son Lyle Winkler 3 episodes
2013 Phineas & Ferb Mayor Chickenen Episode: "Love at First Byte"
2015 The Late,Late Show with Craig Ferguson Guest Host as Himself

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fink, Jerry (2009-07-01). "Face you might know from TV to appear onstage". lasvegassun.com. Retrieved 2013-02-03. 
  2. ^ Billy Gardell
  3. ^ a b c d e Boedeker, Hal (2011-12-29). "Mike & Molly & standup - Billy Gardell returns home to help Central Florida welcome the new year". orlandosentinel.com. Retrieved 2013-02-03. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Mills, Nancy (2011-02-05). "The small things in life are big enough for Billy Gardell". usatoday.com. Retrieved 2013-02-03. 
  5. ^ a b c Anderson, Jamie J. (2001-07-13). "Daydream's Punchline Is Oh-so-sweet - Did You Hear The One About An Orlando Comedian Who Works Hard For His Success?". orlandosentinel.com. Retrieved 2013-02-03. 
  6. ^ Garisto, Julie (2011-05-12). "Molly's better half". cltampa.com. Retrieved 2013-02-03. 
  7. ^ Duck, Allison (2011-07-06). "Comedian Billy Gardell hits ‘Halftime’". lasvegasweekly.com. Retrieved 2013-02-03. 
  8. ^ Oldenburg, Ann (2011-10-03). "'Mike & Molly' star Billy Gardell is one happy husband". usatoday.com. Retrieved 2013-02-03. 
  9. ^ Owen, Rob (2012-03-29). "Billy Gardell relishes role in 'Mike & Molly'". post-gazette.com. Retrieved 2013-02-03. 
  10. ^ a b c Brock, Chris (2011-10-09). "Billy Gardell in Clayton Oct. 14". watertowndailytimes.com. Retrieved 2013-02-03. 
  11. ^ "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" (in English). Season 10. Episode 1928. 2014-05-13. CBS. 
  12. ^ Varley, Teresa (2011-11-16). "Talking Steelers Football with Billy Gardell". steelers.com. Retrieved 2013-02-03. 

External links[edit]