Nick Swardson

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Nick Swardson
NickSwardsonCCJul2011.jpg
Swardson at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con, July 23
Born Nicholas Roger Swardson
(1976-10-09) October 9, 1976 (age 38)
Minnesota, U.S.
Occupation Stand-up comedian, actor, screenwriter, producer
Years active 1997–present

Nicholas Roger "Nick" Swardson[1] (born October 9, 1976)[2][3] is an American actor, stand-up comedian, screenwriter and producer. He is best known for his recurring role as Terry Bernadino in the comedy series Reno 911!, for his work with Adam Sandler's Happy Madison Productions, and for his own personal sketch comedy series Nick Swardson's Pretend Time.[4][5][6]

Early life

A native of the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area, Swardson was born to Pamela and Roger Eric Swardson, and is the youngest of three siblings — he has a sister, Rachel, and a brother, John.[7][8][9] Roger Swardson (1934–2003) was an editor and journalist — having written for publications such as the Cincinnati Enquirer and City Pages, as well as founding the Grand Gazette, a former Saint Paul community newspaper.[7] Roger Swardson also invested in land development in Saint Paul, revitalizing Grand Avenue — an area now known as Victoria Crossing.[7] Roger and Pamela divorced in 1989.[7]

Swardson attended St. Paul Central High[4][9] and started acting and performing improv comedy at the age of 16.[10][11] A mischievous student who struggled with alcohol and drugs, Swardson was expelled from school on four occasions for pulling fire alarms in order to go outside and smoke cigarettes, fighting, posting a lewd sign in class, and for smoking marijuana;[4] he was enrolled in a rehab program while still in school.[4]

After graduating in 1996, Swardson decided to pursue stand-up comedy rather than attend college.[12] Although Swardson was a fan of sketch comedy, he saw stand-up comedy as a stepping-stone to a career in film, more so than he would working within a comedy troupe.[5][10][13]

Career

Swardson started performing stand-up at the age of 18, attending open mic nights at the Minneapolis comedy club Acme Comedy Co..[4][13][14] Swardson stated in a 2007 interview with The Portland Mercury[15] that he did his first open mic "as a goof" but he was encouraged by the club owner to perform again and he went on to win the comedy club's award for the "Funniest Person in the Twin Cities".[2][4][15] He also went on to perform regularly at Knuckleheads, a defunct comedy club which was located in the Mall of America.[4] Swardson was also an occasional performer at Balls Cabaret.[16]

After garnering some attention within comedy circles, Swardson was selected to perform stand-up at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival at 20 years of age.[4][10] The festival, which up to 2007 was held in Aspen, Colorado, was a yearly festival attended by entertainment insiders and was a place for comics and comedic actors to get exposure to the industry.[4][10][17] It was once the largest comedy convention of its kind in the US and became the launch pad for many comedians and comedy writers.[10][18][19] After Swardson's first performance at the festival comedian Tony Camin, acting as the night's MC, was quoted as saying: "There's a deal waiting to happen. I can see the TV show now: 'An Aspen Kid With Altitude.'"[10]

Swardson eventually left the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area for New York City where he would appear in such venues as the Luna Lounge, then on to Los Angeles where he headlined at many nightclubs.[3][4][11][20] In addition to his stand-up, Swardson began to get work in commercials and in small roles in both TV in film, such an appearance in an episode of the Al Franken sitcom LateLine in 1999, and playing the role of a crazed David Bowie fan in the 2000 film Almost Famous.[21]

In 2001, Swardson's stand-up act was featured in a half-hour Comedy Central Presents special.[4][11] He appeared on the show a second time in 2006 — a performance that was featured on the DVD compilation The Best of Comedy Central Presents: Uncensored II released in 2008.

In 2003, Swardson co-wrote the screenplay for Malibu's Most Wanted along with the film's star Jamie Kennedy and Adam Small.[3][14][20] That same year he took on the role of Terry Bernadino on the Comedy Central series Reno 911!.[4] A recurring character throughout the series' run from 2003 to 2009 — in addition to appearing in the film Reno 911!: Miami — Swardson played the role of a flamboyant gigolo who was often seen wearing roller skates.[2][4][15][20] 2003 also marked the beginning of a longtime working relationship and friendship with Adam Sandler.[4][13][22] After having seen Swardson's Comedy Central special, Sandler contacted Swardson to ask if he'd be interested in collaborating;[4][11] Swardson's first project with Sandler was co-writing the screenplay for Grandma's Boy — Swardson also co-produced and had an acting role in the film which was released in 2006.[4][21]

In 2004, Swardson wrote, produced and starred in a TV show pilot for Comedy Central called Gay Robot, which was based on a comedy bit by the same name that appeared on Adam Sandler's fifth album, Shh...Don't Tell; Comedy Central, however, decided to pass on the TV project.[11] Swardson then had intentions on making it an animated show, but the show never came to fruition.[11] A copy of the live-action pilot was however made available on MySpace in January 2007.[23] Swardson also resurrected the Gay Robot character on his Comedy Central Series Nick Swardson's Pretend Time.

Swardson's sketch comedy show Nick Swardson's Pretend Time, premiered on Comedy Central on October 12, 2010 and ran for two seasons. The show was produced in conjunction with Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions.[5][24] On February 6, 2012 Swardson announced via his Facebook page that there would not be a third season; in his post Swardson stated that "the ratings were solid but it was too expensive for the network and tough creatively," and added that he was "developing a new show where I play a ninja."[25]

In 2011, Swardson starred in, co-wrote and co-produced the film Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star, also produced by Happy Madison Productions.[13][22] That same year he starred alongside Jesse Eisenberg, Danny McBride and Aziz Ansari in the film 30 Minutes or Less.[22][26]

In 2014 Swardson performed the voice of the character Troy on the animated series Chozen.[27][28]

Filmography

Year Film Role
2000 Almost Famous Insane Bowie Fan
2001 The Det. Kent Stryker One-Man Film Porn Star
The Girls Guitar Club Hipset Customer
Pretty When You Cry Shaun
2003 Malibu's Most Wanted Mocha
2006 Grandma's Boy Jeff
The Benchwarmers Howie Goodman
Art School Confidential Matthew
Click Bed Bath & Beyond employee
2007 Reno 911!: Miami Terry Bernadino
Blades of Glory Hector the Stalker
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry Kevin "Butterfly" McDonough
Superbad Blind Criminal
2008 You Don't Mess with the Zohan Michael
The House Bunny Photographer
Bolt Blake
Bedtime Stories Engineer
2011 Just Go with It Eddie Simms/Dolph Lundgren
30 Minutes or Less Travis
Jack and Jill Todd
Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star Bucky Larson
2012 That's My Boy Kenny
2013 A Haunted House Chip the Psychic
Grown Ups 2 Nick
2014 Back in the Day Ron Freeman
Hell & Back Remy

Television

Writing

Discography

  • Gay Robot by Adam Sandler (2004)
  • Calling Home by Adam Sandler (2004)
  • Party (2007) (Stand-Up)
  • Seriously, Who Farted? (2009) (Stand-Up)

References

  1. ^ Nick Swardson's bio on The Boston Phoenix website. Retrieved February 29, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Justin, Neal (October 9, 2010). "Nick Swardson gets intense". Star Tribune. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Nick Swardson's biography via the New York Times
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Miller, Bryan (September 22, 2010). "Nick Swardson: Hometown boy headed for comedy big-time". City Pages. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c Itzkoff, Dave (October 30, 2009). "Comedy Central Plans New Sketch Series". New York Times. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 
  6. ^ Kit, Zorianna (October 14, 2010). "Pena, Swardson clocking in '30 Minutes'". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c d Vogel, Jennifer (December 10, 2003). "Roger, Over and Out". City Pages. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 
  8. ^ C.J (November 22, 2010). "Swardson partial to green, gold - and blue". Star Tribune. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Marsh, Steve (November 1, 2005). "Adam's boy: Saint Paul standup Nick Swardson takes a seat at Adam Sandler's Hollywood table". MPLS-St. Paul Magazine. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f Strauss, Neil (March 4, 1997). "The Unfunny Business Of Making the Right People (TV Producers) Laugh". New York Times. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f Kharakh, Ben (October 23, 2007). "Starpulse Q&A: Comedian Nick Swardson Talks About New Album, Life & Movie Projects In The Works". starpulse.com. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 
  12. ^ Condran, Ed (March 18, 2006). "Comedy is a calling for Nick Swardson". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b c d Kiefer, Halle (October 3, 2011). "Nick Swardson On Bucky Larson, Pretend Time and the Critics". Splitsider. The Awl. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b Runyan, Jenni (October 29, 2009). "Six-Episode Series Starring Nick Swardson Will Premiere In 2010" (Press release). COMEDY CENTRAL Corporate Communications. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 
  15. ^ a b c Shimer, Katie (June 14, 2007). "Nick Swardson". The Portland Mercury. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 
  16. ^ Regan, Sheila (September 9, 2011). "'Balls Cabaret' celebrates 20 years". City Pages. Retrieved December 16, 2014. 
  17. ^ Gandy, Sara; Mongomery, Kirk (May 11, 2007). "US Comedy Arts Festival leaving Aspen for '08". 9 News Colorado. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 
  18. ^ Oksenhorn, Stewart (May 12, 2007). "HBO pulls U.S. Comedy Arts Festival". The Aspen Times. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 
  19. ^ Harden, Mark (March 9, 1998). "No joke: Comedy fest may leave Aspen behind Insiders worry about growth". Denver Post. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 
  20. ^ a b c "OMG, What's That Smell? The World Television Premiere of 'Nick Swardson: Seriously, Who Farted?' a COMEDY CENTRAL(R) Original One-Hour Stand-Up Special Debuts Sunday, October 11 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT" (Press release). COMEDY CENTRAL Corporate Communications. September 29, 2009. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 
  21. ^ a b Nick Swardson at the Internet Movie Database
  22. ^ a b c Barbuto, Dana (August 8, 2011). "Talking comedy and bank heists with Jesse Eisenberg and Nick Swardson". The State Journal Register. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 
  23. ^ Gay Robot on MySpace
  24. ^ "Comedy Central's "Nick Swardson's Pretend Time" Season Two Premieres on Wednesday, October 5 at 10:30 P.M." (Press release). COMEDY CENTRAL Corporate Communications. September 21, 2011. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 
  25. ^ A post on Swardson's Facebook page announcing the cancellation of Nick Swardson's Pretend Time. Retrieved February 6, 2012
  26. ^ Sessoms, Patrick (August 20, 2011). "West Volusia Beacon Movie Review —30 Minutes or Less". West Volusia Beacon. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 
  27. ^ Caramanica, Jon (January 12, 2014). "Not Just Another Ex-Con Hoping for Hip-Hop Glory". New York Times. Retrieved March 15, 2014. 
  28. ^ Luerssen, John D. (December 16, 2013). "'Chozen' Is FX's New Animated Gay White Rapper". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 15, 2014. 

External links