Billy Gardell

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Billy Gardell
William Gardell Jr.

(1969-08-20) August 20, 1969 (age 53)
  • Actor
  • comedian
Years active2000–present
Patty Knight
(m. 2001)

William Gardell Jr. (born August 20, 1969[1]) is an American actor and stand-up comedian. Gardell played Chicago police officer Mike Biggs on Mike & Molly. He also had a recurring role as Billy Colivida on Yes, Dear and appeared in a dozen episodes of My Name Is Earl as a police officer.[2] Gardell voiced Santa in Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas, as well as starring on Sullivan & Son in the recurring role of Lyle Winkler. Since 2019, Gardell has played Bob Wheeler in the CBS sitcom series Bob Hearts Abishola.

Early life[edit]

Born in Swissvale, Pennsylvania,[3] Gardell attended Winter Park High School in Orange County, Florida, during 1985.[4] As a child, he moved to Florida with his mother and younger siblings after his parents divorced. After that, he only visited Pennsylvania in the summers.[5] He has said living in Florida was a positive experience.[6] 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.[5] In 1987, he started cleaning bathrooms, seating people, and answering phones at a local comedy club, Bonkerz.[4] 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.[5]

Gardell was a member of International Thespian Society Troupe 850, whose other notable alumni include Amanda Bearse, who is a fellow graduate of Winter Park High School, and Ben Rock of The Blair Witch Project.[7]


Gardell is known for his comedic roles and is influenced by Jackie Gleason.[5] He has also listed Richard Pryor, George Carlin, John Candy,[8] and John Belushi as his influences.[9] 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".[6] Before Mike & Molly, Gardell revealed that he considered a career in radio after being on the road for his comedy act began to affect his family time.[5] 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 US 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 US 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.[10] 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.[11]

From September 2010 to May 2016, Gardell starred in Mike & Molly, alongside Melissa McCarthy. In November 2011, he lent his voice to Santa in Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas. His stand-up special Halftime was released in 2011 and aired on Comedy Central. It was filmed in Pittsburgh and profiles working-class America.[11] As of 2011, he continues to tour as a stand-up comedian in addition to acting.[4] In a 2011 Orlando Sentinel article, Gardell said he wouldn't mind doing movies again.[4]

In 2013, Gardell's comedy special Billy Gardell Presents Road Dogs premiered on Showtime. In 2015, Gardell started the lottery game show Monopoly Millionaires' Club, featuring contestants who bought tickets for the Monopoly Millionaires' Club lottery game; the latter began on October 19, 2014.

Since 2018, Gardell has recurred on the CBS spinoff sitcom Young Sheldon as neighbor Herschel Sparks. In October 2018, he was cast as Bob in the CBS pilot of Bob Hearts Abishola,[12] alongside Folake Olowofoyeku. In May 2019, the series was ordered,[13] and it premiered in September 2019.

Gardell began appearing in advertisements for A1C medication Ozempic in 2021.[citation needed]

Gardell was featured on the July 29, 2022, episode of CBS's Secret Celebrity Renovation, in which the home of his best friend's mother was renovated.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Gardell has been married to Patty Knight since 2001.[6][11] They have a son, William III, born in 2003. In a 2011 USA Today article, Gardell had said he may retire when his son is a teenager to spend more time with him.[5] His parents still live in Florida, where he occasionally visits them.[4]

Gardell is a Pittsburgh Steelers fan and attended games at Heinz Field. His favorite player growing up was Jack Lambert.[15]

Regarding his weight, Gardell explained in 2011 that he "always had a little gut" and weighed 350 pounds (160 kg) at one point.[5] In 2022, during an interview with Entertainment Tonight, he discussed his weight loss and said that he reduced his weight to 212 pounds (96 kg). Gardell managed his weight loss by changing his lifestyle and having bariatric surgery.[16]



Year Title Role Notes
2000 Gary the Rat Jack Harrison Voice role
2002 Avenging Angelo Bruno
2003 Bad Santa Milwaukee Security Guard
2006 Room 6 Taxi Driver
2006 You, Me and Dupree Bartender Dave
2007 D-War Mr. Belafonte
2014 Jersey Boys Our Sons Owner
2015 Dancer and the Dame Dancer
2016 Undrafted Umpire Haze
2017 Once Upon a Time in Venice Office Bill
2017 Special Unit Captain Wynn


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 Recurring role, 26 episodes
2003 Lucky Vincent Sticcarelli 13 episodes
2003 Gary the Rat Jackson Buford Harrison Voice role; 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 Main role
2006 Las Vegas Sid Turner Episode: "Delinda's Box: Part 1"
2007 Alive 'N Kickin' Billy Television film
2007–2009 My Name Is Earl Officer Jeff Hoyne Recurring role, 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"
2010–2016 Mike & Molly Mike Biggs Lead role
2011 Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas Santa Television special; voice role
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 Himself Guest host
2015–2016 Monopoly Millionaires' Club Himself Host
2016 Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! Warden Bowman / Prisoner 1 Episode: "If You Can't Scooby-Doo the Time, Don't Scooby-Doo the Crime"
2016 Girl Meets World Coach Bobby Campagnola Episode: "Girl Meets High School: Part 2"
2016 New Girl Jason Episode: "Es Good"
2017 Sun Records Colonel Tom Parker Main role
2017 Angie Tribeca Officer Depot Episode: "Go Get 'Em, Tiger"
2017 Dice Frank Rizanski 2 episodes
2018–2019 Young Sheldon Herschel Sparks Recurring role, 5 episodes
2019–present Bob Hearts Abishola Robert "Bob" Wheeler Lead role

Comedy Specials[edit]

Year Title Notes
2006 Throwback CD only
2011 Halftime Comedy Central special
also CD
2013 Billy Gardell Presents Road Dogs Showtime special


  1. ^ "Billy Gardell – Actor". The Rich Eisen Show. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  2. ^ Fink, Jerry (July 1, 2009). "Face you might know from TV to appear onstage". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2013-02-03.
  3. ^ Collier, Sean (November 19, 2010). "Billy Gardell". Pittsburgh Magazine. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  4. ^ a b c d e Boedeker, Hal (December 29, 2011). "Mike & Molly & standup - Billy Gardell returns home to help Central Florida welcome the new year". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2013-02-03.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Mills, Nancy (February 5, 2011). "The small things in life are big enough for Billy Gardell". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-02-03.
  6. ^ a b c Anderson, Jamie J. (July 13, 2001). "Daydream's Punchline Is Oh-so-sweet - Did You Hear The One About An Orlando Comedian Who Works Hard For His Success?". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on 2013-10-19. Retrieved 2013-02-03.
  7. ^ Garisto, Julie (May 12, 2011). "Molly's better half". Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2013-02-03.
  8. ^ Duck, Allison (July 6, 2011). "Comedian Billy Gardell hits 'Halftime'". Las Vegas Weekly. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  9. ^ Oldenburg, Ann (November 3, 2011). "'Mike & Molly' star Billy Gardell is one happy husband". USA Today. Archived from the original on January 7, 2012. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  10. ^ Owen, Rob (March 29, 2012). "Billy Gardell relishes role in 'Mike & Molly'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  11. ^ a b c Brock, Chris (October 9, 2011). "Billy Gardell in Clayton Oct. 14". Watertown Daily Times. Archived from the original on October 25, 2011. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  12. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 5, 2018). "Chuck Lorre Comedy 'Bob ♡ Abishola' Starring Billy Gardell Set At CBS With Pilot Production Commitment". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
  13. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 9, 2019). "CBS Orders Comedy Series 'Bob Hearts Abishola', 'Broke', 'Carol's Second Act' & 'The Unicorn'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
  14. ^ Owen, Rob (July 28, 2022). "TV Talk: Billy Gardell talks about a 'Secret Celebrity Renovation' for Penn Hills friend's mom". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved July 30, 2022.
  15. ^ Varley, Teresa (November 16, 2011). "Talking Steelers Football with Billy Gardell". Archived from the original on 2012-05-24. Retrieved 2013-02-03.
  16. ^ "Billy Gardell Opens Up About His Impressive Weight Loss and How He's Been Able to Keep It Off (Exclusive) | Entertainment Tonight". Retrieved 2023-01-25.

External links[edit]