John Swihart

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John Swihart

John Swihart is an American musical composer for film and television. He is perhaps best known for his score to Napoleon Dynamite,[1] Youth in Revolt,[2] Employee of the Month,[3] and his music for the TV shows How I Met Your Mother,[4] and Go On.[5]

John Swihart was raised in Bloomington, Indiana, the son of a physicist based at Indiana University. He spent a portion of his formative years in Europe and Asia, where his father would sabbatical.

John had some musical training at a very young age but was not deeply absorbed by music until he was about eight. Swihart would leave Indiana to attend Berklee College of Music, in Boston. He graduated in 1986.[6]

Swihart played Chapman Stick, Bass, Guitar and Zither in the Boston, New York and Las Vegas Blue Man Group shows, on his way to Los Angeles. His breakout film project Napoleon Dynamite premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004.[7]




Year Title Director Notes
2002 When Boys Fly
  • Stewart Halpern-Fingerhut
  • Lenid Rolov
Bedford Springs Marc Berlin
2004 Napoleon Dynamite Jared Hess
Purgatory House Cindy Baer
The Least Likely Candidate Will Hartman
2005 The Great New Wonderful Danny Leiner
Mall Cop David Greenspan
Life on the Ledge Lewis Helfer
Our Very Own Cameron Watson
Nadine in Date Land Amie Steir Television film
Daltry Calhoun Katrina Holden Bronson
2006 One Last Dance Max Makowski
The Sasquatch Gang Tim Skousen
Champions David Wike
Bickford Shmeckler's Cool Ideas Scott Lew
Think Tank Brian Petersen
5up 2down Steven Kessler
Employee of the Month Greg Coolidge
2007 Full of It Christian Charles
The Hammer Charles Herman-Wurmfeld
The Education of Charlie Banks Fred Durst
The Brothers Solomon Bob Odenkirk
Randy and the Mob Ray McKinnon
South of Pico Ernst Gossner
2008 The Last Word Geoffrey Haley
2008 The Year of Getting to Know Us Patrick Sisam
Just Add Water Hart Bochner
Garden Party Jason Freeland
HottieBoombaLottie Seth Packard
2009 Balls Out: Gary the Tennis Coach Danny Leiner
Spread David Mackenzie
Finding Bliss Julie Davis
New in Town Jonas Elmer
Youth in Revolt Miguel Arteta
The Other Woman Don Roos
Splinterheads Brant Sersen
The Strip Jameel Khan
Operating Instructions Andy Tennant Television film


Year Title Director Notes
2010 The Perfect Host Nicholas Tomnay
Hey Watch This Christian Charles
2011 Flypaper Rob Minkoff
Losing Control Valerie Weiss
Lucky Gil Cates Jr.
2012 For a Good Time, Call... Jamie Travis
Love Sick Love Christian Charles
2013 Odd Thomas Stephen Sommers
2014 The Young Kieslowski Kerem Sanga
As Night Comes Richard Zelniker
2015 Accidental Love Stephen Greene
Staten Island Summer Rhys Thomas
A Light Beneath Their Feet Valerie Weiss
2016 First Girl I Loved Kerem Sanga
2017 Table 19 Jeffrey Blitz
A Symphony of Hope Brian Weidling
Angry Angel Jamie Travis Television film
2018 Ideal Home Andrew Fleming Composed with Martin Simpson
Haunting on Fraternity Row Brant Sersen
2019 The Fanatic Fred Durst
The Fan Connection Mary Wall
The Turkey Bowl Greg Coolidge


Year Title Director Notes
2020 Dinner in America Adam Rehmeier
The Bay of Silence Paula van der Oest

Television series[edit]

Year Title Notes
2004 The Drive
2005 Home Blitz
2005–2014 How I Met Your Mother
2006 Trick My Truck
Shorty McShorts' Shorts Episode: "My Mom Married a Yeti"
2007 Trick My Trucker
2007–2011 Greek
2008 Fear Itself Episode: "Community"
Ski Patrol 2 episodes
Ski Patrol 2 episodes
2009–2010 Accidentally on Purpose
2010 Sons of Tucson
2010–2011 Backwash
2011 Mad Love
Pretty Tough
2011–2012 How to Be a Gentleman
2011–2015 Web Therapy
2011–2016 Switched at Birth
2012 The Booth at the End
2012–2013 Go On
2012–2014 Men at Work
2013 The Goodwin Games
We Are Men
2014 Cristela
2014–2015 Red Band Society
2016 The Great Indoors
2017–2018 Trial & Error
2018 Break a Hip
American Woman Composed with Michael Suby

Video game[edit]

Year Title Notes
2019 Far Cry New Dawn Composed with Tyler Bates

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • Golden Satellite Award (2004) for best original score (Napoleon Dynamite)
  • Grammy Nomination (2006) for best compilation soundtrack album for motion picture, television or other visual media (Napoleon Dynamite)


  1. ^ "IMDB page for Napoleon Dynamite". IMDb. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
  2. ^ "IMDB Page for Youth in Revolt". IMDb. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  3. ^ "IMDB page for Employee of the Month". IMDb. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
  4. ^ "IMDB page for How I Met Your Mother". IMDb. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
  5. ^ "IMDB Page for Go On". IMDb.
  6. ^ Ashton, Kimberly (June 5, 2013). "Berklee Alumni Score Summer's Biggest TV and Movie Hits". Berklee College of Music. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
  7. ^ "Bio page from John Swiharts website". Archived from the original on 7 March 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2012.

External links[edit]