Zach Sherwin

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Zach Sherwin
Zach Sherwin 2009.jpg
Sherwin in 2009
Born (1980-07-01) July 1, 1980 (age 40)
East Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Alma materBrandeis University
Height6 ft 2 in (188 cm)

Zach Sherwin (born July 1, 1980) is an American comedian, rapper, writer, and actor best known for writing for and performing in the Epic Rap Battles of History YouTube series, as well as writing for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on The CW. He specializes in comedic rap. He previously performed with The Late Night Players, and under the stage name MC Mr. Napkins.

Early life and education[edit]

Sherwin was born in Cleveland, Ohio and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio and southwest Missouri.[1] His mother was a rabbi, and he continues to identify as Jewish.[2]

He attended college at Brandeis University and graduated in 2002. At Brandeis, Sherwin became an Ethics Center Student Fellow (known as the Sorensen Fellowship since 2009) while interning at Ikamva Labantu in Cape Town, South Africa.[3][1] While in college, Sherwin started a sketch comedy group, The Late Night Players. His fellow members included Andrew Slack and Seth Reibstein, founders of the Harry Potter Alliance, and Aaron Kagan.[4]


Sherwin continued to perform with The Late Night Players after graduating from Brandeis until the group's dissolution in 2007. The group was the subject of a documentary directed by Joshua Goren which screened at the November 2006 New York International Independent Film and Video Festival.[5]

Sherwin began to perform solo as MC Mr. Napkins in Boston from 2007 until giving up the name completely in 2013 in a video posted to his YouTube channel.[6] As a solo comedian, Sherwin has performed multiple times at The Knitting Factory.[7][8] He has appeared in multiple shows at UCB.[9][10] Sherwin appeared on the debut episode of Cameron Esposito's ASpecialThing-produced stand-up comedy podcast Put Your Hands Together.[11]

Sherwin was one of the original performers involved with the Epic Rap Battles of History YouTube series. As of December 2016, he has appeared in ten episodes, having portrayed Albert Einstein, Emmett Brown, Sherlock Holmes, Ebenezer Scrooge, Stephen King, Wayne Gretzky, Egon Spengler, Voltaire, Walt Disney, and Alexander the Great. Along with co-creators Peter Shukoff and Lloyd Ahlquist, Sherwin has acted in, and written for, episodes in every season of the series. In 2014, Epic Rap Battles of History won a Streamy Award for Best Writing. In 2015, the series was nominated for the same award. In 2016, the series was nominated for Streamy Awards for Best Collaboration and Best Writing.

Since 2015, Zach Sherwin has written for the CW series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. He co-wrote the songs "JAP Battle", "JAP Battle (Reprise)", "I Give Good Parent", and "So Maternal".[12][13] The first season of the series was nominated for multiple awards and holds a 96% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[14]

Sherwin auditioned for Season 11 of America's Got Talent in 2016. His performance in the Judge Cuts round was televised, however he did not proceed to the Quarterfinals round.

Sherwin writes, produces, and hosts a series of live crossword puzzle comedy shows entitled "The Crossword Show", in which three panelists race to solve a crossword puzzle on stage. The shows include comedy raps, videos, and humorous facts prepared for each clue. The format is similar to NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!.[2] Notable guest solvers have included Mayim Bialik, Pete Holmes, Rachel Bloom, Lisa Loeb, Josh Gondelman, and Aparna Nancherla.

Personal life[edit]

Sherwin lives in Los Angeles, California. He is a vegan.


Studio albums[edit]

List of albums
Title Album details Singles
The Album (as MC Mr. Napkins)
  • Pro/con (released February 1, 2012)
  • Wu Beatles (released March 26, 2012)
  • F-Bombs (released July 29, 2012)
Songs You Need To See The Video For
  • Released: September 6, 2016
  • Label: Independent
  • Format: digital download
  • Released: September 6, 2016
  • Label: Independent
  • Format: digital download


Year Title Role Notes
2011–present Epic Rap Battles of History Writer, various roles Acted in 10 episodes
2013 Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell Himself 1 episode (S01E26)
2013 Dis Raps For Hire Himself 1 episode (S02E03 "Nelson, Mark, Steven and Lucas")
2014 The Pete Holmes Show Himself 1 episode (S01E64 May 8, 2014)
2015–2019 Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Writer
2016 America's Got Talent Himself


  1. ^ a b c "Where Are They Now?". International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life at Brandeis University. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Sherwin, Zach (July 31, 2019). "Zach Sherwin's Live Jew-ish Crossword/Rap Shows". The Jewish Journal (Interview). Interviewed by Esther D. Kustanowitz. TRIBE Media Corp. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
  3. ^ "Internships in Africa". International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life at Brandeis University. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
  4. ^ "URI Hillel to bring Late Night Players comedy troupe to campus". University of Rhode Island. September 14, 2006. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  5. ^ "3 Screens Schedule NY November 2006". New York International Independent Film and Video Festival. Archived from the original on August 9, 2010. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
  6. ^ Zach Sherwin (writer and performer) (July 1, 2013). Stage Name. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
  7. ^ "This Sunday Night 5/1/11 @ Comedy At The Knitting Factory". The Knitting Factory. April 26, 2011.
  8. ^ "This Sunday Night". The Knitting Factory. February 8, 2013. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  9. ^ "Undefined - A Variety Show". Upright Citizens Brigade. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  10. ^ "If You Build It: A Stand-Up Comedy Show". Upright Citizens Brigade. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  11. ^ Julie Seabaugh (January 7, 2013). "Put Your Hands Together Debuts Tomorrow, Filling the Spot of Beloved UCB Stand-up Show Comedy Bang! Bang!". LA Weekly. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  12. ^ Lior Zaltzman (March 1, 2016). "'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' Brings You the Best Jewish Rap Battle Ever". The Forward. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  13. ^ Devon Ivie (April 15, 2016). "Rachel Bloom Tells the Stories Behind 8 Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Songs". New York Magazine. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  14. ^ "Crazy Ex-girlfriend: Season 1 (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 10, 2015.

External links[edit]