William Gardell Jr. (born August 20, 1969) 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. 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. In March of 2021 Gardell began appearing in advertisements for A1C medication Ozempic.
William Gardell Jr.
August 20, 1969
Swissvale, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Born in Swissvale, Pennsylvania, Gardell attended Winter Park High School in Orange County, Florida, during 1985. 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. He has said living in Florida was a positive experience. 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. In 1987, he started cleaning bathrooms, seating people, and answering phones at a local comedy club, Bonkerz. 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.
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.
Gardell is known for his comedic roles and is influenced by Jackie Gleason. He has also listed Richard Pryor, George Carlin, John Candy, and John Belushi as his influences. 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". 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. 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. 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.
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. As of 2011, he continues to tour as a stand-up comedian in addition to acting. In a 2011 Orlando Sentinel article, Gardell said he wouldn't mind doing movies again.
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, alongside Folake Olowofoyeku. In May 2019, the series was ordered, and it premiered in September 2019.
Gardell has been married to Patty Knight since 2001. 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. His parents still live in Florida where he occasionally visits them. Regarding his weight, Gardell has explained that he "always had a little gut" and weighed 350 pounds at one point.
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.
|2000||Gary the Rat||Jack Harrison||Voice role|
|2003||Bad Santa||Milwaukee Security Guard|
|2006||Room 6||Taxi Driver|
|2006||You, Me and Dupree||Bartender Dave|
|2007||Dragon Wars: D-War||Mr. Belafonte|
|2014||Jersey Boys||Our Sons Owner|
|2015||Dancer and the Dame||Dancer|
|2017||Once Upon a Time in Venice||Office Bill|
|2017||Special Unit||Captain Wynn|
|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|
|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 Billy 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|
- "Billy Gardell – Actor". The Rich Eisen Show. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
- Fink, Jerry (July 1, 2009). "Face you might know from TV to appear onstage". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2013-02-03.
- Collier, Sean (November 19, 2010). "Billy Gardell". Pittsburgh Magazine. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
- 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.
- Mills, Nancy (February 5, 2011). "The small things in life are big enough for Billy Gardell". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-02-03.
- 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.
- Garisto, Julie (May 12, 2011). "Molly's better half". cltampa.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2013-02-03.
- Duck, Allison (July 6, 2011). "Comedian Billy Gardell hits 'Halftime'". Las Vegas Weekly. Retrieved 2013-02-03.
- Oldenburg, Ann (November 3, 2011). "'Mike & Molly' star Billy Gardell is one happy husband". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-02-03.
- Owen, Rob (March 29, 2012). "Billy Gardell relishes role in 'Mike & Molly'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2013-02-03.
- Brock, Chris (October 9, 2011). "Billy Gardell in Clayton Oct. 14". Watertown Daily Times. Archived from the original on 2011-10-25. Retrieved 2013-02-03.
- Andreeva, Nellie (October 5, 2018). "Chuck Lorre Comedy 'Bob ♡ Abishola' Starring Billy Gardell Set At CBS With Pilot Production Commitment". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2019-05-12.
- Andreeva, Nellie (May 9, 2019). "CBS Orders Comedy Series 'Bob Hearts Abishola', 'Broke', 'Carol's Second Act' & 'The Unicorn'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2019-05-12.
- Varley, Teresa (November 16, 2011). "Talking Steelers Football with Billy Gardell". Steelers.com. Archived from the original on 2012-05-24. Retrieved 2013-02-03.