Nicholas Roger Swardson (born October 9, 1976) 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.
Nicholas Roger Swardson
October 9, 1976
|Occupation||Stand-up comedian, actor, screenwriter, producer|
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. 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. Roger Swardson also invested in land development in Saint Paul, revitalizing Grand Avenue—an area now known as Victoria Crossing. Roger and Pamela divorced in 1989. Swardson has Swedish ancestry.
He attended St. Paul Central High and started acting and performing improv comedy at the age of 16. 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; he was enrolled in a rehab program while still in school.
After graduating in 1996, Swardson decided to pursue stand-up comedy rather than attend college. 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.
Swardson started performing stand-up at the age of 18, attending open mic nights at the Minneapolis comedy club Acme Comedy Co.. Swardson stated in a 2007 interview with The Portland Mercury 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". He also went on to perform regularly at Knuckleheads, a defunct comedy club which was located in the Mall of America. Swardson was also an occasional performer at Balls Cabaret.
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. 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. It was once the largest comedy convention of its kind in the US and became the launch pad for many comedians and comedy writers. 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.'"
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. 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.
In 2001, Swardson's stand-up act was featured in a half-hour Comedy Central Presents special. 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. That same year he took on the role of Terry Bernadino on the Comedy Central series Reno 911!. 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. 2003 also marked the beginning of a longtime working relationship and friendship with Adam Sandler. After having seen Swardson's Comedy Central special, Sandler contacted Swardson to ask if he'd be interested in collaborating; 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.
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. Swardson then had intentions on making it an animated show, but the show never came to fruition. A copy of the live-action pilot was however made available on MySpace in January 2007. 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. 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."
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. That same year he starred alongside Jesse Eisenberg, Danny McBride and Aziz Ansari in the film 30 Minutes or Less.
|2000||Almost Famous||Insane Bowie Fan|
|2001||Pretty When You Cry||Shaun|
|2003||Malibu's Most Wanted||Mocha||Also writer|
|2006||Grandma's Boy||Jeff||Also writer|
|2006||Art School Confidential||Matthew|
|2006||The Benchwarmers||Howie Goodman||Also writer|
|2006||Click||Bed Bath & Beyond Guy|
|2007||Reno 911!: Miami||Terry Bernadino|
|2007||Blades of Glory||Hector|
|2007||I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry||Kevin McDonough|
|2008||You Don't Mess with the Zohan||Michael|
|2008||The House Bunny||Photographer|
|2011||Just Go with It||Eddie|
|2011||Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star||Bucky Larson||Also writer|
|2011||30 Minutes or Less||Travis|
|2011||Jack and Jill||Todd|
|2012||That's My Boy||Kenny|
|2013||A Haunted House||Chip the Psychic|
|2013||Grown Ups 2||Nick|
|2014||Back in the Day||Ron Freeman|
|2015||Hotel Transylvania 2||Kelsey||Voice only|
|2015||Hell and Back||Remy||Voice only|
|2015||The Ridiculous 6||Nelly Patch|
|2017||Sandy Wexler||Gary Rodgers|
|2020||The Wrong Missy||Nate|
|1999||LateLine||Justin||Episode: "Karp's Night Out"|
|2002||Watching Ellie||Young Guy||Episode: "Cheetos"|
|2003–2009||Reno 911!||Terry Bernadino||28 episodes|
|2004||Cheap Seats||Nicholas Jenner||Episode: "1978 Superstars"|
|2006||Gay Robot||Rick / Gay Robot||Also writer|
|2007||Human Giant||Rob's Agent||Episode: "Lil 9-11"|
|2008||According to Jim||Waiter||Uncredited|
Episode: "The Chaperone"
|2010–2011||Nick Swardson's Pretend Time||Various||Also writer|
|2012||The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange||Jittery Guy / Jason Jr. (voices)||2 episodes|
|2014–2016||TripTank||Beth / Massage Guy / Killer Bee 1||9 episodes|
|2014||Portlandia||Nick||Episode: "Late in Life Drug Use"|
|2015||The Goldbergs||Rick Lancer||Episode: "Happy Mom, Happy Life"|
|2015||Comedy Bang! Bang!||Billy||Episode: "Michelle Monaghan Wears a Burnt Orange Dress and White Heels"|
|2015–17, 2019||Star vs. the Forces of Evil||Sensei Brantley||10 episodes|
|2016–present||Typical Rick||Gary||Also creator|
|2017||Lip Sync Battle||Himself||Episode: "Nick Swardson vs. Theresa Caputo"|
- Nick Swardson's bio on The Boston Phoenix website. Retrieved February 29, 2012.
- Justin, Neal (October 9, 2010). "Nick Swardson gets intense". Star Tribune. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- Nick Swardson's biography via the New York Times
- Miller, Bryan (September 22, 2010). "Nick Swardson: Hometown boy headed for comedy big-time". City Pages. Archived from the original on October 13, 2012. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- Itzkoff, Dave (October 30, 2009). "Comedy Central Plans New Sketch Series". New York Times. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- Kit, Zorianna (October 14, 2010). "Pena, Swardson clocking in '30 Minutes'". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- Vogel, Jennifer (December 10, 2003). "Roger, Over and Out". City Pages. Archived from the original on May 8, 2014. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- C.J (November 22, 2010). "Swardson partial to green, gold - and blue". Star Tribune. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- 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.
- Swardson, Nick [@NickSwardson] (July 10, 2013). "I'm actually Swedish. True story, buddy" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Swardson, Nick [@NickSwardson] (October 26, 2013). "love to you, man. I'm 70% Swedish" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Strauss, Neil (March 4, 1997). "The Unfunny Business Of Making the Right People (TV Producers) Laugh". New York Times. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- 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.
- Condran, Ed (March 18, 2006). "Comedy is a calling for Nick Swardson". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved February 6, 2012.[permanent dead link]
- Kiefer, Halle (October 3, 2011). "Nick Swardson On Bucky Larson, Pretend Time and the Critics". Splitsider. The Awl. Archived from the original on October 7, 2011. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- Runyan, Jenni (October 29, 2009). "Six-Episode Series Starring Nick Swardson Will Premiere In 2010" (Press release). COMEDY CENTRAL Corporate Communications. Archived from the original on February 6, 2011. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- Shimer, Katie (June 14, 2007). "Nick Swardson". The Portland Mercury. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- Regan, Sheila (September 9, 2011). "'Balls Cabaret' celebrates 20 years". City Pages. Archived from the original on December 17, 2014. Retrieved December 16, 2014.
- Gandy, Sara; Montgomery, Kirk (May 11, 2007). "US Comedy Arts Festival leaving Aspen for '08". 9 News Colorado. Archived from the original on January 16, 2013. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- Oksenhorn, Stewart (May 12, 2007). "HBO pulls U.S. Comedy Arts Festival". The Aspen Times. Archived from the original on September 28, 2011. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- Harden, Mark (March 9, 1998). "No joke: Comedy fest may leave Aspen behind Insiders worry about growth". Denver Post. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- "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.
- Nick Swardson at IMDb
- Barbuto, Dana (August 8, 2011). "Talking comedy and bank heists with Jesse Eisenberg and Nick Swardson". The State Journal Register. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- Gay Robot on MySpace
- "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.
- A post on Swardson's Facebook page announcing the cancellation of Nick Swardson's Pretend Time. Retrieved February 6, 2012
- Sessoms, Patrick (August 20, 2011). "West Volusia Beacon Movie Review —30 Minutes or Less". West Volusia Beacon. Archived from the original on January 17, 2013. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- Caramanica, Jon (January 12, 2014). "Not Just Another Ex-Con Hoping for Hip-Hop Glory". New York Times. Retrieved March 15, 2014.
- Luerssen, John D. (December 16, 2013). "'Chozen' Is FX's New Animated Gay White Rapper". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 15, 2014.