Interview: Nick Swardson
A few months back I had the opportunity to visit the set of Nick Swardson's new Comedy Central show "Pretend Time." When I arrived, the comedian was a wearing a crimson red hat and veil, not unlike Lady Gaga. He also donned a police uniform, badge, and department issued handgun. Even though the shoot was taking place in cuckoo bananas Hollywood, something seemed amiss. Turns out Swardson was playing Lady Gaga's brother, Gary Gaga, just a guy trying to keep it real while keeping the streets safe.
After Swardson completed a standard traffic stop in front of confused passersby, I sat down with him to discuss his new sketch show, as well as some upcoming features. Luckily he has taken off the gaudy Gaga attire, so I could concentrate on the task at hand.
Screen Junkies: Tell us some about all the glitz and glamour of “Pretend Time.”
Nick Swardson: Nobody wanted me to do it. They were like, “Awww you wanna do a sketch show?” but I’ve always wanted to do sketch, and I believe in Tom and I love “Human Giant.” I just thought it would be a great place to showcase all of the characters I create.
SJ: Will we be seeing any of Terry from “Reno 911?”
NS: No, I just wanted to do all new shit. I’ve done Terry for so long. I can’t even believe I’ve been doing him for so long. By season 3 we were like, “What the fuck is Terry doing this season?”
SJ: Who are some of the guest stars we can expect to see?
NS: We’ve got some amazing guest stars Paul Scheer, Rob Huebel, Horatio Sanz, Ryan Phillippe was amazing, Bob Odenkirk. I’m missing a lot of people, but everyone was great.
SJ: Can you tell us about any upcoming projects of yours?
NS: I’ve got Born to be a Star. Me and Adam Sandler wrote it with Christina Ricci, Stephen Dorff, Don Johnson, Kevin Nealon. And then I just started shooting a movie called Just Go With It. It’s me, Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman, Dave Matthews. It’s a movie for Valentine’s Day next year. I play a split role where I play Sandler’s nephew and then I segue into a different character. It’s like a scam where Sandler’s character wears a wedding ring but he’s not married, and he sleeps with girls because they’re not threatened by him and gives them this whole sob story that his wife is abusive. Then he takes the ring off and meets this girl and falls in love with her, and she finds his wedding ring. It’s really funny. Allan Loeb wrote the script and it’s a really solid romantic comedy, and Jennifer Aniston is amazing in it.
SJ: In Born to be a Star you play a porn star. Can we expect any Dirk Diggler moments?
NS: Maybe. I kind of describe it as Napolean Dynamite meets Boogie Nights. He’s a really goofy character. People should know going into it that there are filthy moments for sure, but the tone of it’s not dirty. We tested really big with females, which no one really planned on. They really liked the love story. But when it gets hardcore, it gets hardcore.
In case you missed it a few months back, Nick Swardson gave Screen Junkies a creepy shout out. Check it below.
"Nick Swardson's Pretend Time" premieres October 12th at 10PM/9c on Comedy Central.