Five things we learned at Nick Swardson's New York Comedy Festival show

Though he was still fighting an illness, stand-up and character actor Swardson brought his silliness, fart jokes and drunk fans to Town Hall

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Nick Swardson

Nick Swardson Photograph: Jake Plunkett/Picture Group

The bro-dudes and dude-bros agree: Nick Swardson, the star of Blades of Glory and defunct series Pretend Time, is funny. (Though he’s not without teen and female fans, that latter of which gave a big “whooo” when he asked if there were “drunk chicks” in the audience.) Here are some things we picked up during Swardson’s set:


There’s very little you can learn about conquering illness from your friends. Swardson—who thought he had pneumonia earlier in the week but managed to combat his sickness well enough to play this gig—was tired of getting advice from his pals about getting well. Drink water, they told him, drink OJ. “Oh, okay,” he said, “I’ve been drinking pee and eating cat poop, so…”


Jack Daniel’s might want to consider a new slogan. Swardson saw a print ad for JD with the tagline “Drink Responsibly.” He presumed, probably correctly, that no drinker has been remotely responsible while slugging Jack. Their new slogan, according to Swardson, should be: “Fucking Good Luck: I Hope You Don’t Suck Your Dick in Front of Your Own Family.”


Girls like weird shots. Well, okay, maybe we knew that. But it’s one thing to know it and another thing to recognize it with more clarity when Swardson hollers, “You guys want to do some peanut-butter burritos?!?” in his drunken, girly caricature.


Even while he's sick, Swardson’s silly act-outs are irresistible. When discussing the difference between cats and dogs, Swardson did his impression of a dog sounding the alarm upon noticing a strange man with a machete in your home. He excitedly yelped, “Nick! Nick! Nick! Nick! Nick! Nick! Nick! Nick! Nick! Nick!” for about 20 seconds. Then, when he imagined a medieval version of sexting—that is, sending a raunchy note by pigeon and waiting for an answer—he mimed jerking off while sadly watching the bird fly away. No wonder there were so many 15-year-olds in the crowd.


Fart jokes can be poetic. When was the last time you heard the smell of really bad flatulence described as “a haunted house’s vagina”?



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