By Catherine Wagley
By Channing Sargent
By L.A. Weekly critics
By Amanda Lewis
By Catherine Wagley
By Carol Cheh
By Keegan Hamilton
By Bill Raden
A few weeks after a small plane crashed into a Melrose apartment building in June 2003, Nick Swardson took the mike at the Laugh Factory and riffed about the calamity’s absurdity. The comedian exclaimed, “Omigod, could you imagine if the landlord was showing off the apartment that day? The potential tenant would ask, ‘What’s that noise? It’s getting louder and louder!’ And the landlord would respond, ‘Oh that’s just another guy who lives here. He parks his jet in the building.’?”
The bit illustrated Swardson’s finesse with breaking the rules of tragedy and timing. The comedian approaches life like a Valley Guy, doting on trite things we tend to overlook and labeling them as being either “gay” (fanny packs) or “retarded” (guys with metal detectors looking for treasure on the beach). However, when the routine is finished, we’re more likely to agree with Swardson than not. For example, it is ridiculous for airport security to put a huge crossed-out icon of a wick cannonball bomb on a poster; like those are still in vogue.
“My sense of humor has come full circle,” confesses Swardson, whose sassy wit has been tapped by Adam Sandler and Jamie Kennedy for their scripts. “I used to laugh at farting and shitting, and then I became all highbrow and Woody Allen–like in my comedy. Now, I’m back to farting and shitting.”
What’s funny is that certain crowds take Swardson seriously.
“An audience member criticized me about my Gay Robot impersonation on Sandler’s album,” recalls Swardson. “He screamed out, ‘That fucking sketch set the gay community back 20 years.’ I responded, ‘What are you, out of your mind? It’s a fucking gay robot!’?”Hollywood Improv, 8162 Melrose Ave., W. Hlywd.; Fri., Dec. 29, 8:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 30, 8:30 p.m. & 10:30 p.m.; $17, resv. recommended. (323) 651-2583.