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Nick Swardson: Time to 'Pretend'

Comedian and movie star Nick Swardson.

Comedian and movie star Nick Swardson. Photo Credit: Handout

Comedy Central has a great tradition of sketch comedy, from reruns of “The Kids in the Hall” to Demetri Martin’s “Important Stuff.”

Comedian/actor Nick Swardson will join the discussion with his new series “Nick Swardson’s Pretend Time,” which debuts on the network Tuesday.

It’s got a bunch of hilarious bits and pushes the limits of good taste to an all-new extreme.

Swardson, who turned 34 on Saturday, is a regular on Comedy Central, with his recent stand-up special, “Seriously, Who Farted?” and had a recurring role on “Reno 911!” as the flamboyant Terry.

amNewYork spoke with Swardson about the show.

Did you get censored a lot?
A little bit, yeah, but Comedy Central really pushed me, which was really cool. I think that there’s no real show out there right now that’s just kind of absurd and silly — and filthy. But yeah, it was … every f------ day, like a list of stuff: you can’t show the penis, you can’t do cocaine, you can’t bleed. ... We would just laugh every day reading the list of do’s and don’ts.

What makes “Pretend Time” different from other sketch shows?
We definitely push it. They couldn’t get away with it on network. And it’s a lot more warped and a little crazy, but it’s a show that me and my friend are really proud of, but it’s definitely a lot edgier, a lot filthier than a lot of stuff.

What are some of your favorite characters on the show?
A lot of them won’t make sense [without seeing] them, but, I would say, I love doing Gary Gaga, Lady Gaga’s brother. It was just kind of fun to do because it was just so absurd, like why is he f------ wearing her stuff, even though he’s her brother, it doesn’t make any sense.

What about Wheelchair Cat?
Wheelchair Cat — which I actually did do the robot voice — was just so great because it’s just one of the most unique characters. You’re never going to see anything like that. I remember we released that sketch virally and I swear to God, somebody wrote this review, or a comment, on the clip, and they wrote, “Come on, Nick, we’ve seen this s--- before, lame.” And I was like, “When the f--- have you seen a cat in a wheelchair that does coke?”

What was pretend time like for a young Nick Swardson?
I love the title. I didn’t come up with it, but the title is basically us not taking ourselves seriously. We’re basically adults that are going to pretend for half an hour. But I used to have pretend time and s---. I would do character impressions and stuff when I was a little kid. Just of people and family members, and stuff. So yeah, pretend time was really fun.

Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison produces this show. Will Sandler be making an appearance?
Sandler will not be on the season. He’s a violently busy man — he’s the busiest person I’ve ever seen in my life, so I didn’t even really want to bother him with asking him.

What are you reading?
What I’m currently reading? I’m reading the cover of the “Halo: Reach” box. [laughs]

On TV: “Nick Swardson’s Pretend Time” debuts on Comedy Central on Tuesday at 10 p.m.


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