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DVD Review: Nick Swardson's 'Seriously, Who Farted?'
Nick Swardson. Photo courtesy Comedy Central.
Nick Swardson, for those of you not familiar, is funnier than you. That’s pretty much all you need to know to enjoy his latest Comedy Central Special, Seriously, Who Farted?, as LAist was invited to do. Believe me when I say, if you have an even vague notion of who Swardson is before watching this special, you will be quite familiar with him once the hour is over. And if you are completely blanking on one of the best young funny men of this decade, don’t worry, he’s more than happy filling in those blanks for you.
Maybe because it’s filmed in Austin, Texas (where the young, hip, college vibe suits him perfectly), or maybe because when the special was taped in April, Reno 911! hadn’t been canceled yet, Nick certainly steps on stage with a swagger that wasn’t there a few years ago. Either way, this new Nick plows headlong into how drunk he gets and whips out a few handjob stories along the way. Again, he’s willing to fill in the blanks.
And there certainly is a large amount of bravado stuffed inside the hour-long set, but Nick is no worse for it. Many times, you get comics who are an unhealthy balance of machismo and self-loathing, and the result is a slightly uncomfortable audience. But the stories told here are tempered pretty well with “I was actually a pretty big idiot for thinking this was OK”, which seems to make everything, well, OK. A few choice bits to further highlight this point include: showing your dick in a bar and getting your ass kicked for it, how funny / serious getting alcohol poisoning is, and just how much pantomiming masturbation looks like ‘rolling dice’ to your deaf grandmother.
Ah, yes, Nick’s grandmother; source of one of the funnier jokes in recent memory. In Seriously, Who Farted? he manages to keep her around for a few good laughs, as well as bouncing through some of the other well-known highlights of his career. There’s a solid chunk spent on Grandma’s Boy, as well as his stint on Reno 911! And so in this way, too, those unfamiliar with Swardson are easily brought up to speed, without sacrifice to comedy or quality. And while it’s true that this special does play as a bit of a transition piece, where the young Nick Swardson is referenced and regaled while the older comedian moves forward towards an unknown (but no less booze-y) future, the material contained within it is just as strong as previous specials. A bit about committing humorous suicide (I know, I know) absolutely kills, and countless other times you should find yourself laughing out loud. That is, if you have a soul.
It’s really great to see guys like Nick Swardson continue to make comedy at a high level, even after reaching a level of success where most other comedians stop trying. Now, he's certainly not in the I'm-Kevin-James-Now-So-I'll-Just-Give-Up stratosphere of known comics, but Swardson is definitely an under-30 crowd pleaser with an impressive resume. And with the right balance of ego, humility, and downright talent, he should continue to be on people’s minds for a while.
Seriously, Who Farted? is currently available on ComedyCentral.com.