On Stage

Over the Top

Getting happy with Nick Swarsdon


What: Nick Swardson's "Too Many Smells" Tour

When: 8 pm Sat., May. 5

Where: Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St.

Cost: $40

Info: http://www.mountbakertheatre.com

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

When I worked as the foreman of a Montana-based contract crew during the summer of 2004, I rented a room in my cousin’s mobile home near Bozeman—where I could scrub the grit off my scruff and recuperate from toiling like a troglodyte deep in the primordial throes of the Rockies. 

This abode put me within striking distance of some of the finest outdoor adventure-friendly terrain the on the planet. There were climbing crags, blue-ribbon trout streams and ghost towns galore waiting to be explored during my downtime.

Mostly however, I was too exhausted to do anything but retreat to my cousin’s living room couch to tipple red beer, wolf down pizza and catch John Wayne westerns on cable television.

It was here—late one night as I languished through an insufferable lull between Rio Bravo and The Shootist—that I first encountered the prolific comedic inclinations of Nick Swardson.

My cuz had taken the initiative to seize the remote control from my clutches and switch over to one of her favorite shows on Comedy Central.

“It’s called Reno 911!,” she snarled.  “And knowing your capacity for satirical brands of humor, I guarantee you’ll get a kick out of it.”

Her hunch was spot-on. Once I beheld the utterly inept police antics of Lieutenant Jim Dangle and Deputy Trudy Wiegel, my Duke obsession took a backseat.

Fun as it was to watch the concept of law enforcement get stretched and upended into farcical configurations, I was even more smitten by the robust preponderance of diversified criminals who thronged the streets.

Among these scalawags, none stole the show with as much panache as the roller-skating, crop-top-wearing hustler named Terry Bernadino—a character created and played with gusto by Swardson.

Oddly enough, Terry bore a striking resemblance to a certain member of my trail crew—a strapping young buck who hailed from St. Regis, Montana who preferred to work shirtless regardless of weather conditions and wore his bandanas with a front knot, Tupac-style. 

He also hunted grouse with a six-shooter, went rollerblading through Yellowstone National Park, and dated a revolving cadre of strippers in Three Forks. But those are stories for another day.

The point I’m trying to make is that Swardson is a funny, multi-talented dude. He’s been dishing yuks as a standup comedian for more than 20 years while parlaying his skills as an actor/writer/producer into a respectable Hollywood resume (Malibu’s Most Wanted, Grandma’s Boy, The Benchwarmers, Grown Ups 2, and Gay Robot are my personal faves.) 

So if you’re looking to get happy for a solid block of time, then I highly recommend you hoof it to the Mount Baker Theatre Sat., May 5 and catch his “Too Many Smells” Tour. If you’re lucky, “Terry” might even join him for the big event.

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