Comedy review: Nick Swardson celebrates the big 4-0 with a rowdy Mirage crowd

Nick Swardson
Jason Harris

Three and a half stars

Nick Swardson October 7, Mirage.

Within eight minutes of his hour-long set at the Mirage Friday night, comedian and actor Nick Swardson looked at the audience, which had been shouting at him in a friendly way since he stepped foot onstage, and exclaimed, “The wheels coming off this early. My garsh!”

One could argue the wheels were never on, but don’t take that the wrong way. Swardson, celebrating his 40th birthday two days early, not only welcomed input from the lively crowd, but was largely able to turn the audience’s unpredictable behavior into big laughs.

The longtime Adam Sandler collaborator mixes strange observations with excellent physicality. Early on, Swardson talked about the aging process, showing the crowd his new double chin. “Hey new friend that I didn't invite onto my f*cking head. No machine at the gym for this asshole. I look like a f*cking melting candle.” They he complained how his new feature won’t help attract the opposite sex at bars. “Look at that guy over there. Is he wearing a turtleneck made out of cookie dough? Is that guy wearing an airplane pillow backwards?”

Every time the star of Grandma’s Boy got on a roll, some drunk idiot tried to take some shine. There was the “Hey yo!” guy who kept yelling, well, you know. There was the guy who claimed to be Swardson’s long lost twin. (Surprisingly, that thought went nowhere.) And thankfully, there was also “That’s what she said” guy. Because, you know, that joke is so fresh. But Swardson took it all in stride, at one point suggesting the three should “form a band and barf on each other,” then dubbing them The That’s What She Said Trio.

Later in the night, Swardson related to the inebriated crowd by giving his take on Jack Daniel’s and the ridiculousness of their “drink responsibly” slogan. “I've never been close to responsible any time I've drank Jack Daniel’s. Nobody does that. How is that part of your campaign? Nobody's like, ‘Hey honey let's stay in tonight. Let's watch some Modern Family. Maybe make some chicken. And just chug this handle of Jack.’ That ad should be like, ‘Jack Daniel’s. F*cking good luck.  I hope you don't suck your own dick in front of your family.’”

As paid customers continued throwing in their two cents, Swardson went into the crowd, telling them, “I don't mind if you yell. Just f*cking own it.” Happy 40th, Mr. Swardson. On this night, you owned it.

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