Nick Swardson: Canceled comedians have to “double down”

Comedian Nick Swardson is urging fellow stand-ups to not let anybody dictate what remains in their sets, no matter how non-PC.

Last Updated on June 3, 2024


It doesn’t always take a lot for a comedian to get canceled – sometimes it’s deserving and other times the result of the overly PC, but whatever the reason, they often have a lot of work to do to get back in the graces of the general public. So what’s the best approach to get there? Social media apologies? Tucking away in the coat closet until it tides over? How about saying screw it and doubling down? That’s the approach of Nick Swardson, and he knows a few things about getting canceled – well, his shows, at least…

Speaking with the Los Angeles Times ahead of his Toilet Head Tour, Nick Swardson praised stand-up comedians who are brave enough to stand by their words, however controversial they may be deemed to a selection of the audience. “Comedians can say whatever we want, and you’ve got to commit to it, and you’ve got to stand by it. If you’re gonna put something out there, you can’t pull back. Comedians are the last resort of just calling sh*t out. So when you try to censor me, I’ve done this for 30 years, I don’t blink an eye. Don’t tell me what to do. Don’t tell me what I can’t say on stage. … So if you’re offended, leave my show. And why are you here? Real comedians double down. When you tell the class clown growing up ‘Hey, don’t do that!’ guess what that kids gonna do? He’s gonna go harder.”

Nick Swardson did his own doubling down during a show back in March, remaining on stage when a portion of his crowd started leaving following his drunken ramblings. As a result, that show was canceled and refunds were issued. For his part, Swardson blamed a combo of booze, edibles and a high altitude.

Despite this reckless show, Nick Swardson continues to tour and has support of his buddies, even saying he has a role in the upcoming Happy Gilmore 2

What do you think of Nick Swardson’s approach to being canceled in the comedy world? Is doubling down the only way out? Give us your take below.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.