Nick Swardson blames drinking, edibles and Colorado altitude for bombing set

Comedian Nick Swardson has addressed his viral set in which he was escorted off stage for being visibly and audibly intoxicated.

Nick Swardson

A lot of stand-up comedians have bad nights, but only a select few get leaked to mainstream media and prove to be TMZ fodder. But that’s just what happened to Nick Swardson at a recent gig, showing up on stage inebriated to the point that he couldn’t go on with his act and was escorted off stage.

In clips that surfaced online, Nick Swardson is seen repeatedly saying, “Here we go” and referring to Jason Statham in The Beekeeper, teasing an impression that never quite materialized in the way Swardson probably intended. This was quickly greeted with boos and walk-outs. At one point he asks, “Do you want me to finish this or no?” Tickets buyers did not, to which Swardson sloppily responded, “But what if… I finish this?” He was not allowed to finish his set, being taken off stage around 20 minutes in. At this point, a stage manager told the crowd, “We’ve decided to conclude the show early in the best interest of those who bought tickets… We apologize for what you’ve seen tonight. Please email the box office. We’ll be responding to inquiries and processing credits and refunds.”

On Monday, the day after the disastrous performance in Colorado, Nick Swardson took to social media to address the situation, posting on X, “Just casually woke up on TMZ. Travel tip: don’t drink and take edibles in high altitude. F*cking brain diarrhea. I’ll make it up to you Beaver Creek!”

After the lights were turned off, Nick Swardson stayed on stage, asking the remaining attendees, “Who here knows who Norm MacDonald is?”, referring to Swardson’s friend who died in September 2021. This does seem like the most troubling point in the night; and while we don’t know if Swardson’s drunkenness was a reaction to memories of MacDonald or if there is actually a point in the set that works in a MacDonald bit (having not seen Swardson perform; I’ll keep my $30 thank you very much), his closeness with the late comedian may point to a serious issue of coping for Swardson.

It can be easy to mock a comedian who bombs – or is bombed – but Nick Swardson’s alcohol intake on set has been documented before by those in attendance. Obviously this is no joke and hopefully he gets any help he may need. Fellow comedian Adam Carolla – whose own drinking has been the discussion of fans – showed his support, writing, “Love you, Nick.”

According to his official website, Nick Swardson – who recently leant his voice to Leo for friend Adam Sandler – has more shows this month in Colorado before heading to Florida, New York and Connecticut.

What do you make of Nick Swardson’s disastrous set?

Source: TMZ

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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.