Comedian Ben Schwartz '03 returning to campus

Publication Date

Emmy Award-winning writer, comedian and actor Ben Schwartz ’03 will return to campus Monday to speak at the Nott Memorial at 7 p.m.


"The Ben Schwartz comes to Union College and says things to people who want to listen tour 2012" is free and open to the public.

After graduating from Union with a double major in anthropology and psychology, Schwartz spent four years at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City. He also worked as a freelance comedy writer on “Late Night with David Letterman” and the popular “Weekend Update” segment of “Saturday Night Live.”

In recent years his star has risen. In 2009, he won an Emmy Award for comedy writing for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for co-writing Hugh Jackman’s opening song for the 81st Annual Academy Awards.

He has a recurring role on NBC’s comedy hit “Parks and Recreation” as the playboy wannabe Jean-Ralphio Saperstein. He can also be seen on Showtime’s ensemble comedy “House of Lies.”

Schwartz recently sold a pitch for a feature film titled “No Hearts Club” to Universal Studios to be produced by Brian Grazer (“Friday Night Lights,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “The Da Vinci Code”). He was also hired by Paramount Pictures to remake the 1991 Sally Field film “Soapdish.” He has his own segment on HBO’s “Funny or Die Presents…” called “Terrible Decisions with Ben Schwartz” and has appeared in multiple sketches on the popular site CollegeHumor.

The lecture is sponsored by the student-run Speakers Forum.

“There are many students who aspire to become actors, comedians or writers, but are unsure of how to carry out that pursuit, so having an alum like Ben come back and talk about his ascent in the entertainment industry from Union is an awesome opportunity,” said Andrew Cahill ’12, president of the Speakers Forum.

Follow along to Schwartz’s career at his website, Rejected Jokes.