Billy Gardell works hard. He has no choice. He’s from Pittsburgh. Hard work is the honor code in Pittsburgh, and Gardell lives by it. Good thing too, because Billy isn’t your average Hollywood success story. No GQ genetics, no family in the business, no coattails to ride.
Billy took the long road to Hollywood, stopping at every small town honky-tonk, military base and comedy club along the way. Anywhere he could find a live audience. Billy started early in stand up and got good fast; headlining some clubs before he was legal at the door. But that didn’t stop him from being as big a hit at the bar as he was on stage. After all, the kid was living his dream and following in the footsteps of his idol, Jackie Gleason.
As every comic quickly learns when they arrive in L.A., all those years toiling in the clubs to become a great comic don’t mean a thing in Hollywood. You start working your way up all over again. His acting career has been on the rise with regular guest appearances on hit prime time shows like “My Name is Earl” (NBC), “The Practice” (ABC), “Yes Dear” (CBS), “Monk” (USA), “Judging Amy” (CBS), and “Gary the Rat” (Spike, as well as a co-staring role in the critically acclaimed FX series “Lucky”. He made his major film debut alongside Anthony Quinn and Sylvester Stallone in “Avenging Angelo” and has a memorable scene with Billy Bob Thornton in the Cohen Brother’s “Bad Santa”.
Billy’s dedication to acting, along with continuing to tour as a stand up, have allowed him to grow consistently stronger in both arenas. His stand up show is a powerhouse. His grounded, down-to-earth point of view hits a strong chord with American audiences. Stories about his rough childhood, wild adolescence, and new family life are executed with the skill of a master craftsman.