Ben Schwartz

A veteran of the Upright Citizens Brigade comedy troupe, writer, stand-up and actor Ben Schwartz worked his way up from working as a studio page for "The Late Show With David Letterman" (CBS 1993-2015) to one of Hollywood's go-to funny guys thanks to a willingness to experiment, a razor-sharp wit and an impressively prolific work ethic. Born in the Bronx neighbourhood of Riverdale, NY, in 1981, Schwartz first began performing at the UCB in 2003, the same year he graduated from Union College with a double major in psychology and anthropology, where he hooked up with Adam Pally and Gil Ozeri to form improv trio Hot Sauce. Keen to follow in the all-conquering footsteps of the theatre's famous alumni, Schwartz landed a job as a page on David Letterman's late-night talk show, where he was eventually given the opportunity to write jokes for the host's opening monologues. With a little guidance from cast member Horatio Sanz, Schwartz then wrote for the Weekend Update segment of "Saturday Night Live" (NBC 1975-). Schwartz made his on-screen debut as Russ in comedy drama "New York City Serenade" (2007) and was hired as a staff writer for the third season of "Robot Chicken" (Adult Swim 2005-). Following minor roles in the low-budget comedies "Mystery Team" (2009) and "I Hate Valentine's Day" (2009), Schwartz filmed a scene with Robert De Niro in "Everybody's Fine" (2009), won an Outstanding Original Music & Lyrics Emmy for his contribution to Hugh Jackman's opening number at the 2009 Academy Awards, and starred as Nathan Meyerwitz, a novelist who exposes his family secrets in ensemble piece "Peep World" (2010). But following a small part in the Will Ferrell action comedy "The Other Guys" (2010), Schwartz achieved his major breakthrough when he appeared as Pawnee's big-haired resident sleazebag Jean-Ralphio Saperstein, the wealthy best friend of would-be player Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari), in the second season of "Parks & Recreation" (NBC 2009-2014). Cast as geeky computer expert Bill Hoyt in JJ Abrams' short-lived spy series, "Undercovers" (NBC 2010), Schwartz's subsequent small-screen venture proved to be less successful. But he soon bounced back, voicing the keytar-playing hero in animated series "Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja" (Disney XD 2012-15), landing the part of calculating marketing consultant Clyde Oberholt in "House Of Lies" (Showtime 2012-) and guesting as news anchor John Beard's slacker son in "Arrested Development" (Netflix 2013). After voicing snail Skidmark in Dreamworks hit "Turbo" (2013), he added to his filmography with supporting roles in the crime thriller "Runner Runner" (2013), estranged family comedy-drama "This Is Where I Leave You" (2014) and controversial comedy "The Interview" (2014). The following year, Schwartz co-starred in Robert Zemeckis' "The Walk" (2015) and, drawing on his increasing work as a voiceover artist, helped construct the sounds made by new-generation droid BB8 in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" (2015).