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Welcome to my Bio Page. Here you have two options. You can read a biography of me written in the 3rd person, even though I wrote it myself. This is the sort of information that might be distributed to clubs and prospective bookers. Or you can read a 1st person account of my life which, co-incidentally enough, is written by the first person, me. Enjoy.

Tony Boswell entered the world a small, scared infant. Over the next two decades he put on some weight and grew taller. Then in 1986 he began performing stand-up comedy. Since then he has appeared in over 35 states and Canada with more than 3000 performances to his credit. He has been featured in the San Francisco International Comedy Competition, The Seattle International Comedy Competition, The New Orleans' Comedy Festival, The Boston Comedy Festival and on Comedy Central, Comedy on the Road, KSHB's Kansas City Comedy Hour, Night Shift, and National Public Radio and in the films, The Babe and Meet the Parents.

So how did that waif with no verbal skills whatsoever become one of the premier comedians working today? What started in fun ended in, well… fun. Like an E! True Hollywood Story just before the half-hour commercial break, Tony had hit bottom. After dropping out of the University of Illinois, he had moved home with his mother. Not sure what to do with his life he began taking classes at The Player's Workshop of Second City in Chicago, an improv school whose alumni include such notables as Bill Murray, George Wendt and Shelly Long. Needless to say, he was hooked. Upon graduation from the Workshop he appeared in the sketch-comedy show Flame as well as The Adventures of Sinbad and Dreams of Gold and Pearls at the Children's Theatre of Second City.

Tony is a founding member of The Department of Works Comedy Ensemble whose other members included Andy Dick of News Radio and Comedy Central's Matt Walsh. With the "Department of Works" he produced and co-directed two successful shows, No Perversities Added and The Three Dollar Show. After a two year run, the individuals in the group split up to pursue their separate careers, Tony choosing stand-up comedy.

Tony currently travels the country as a stand-up comedian. He performs at comedy clubs as well as corporate shows nationwide. His show provides hilarious hi-jinks and onstage antics mixed with intelligent sarcasm. His good-natured approach towards the audience makes him a favorite nationwide.

(click here for a printable version)


I never wanted to be a comedian. I wanted to be an engineer… or an architect… or a graphic designer… or a fireman. I don't know. All I know is that I was working 50 hours a week in a retail store and it sucked. I had gone to college twice and quit. Once for engineering which sucked and once for art and that didn't suck as much but it still kind of sucked. Some friends of mine were taking classes at a place called The Player's Workshop of the Second City, an improv training center that carefully incorporated the phrase "Second City" into its name even though it wasn't really part of the famed theatre and company "Second City". I started going down to watch their classes and I really enjoyed it. I had always liked Saturday Night Live and had been to a couple of shows at the real "Second City". These classes were like watching a rehearsal for that. After coming down to watch their classes like five times, the instructor said that I would have to start paying or I couldn't sit in anymore. So I did and it didn't suck.

A year later I graduated from the Workshop and my friends and I formed a sketch comedy group called The Department of Works, a name taken from the Terry Gilliam movie Brazil. We did two shows at two theaters in Chicago, No Perversities Added and The Three Dollar Show. The group included Kevin Ervick, Keith Srutowski, Ed Furman who went on to the main stage at Second City, Matt Walsh who gained notoriety on Comedy Central's Upright Citizen's Brigade and The Daily Show and myself. Later Dave Trelford joined the group and then Andy Dick begged us to let him join. Andy later went on to NBC's Newsradio and other infamy and despite the fact that he owes me money, stopped taking my calls. Oh, and there were a couple of girls in the group, too. The five original guys all lived together in a large apartment in Chicago. We ate, drank and slept comedy. It was a great time but like all good things finally came to an end. After two years we broke up but still remain friends to this day.

During the last year the group was together, I had become interested in stand-up comedy. I started doing open mic nights and actually served as the warm-up act for our second show, The Three Dollar Show. When the group broke up I simply continued with that. At any rate, it was nice not having to split the check five ways. I was working a day job but performing nearly every night in Chicago and the suburbs. A lot of late nights in the clubs led to a lot of late mornings at the store. Eventually I got fired for my tardiness. I had gigs lined up for several months and the weather was just turning nice, so as I walked out of the store on a beautiful May morning, pink slip in hand, I thought I would take the summer off from my day job and just do comedy. That was 18 years ago. Since then I have been paid to travel all over the country doing something I really enjoy and feel that I am good at. I have performed in large clubs with all the amenities and in seedy, gin joints with Mr. Microphone sound systems and coffee can spot lights. I have been on television and in a couple of movies. I know some famous people and sometimes people actually recognize me on the street. While there have been some lean times since then, for the most part, it hasn't sucked.

Oh, and Andy Dick still won't take my calls.

Copyright 2012 Tony Boswell