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Exclusive interview: Ben Schwartz, Parks and Rec and Sonic the Hedgehog talks life, work and beer

Ben Schwartz may be best known as the pretentious Jean-Ralphio on Parks and Rec and from House of Lies as the difficult-to-like management consultant Clyde Overholt, but he recently lent his charming voice to the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog film, is a new pitchman for Dos Equis beer and is just a downright great person with a lot of cool things going on.

In addition to his upcoming film and TV work, he can be seen in the improv comedy show called Middleditch & Schwartz, which co-stars Thomas Middleditch from HBO hit series Silicone Valley and had a sold-out crowd at Carnegie Hall.

Schwartz is from the Bronx and graduated with a double major in anthropology and psychology from Union College. He got his training with the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and was a freelance writer for Late Show with David Letterman and Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, but also wrote, directed and starred in a variety of short films.

Ben Schwartz for Dos Equis
Ben Schwartz is a new pitchman for Dos Equis beer. Pic credit: Dos Equis

He has also been seen in JJ Abrams TV series spy drama Undercovers and starred in films Night School and This is Where I Leave You. His voice is recognizable too, from many roles including being part of The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part and many TV series including Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, BoJack Horseman and as the voice of Dewey in the Disney XD revival of DuckTales from 2017-2019.  Next up for his vocal talents is Sonic the Hedgehog that is slated to come out in 2020.

As writing remains an important part of Schwartz’ life, he has co-authored four books, the first three being with Amanda McCall include Grandma’s Dead: Breaking Bad News With Baby Animals, Maybe Your Leg Will Grow Back!: Looking on the Bright Side With Baby Animals, and Why is Daddy in a Dress?: Asking Awkward Questions With Baby Animals.

His most recent book is an illustrated guide on dating for millennials titled Things You Should Already Know About Dating, You F-king Idiot, which was written with TV writer Laura Moses and was released in October 2017.

He is set to co-star in the upcoming Showtime series The Wrong Mans, an America adaptation of the British TV series of the same name executive produced by J.J. Abrams, Matthew Baynton and James Corden.

Schwartz joined forces with Dos Equis to share his humor and fashion sense in Austin, Texas and show off his new intentionally silly towel jacket. He spoke with Monsters and Critics about Sonic the Hedgehog, his love of voice work, what is cool about his two-man show, what he likes to do for fun and more.

Ben Schwartz can be seen in the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog film and information on his comedy show Middleditch & Schwartz can be found here.


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