Profiles in trivia: Dan Swartwout

Jackie Mantey, Columbus Alive

It was like a moment out of a sitcom itself.

Dan Swartwout, a comedian who has performed alongside and met many celebrities, had never been starstruck until he saw him, the man who, years earlier, regularly provided Swartwout with competition at Columbus-area Buffalo Wild Wings' NTN trivia contests. Handshaking and proclamations of fandom ensued.

"This guy used to write down on a pad of paper all the questions he got wrong so he could learn the answers," Swartwout said admirably.

Swartwout, aka Swarty, wasn't easy to beat. In July 2003 he was the No. 1 ranked NTN player in the country, and he has racked up more than a million PlayersPlus Points since he started playing NTN in college.

His steel trap of a memory helped him get through law school, and he often summons his pop culture prowess when writing jokes for his standup comedy routines.

"I have to find the right level of obscurity," Swartwout said. "I have to force myself back sometimes. I could have the best Degrassi bit ever but it would be over a lot of people's heads."

Trivia sweet spots: Sports stats and music, movies and television from 1960-1998

Age: 38

Hometown: Upper Arlington

Neighborhood: Powell

Job: Comedian



Bad movies: "Grease 2" and "The Karate Kid, Part III"

TV sitcom: "Get a Life"

Sports team: Oakland Raiders

Underrated actor: Giancarlo Esposito

'80s band: Squeeze

Trivia team name: Jefferson Cleaners, his winning team's name used on the night Sherman Hemsley died