Comedian Nick Swardson does indeed have some shame, though there'll be no sign of it on "Pretend Time," his new Comedy Central show.
"It's a crazy show," said Swardson, calling from L.A. where he's shooting "Jack and Jill" with Adam Sandler, Al Pacino and Katie Holmes. "Pretend Time," which starts Oct. 12, "is what you think it would be. It's absurd, sophomoric, smart, disturbing and sexy. They let me take my show to the filthiest point I could take it. But it's fun. It ain't 'Two and a Half Men,' that's for sure. I've got nothing against that show; this is a break from the normal. "
Is his mother, Pam Swardson of the Twin Cities, going to be able to watch this one? "Neeuuoooo," he said. "I'm trying to make sure nobody tells her about it. I still don't think she's found out about 'Reno 911!' yet." In it he played a roller-skating prostitute.
That probably goes double for his Web commercial that's probably too hot for TV, about a male enhancement product that also grows hair. "It's unique," said Swardson, who came up with the fake product idea while riffing with comedian Rob Huebel.
When you come up with something that makes you laugh to tears, Swardson said, it's a keeper. He does know the cats go too far, doesn't he? "Yes, of course. It's got to go too far," he said.
Now his sister, Rachel Swardson, who owns a hospital/spa business called Go Home Gorgeous, told me Uncle Nick sometimes says naughty words around her kids.
"Don't quote her on that! She can't say that! I never said that!" said Swardson, actually sounding embarrassed. "I don't condone cursing around my niece and nephews."
You probably did it; I've done it around mine. "I mean, yeah," he said softly. "I don't know."
A day at the circus
"Wanna trim some nails?" lead animal trainer Larry Carden playfully asked.
The answer to that question is always No, thank you when you're standing near the elephants performing at the Minneapolis Shrine Circus, which wraps up its four-day stand at Target Center today.
When elephants are getting their nails and feet filed and sanded, a white power fills the air. But you don't want it flying in your direction because... well, elephants don't care where they walk.
With Carden's wife, Nina Carden, as my guide, I got a startribune.com/video behind-the-scenes look at the circus Thursday as it was being set up. She's not anything like the television stereotype of a traveling circus staffer. I've been exposed to "Project Runway" alums (yes, still talking about YOU, Christian Siriano) without as much sophistication, charm and humor as Nina. When I remarked to Larry -- his dad owns George Carden Circus International -- what a treasure Nina was, Larry told me to pipe down before she felt justified in returning to the Mall of America for another lengthy visit.
Nina's job description is "Showgirl," but she wears it grudgingly and prefers "aerialist." A circus performer since the age of 8, long before she knew she'd marry someone whose family owns a circus, she's also Bo the elephant's favorite person, as I could tell by the sounds he made after noticing Nina was nearby.
"You'd never think something 13,000 pounds could be so cute," said Nina, who is good friends with all the elephants because she feeds them from her refrigerator.
Betty the elephant must have heard that crack I made about how she sounded like a vacuum cleaner. She can really Hoover in the apples and run over people like ME when I was invited over to ride an elephant by media person Amanda Tackett. But something happened.
Think before texting
Tactful texting is always appreciated when conveying concern over the health of an older person.
"I'm so sorry to hear about Jimmy," someone texted Minneapolis attorney Lori Peterson, close personal friend of former President and Mrs. Carter. Peterson freaked out until she learn that Carter had only fallen ill while on a flight to Cleveland to promote his new book, "White House Diary," which sounds like a good one!
Sorry to hear Jimmy fell ill on a plane would have been better, but we don't think before we text these days.
Carter looked better in footage taken of him leaving the hospital.
C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or firstname.lastname@example.org. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen on Fox 9 Thursday mornings.