Showing amazing versatility, Hardwick is likely to show up anywhere - a comedy club or a state fair, a corporate event or a television show, a stage as an award-winning musician or a big screen at the local theater, the Grand Ole Opry or the Palladium, a riverboat or a rodeo.
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Hardwick's comedic mentor was banjoist/comedian Jerry Van Dyke. A two month tour as Van Dyke's drummer was a great learning experience for Hardwick. He saw first-hand how the comedian worked the crowd in the lounges of Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe.
Hardwick moved to California and while in Los Angeles auditioned for Sonny Anderson, the entertainment director at Disneyland. Hardwick worked as part of the Golden Horseshoe Revue for five years. It was the Golden Horseshoe Revue that launched Hardwick into the world of corporate entertainment. "While I was working at Disneyland a lot of corporations would visit the park." Hardwick explains, "After they saw my act, I would get offers to entertain at their corporate functions. The fact that I was a 'clean' comedian and could do my entire act without using a four-letter word really impressed them."
Hardwick put together a promotional video, and since 1985 the former Star Search comedy champion has hundreds of dates. He made an appearance in Jackie Gleason's last motion picture, "Nothing in Common," co-starring Tom Hanks, landed a role in "Reckless Kelly," a new motion picture for Warner Bros. and was invited by Bud Friedman to fill a coveted TV slot on A&E's "An Evening At The Improv." This midwesterner was off and running.
Since then, Dick has also made numerous appearances on both sides of the television camera. His stand-up has been seen on TNN's "The Statler Brothers Show" and "Music City Tonight," "America's Funniest People," the Disney Channel's "A Disney Family Album," VH1 comedy shorts, The Fox Network's "Comedy Express" and the Family Channel's "Stand Up Comics Take A Stand." He's also a wonderful live studio audience warm-up comedian with over 48 episodes to his credit for The Arthur Company at Universal Studios on their syndicated sitcoms "The Munsters Today" and What A Dummy." The producers asked Dick to appear in featured acting rolls on both shows as well. The cumulative effect of this exposure resulted in more diverse applications of Hardwick's comedic talents. Dick has make several national and regional television commercials and he is regularly heard by millions of rush hour listeners on LA radio station KLOS with Geno Mitchilini on the "5 O'clock Funnies."
The industrial film and corporate entertainment markets discovered Dick's abilities. He's just completed an innovative video tutorial, with a humorous slant, for Microsoft's ® Windows ª and hosts the Reno/Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority's new travel video. His charismatic personality has been sought out by many Fortune 500 companies. Pepsi and Dick stage a live talk show for their national bottlers called "Late Night With Pepsi." IBM entrusted Dick with their VIP clients at the Indianapolis 500 two years in a row before, during and after the race. He then starred in one of their major presentations at Comdex in Las Vegas. GTE has again booked Dick to host their Suncoast Classic Pro-Am Golf Tournament in Tampa, Florida. Versatility is key to his success.
Dick's comedy never misses. He's headlined Canada's 10-day Calgary Stampede grandstand extravaganza, and has opened for countless major superstars including Kenny Rogers, Reba McEntire and Ray Charles. This special brand of humor earned him the entertainment critics award for "Best Main Room Opening Act" in Reno, Nevada.
Hardwick sharpens his legendary act by performing at the premier comedy clubs in the greater Los Angeles area including "The Improv," "The Ice House," "Igby's" and "The Coach House."
Admittedly, Hardwick is driven. A typical day includes rushing between airports, live performances and TV interviews. As Hardwick explains, "You're either working or you're not." He makes no apologies for his regular paychecks. Considering the current status of his career, Hardwick jokes, "In this business, you're either making no money or more money then you deserve. I'm the only guy who's in between. You shouldn't be able to afford me but you still can."
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