I came to La in 1983 acted in a few movies you'd know and wrote a few as well… I am directing my first film in September


My Proof: http://i.imgur.com/0FoJyeA.jpg

Comments: 236 • Responses: 86  • Date: 

rb_tech46 karma

How 'bout I draw a line down yuh face so it looks like a butt?!

tswerdlow44 karma

one of the best jokes i ever wrote… very proud of that childish idiocy

rb_tech20 karma

Well, 9 year old me thought it was comedy gold. Job well done.

tswerdlow18 karma

it was great…did not mean to insult..could not be prouder of line or movie..thanks for the 9 year old love

rb_tech34 karma

thanks for the 9 year old love

That probably got the FBI's Internet pedophile detector to emit a couple of beeps

tswerdlow22 karma

im scandalous if nothing else

lunchylady23 karma

I see pride...

I see power....

I see a badass mother who won't take no crap off of nobody!

I once got benched for two innings at a softball game because I led our team in a chant of this in our pre-game huddle. Apparently a group of 15 year old girls screaming the word 'badass' is not considered ladylike. I don't regret it! So, thank you for that!

tswerdlow14 karma

thank you for picking up on my favorite scene

tswerdlow22 karma

It only hurt me in I was not able to take full advantage of my success and make my own movies etc…Now I am clean and directing my first movie…go to the link and take a look… Heroin is not a creativity drug..but it makes you not give a shit which can be helpful

tswerdlow21 karma

COOL RUNNINGS … That was the one I really wrote…The others were more miss mashed with other writers…shreck I was the first writer and never wrote a line…Just story outlines..

___Redditor___8 karma

Cool Runnings was one the few movies my elementary library had and I went to same school from 1992-1998, 2nd to 8th grade, so I have seen that movie more times than I could count. Some of the comedy in that movie is just pure gold and I always liked the bar fight never thought someone would write that movie script strung out on heroin.

tswerdlow9 karma

it made no difference… it was like using oxygen it didn't get me high..just let me function..glad you love the movie though

___Redditor___6 karma

I saw Little Giants in a movie theater when it was released and to let you know everyone in the theater was laughing really hard at the comedy parts I used to own Shrek on VHS that was a great one too.

tswerdlow7 karma

glad to hear it….

___Redditor___4 karma

Married with Children was one of my favorite shows when I was a kid so I just had to see Little Giants.

tswerdlow10 karma

I used to read poetry with katy Segal…know her much better than ed o neil

manocheese-5 karma

Does heroin increase your spelling and grammar or did you submit Cool Runnings in the same mess you're using now?

tswerdlow27 karma

i am a proud dyslexic freak of a self expresser…look bro i got a pension from the writers guild and i am rushing…but yes grammar is an issue..i ask for compassion

mack_599119 karma

"Sanka, yuh dead?"

tswerdlow30 karma

only line in movie i did not write

jetpacksforall19 karma

Proof isn't good enough. No offense, but it's the internet.

tswerdlow57 karma

I like you want proof, it means I must have done something worth doing if I would lie about it


Lottiaseviltwin11 karma

You look pretty damn healthy for a former heroin user.

Or are you like 19 or something?

tswerdlow32 karma

i have very nice jewish skin, what can i tell ya

tswerdlow17 karma

I hope you will all go check out my link to the film I am making…I am doing it totally outside the system so i can say what i want how i want with who i want… If you got some pleasure from the movies i made click on my link and give us some support… We're up to something good…And it always startles me how powerful images and films and thoughts are and especially in our formative years… It's something

polychickenshit14 karma

Good job getting off the junk! Looking forward to your new film, it looks really great! I hope you can be an inspiration to others.

tswerdlow11 karma

Best thing I have had shot my way…Much respect as the bobsled boys would say

strawboy123011 karma

Which one was the most fun to write (while on heroin I guess)?

tswerdlow10 karma

cool runnings is my favorite.

Munstered9 karma

Dear Tommy,

What does "hot to trot" have to do with sitting down to pee?

Sincerely, My Childhood

tswerdlow3 karma

remind me what you mean?

Munstered14 karma

One of the insults directed at Becky in "The Little Giants" is, "She's hot to trot, but she's still gotta squat."

The episode of Happy Days where Richie falls for a divorcée taught me that "hot to trot" means "DTF." I never understood the nature of the insult. Was he calling her a slut? Is she a slave to her biological urges because she's a woman? Did he not know the meaning and think "hot to trot" just means "wants to run [with the boys]?"

I know I'm over-thinking it, but this particular insult has been an earworm my entire life.

tswerdlow16 karma

i suggest a career in cultural criticism/gender politics. i will gladly partake in your AMA.

thombudsman8 karma

Why did you decide to get clean?

tswerdlow16 karma

i didn't decide… it was that or go down for the count

thombudsman2 karma

Would you describe those circumstances?

tswerdlow14 karma

i got very very ill and had a heart valve replacement and that put an end to my drug career.

remote_production7 karma

Did heroin help you feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme?....(seriously, glad you're off it)

tswerdlow10 karma

totally… no i am a poet first as you know there a re a lot of rhymes in that movie… i thought that flick was so so at best and am amazed by how people love it and i have come to see how good it was…one of the first thins I ever wrote

remote_production8 karma

Its a movie that I must watch till the end if it is on TV.

tswerdlow3 karma

Glad to hear it

remote_production2 karma

How long gave you been sober?

tswerdlow5 karma

since 2007… was a long haul..bad ending… real bad but i am back and here to tell the tale

remote_production3 karma

Congrats. Glad to see you're using your marbles

tswerdlow4 karma

Me too

grantly07116 karma

What's the best line you contributed to Little Giants?

tswerdlow27 karma

the annexation of puerto rico

mrsthirdlow6 karma

which films, if any, do you consider accurate portrayals of heroin addiction? (other than the one you're about to make of course)

tswerdlow8 karma

None I have seen… Maybe panic in Needle park…Drug addiction is a lot of waiting… trainspotting is fun , but not real… Drugstore cowboy has some of it..the feeling..but the job of it..the career of it…thats the truth of it

wwindexx5 karma

I don't know man. Trainspotting is pretty fucking accurate. I've lived it.

tswerdlow16 karma

trainspotting is a heightened notion of the highlights of drug addiction. and a great, enjoyable ride of a movie. but heroin addiction in its essence is about waiting. waiting to get well, waiting to get sick, waiting to get away from yourself.

irreverentmama651 karma


elbruce4 karma

Permanent Midnight is probably closer to Mr. Swerdlow's situation. It's based on the life of the writer for Alf who was strung out on heroin for much of his career.

tswerdlow6 karma

he's a good friend of mine. he's going to be in the movie http://igg.me/at/HouseItself/x/3765153 if everyone on reddit will give me $10 we'll get somewhere.

tswerdlow6 karma

my drug movie does not have a drug in it…its about drug addiction as a metaphor for longing and mis placed love

seditious_commotion6 karma

I'd just like to let you know that Cool Runnings was one of the few surviving VHS tapes in my house during my high school years.

There was a TV in my basement that had nothing but a VHS player, no cable, no antenna.

I put on Cool Runnings every time I needed somewhere to go with a girl without my parents knowing for all of middle school/high school.

Thank you kind sir.

tswerdlow9 karma

i originally had sanka having sex with scandinavian ski bunnies until they made me take it out. you must have been channeling it subconsciously.

seditious_commotion4 karma

The sad part is... I know exactly where that scene would fit. Sanka line dancing was funny enough. I'm going to check out your new movie.

tswerdlow3 karma

nice. i like it.

latex2e6 karma

Woohoo! Do you know that "Cool Runnings" are really famous and popular in Japan even today?

tswerdlow6 karma

can you send them my link and make them give me money? i need yen. www.igg.me/at/houseitself

prettyprettydancing6 karma


tswerdlow23 karma

Mel Brroks is the self described greatest jew whoever lived.. and he loves the movie i am gonna make so check it out

grandmathunder6 karma

I see power! I see pride!

I love Cool Runnings. My friends dressed up as the Jamaican bobsled team one year for halloween, and didn't tell me, and I almost murdered them for not cutting me in.

tswerdlow3 karma

i just mentioned that pride-power as my favorite scene. a lot of people have dressed up as the jamaican bobsled team for halloween. maybe you'll get another shot.

EatingSandwiches16 karma

Little Giants...how was rick moranis to work with?

tswerdlow4 karma

Rick is great… I met him not he movie the would life I acted in and he is my brother's golf partner for whatever that is worth

Pepe_Silvia43 karma


tswerdlow25 karma

i meant to say "i met him. not that movie, 'the wild life' which is a movie i acted in." i'm dyslexic. cut me some slack. i'm a sloppy typer. i was in a rush. and now my girlfriend is doing my typing for me.

Connoronnor5 karma

Did your producers know you were on heroin at the time? What did they think of it if they did?

tswerdlow10 karma

they did not know. they would not have thought well of it.

LeCanada4 karma

Just wanted to say Cool Runnings was one of my favorite movies growing up. As a little kid my hockey team reworked the "feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme" quote to make it our team cheer before games. We also quoted it endlessly for years and watched it at every away tournament. You're a genius in my mind. Thanks for giving me a bunch of memories!

tswerdlow5 karma

that makes me feel real good. now help me out and check this link out: www.igg.me/at/houseitself

BiggieAndTheMets4 karma

I learned what a hooker is from watching Cool Runnings! Not really a question, but thanks for that. Did you ever party with John Candy?

tswerdlow10 karma

i had an evening with john candy that transcends the word "party". he was a beautiful, sweet and painfully insecure comic genius.

itsemmy4 karma

How much do you think Mike Myers voice helped Shrek?

tswerdlow23 karma

chris farley was in the process of recording the shrek voice when he died. mike meyers replaced him. recorded it without the scottish accent and was appalled when he realized eddie murphy was blowing him off the screen. he went back and rerecorded the entire roll with the accent due to this.

Satchmo843 karma

Cool Runnings is one of my favorite sports movies! Let me just say thank you for that, and I'm glad to hear you were able to survive heroine. Who's the coolest actor or celebrity you've ever been around? Was there someone you wanted to meet in particular?

tswerdlow8 karma

the coolest person (half-celebrity) i've ever been around is bobby neuwirth who was bob dylan's best friend during the '60s and also was hired to keep jim morrison from drinking too much. actor wise, john candy was very interesting. and don cheadle may be the most naturally talented person i know.

kozmund3 karma

Screenwriter strung out on heroin in the '80s, eh? Ever hang out with Jerry Stahl?

I also see from your IMDB page that you were Bodie in Real Genius, as well as acting in Howard the Duck and Space Balls. I don't really have a question there, just noting that I think that's awesome.

tswerdlow3 karma

jerry thinks the short movie that the movie i'm making is based on is the best drug movie he's ever seen in his life. www.igg.me/at/houseitself and thank you.

R3ap3r9733 karma

Mel Brooks and Rick Moranis. You've worked with 3/5 of Spaceballs!

tswerdlow6 karma

and my brother produced it so i'm up to 80%

Tjoz3 karma

I love the subliminal adult humor in Shrek, did you do that on purpose or unknowingly and just noticed it later? And how did your use of heroin influence your writing? Thanks.

tswerdlow3 karma

i had nothing to do with that on Shrek..I was the first writer and only helped make it a buddy movie…but the guys who did write that stuff did a great job

mizzousaphone3 karma

Did you write the "Jamaica, we have a bobsled team" song?

Cool Runnings and Little Giants were both huge parts of my childhood. Thank you for all of the laughs and memories!

tswerdlow11 karma

yul brenner wrote that..malik yoga…and a damn fine job he did.. but i wrote the rest… except for you dead and the lucky egg which were form the first script

JedLongeway3 karma

First off let me thank you for making one of my favorite movies to watch growing up with Little Giants. My question is how did you find all of this material for kids movies while strung out on Heroin? Also, How long have you been clean? (if you are, of course)

tswerdlow5 karma

I rewrote these movies…i did not come up with the ideas...

mhome93 karma

Coooolll runnin's mon!!

tswerdlow7 karma

peace be the journey.

jillsleftnipple3 karma

Will the US ever annex Puerto Rico? What happened to Devon Sawa's career?

tswerdlow4 karma

i don't know. we wanted jonathan taylor thomas who acted the part much better but spielberg wanted that kid.

Leotin_3 karma

What is your inspiration with the movie Shrek?

tswerdlow8 karma

it's a book that i was hired to turn into a movie. the movie i based the relationship on between the donkey and shrek is midnight cowboy.

Damnskipp2 karma

Dude... I used to JAM out to the original Shrek soundtrack...

tswerdlow1 karma

it's real good

Jzuke32 karma

What are you shooting your film on?

tswerdlow2 karma

a red epic

heyfella2 karma

what are the worst three things you did for heroin?

tswerdlow11 karma

You don't want to know but the 11 o'clock new was involved…the worst thing i did was spend a million and a half bucks i could really use now

tswerdlow3 karma

i hope everyone will go the link for the movie i am shooting in september..its funny sad and means business like cool runnings

yesihavereadthat2 karma

How did you manage to spend that much money?

tswerdlow9 karma

drugs are expensive.

heyfella-10 karma

and you call yourself a writer...

tswerdlow5 karma

you're write… I'm more a messy typer

heyfella-13 karma

cool. i hope you find your way back to heroin for the english language's sake because whatever this is isn't anything anyone ever could mistakenly believe to be "good".

tswerdlow7 karma

thanks for the support… you clearly are a frustrated something

heyfella-12 karma

clearly you've mistaken my indifference for support.

tswerdlow9 karma

that was sarcasm chief...

ThePlasticBling2 karma

who was the most famous person you shot up with

tswerdlow17 karma


ThePlasticBling11 karma

well thats a disappointment.

tswerdlow28 karma

tell me about it...

Phaistos_Disk2 karma

Is Doug E. Doug as awesome as he seems?

tswerdlow3 karma

Sweet kid he is

EnderVViggen2 karma

Up and coming writer, here, trying my best to keep plugging away on those 10,000 hours (working 65 hours a week).

Here's my question, looking for an assistant? I would be more than happy to send you a sample of my work and a Résumé!


tswerdlow6 karma

dear bongo, no. keep at it, man. even 3,000 will get you somewhere.

ocrowlek2 karma

Theyr'e all fantastic films Do you think the heroine had an impact on your writing? Also what film are you directing

tswerdlow2 karma

I am directing a chase movie about three guys who cannot get their shit together… I'm glad you like the movies.. in this case the heroin had no impact… the really overview was the producers, i was simply providing the energy and intent and words and character…

ocrowlek1 karma

Ha I love films about people who can't get their shit together, always adds some realism to it. Congratulations on becoming a director, I'd say it's far more enjoyable then writing or acting

tswerdlow5 karma

i'm also writing and acting in this. i hope they're all enjoyable. and thank you!

baconwiches2 karma

How much did you get paid for the three movies in the title/how much of it was take home?

tswerdlow7 karma

enough to keep fucking my life up in a very dramatic way.

totes-muh-gotes2 karma

Hi Tommy, your films have a special place in my childheart! As a writer, how does some one with little or no Hollywood ties get their work seen by the right people?

tswerdlow4 karma

i'm not sure and when you figure it out, please tell me. my advice is, write the most personal, unique story you can, and hope that your talent wins the day.

totes-muh-gotes2 karma

I suppose fortune favors the bold...BTW do you have a favorite line that you have written that made it into your films?

tswerdlow6 karma

"i'm feeling very olympic today"

Snugs062 karma

What about the proof that you wrote them strung out?

tswerdlow8 karma

well, you can call the writers' guild health and pension department and get a copy of my $1.2 million hospital bill that they paid every penny of due to a heart valve infection i got shooting narcotics.

weezermc781 karma

You wrote the movies of my childhood while strung out on heroin?

Are you clean? And what "inspired" you to write those movies?

tswerdlow3 karma

i am clean. i did not come up with the ideas or the concepts for the movies. i was hired to rewrite them. cool runnings was my vision. little giants, shrek, snow dogs, i just had little pieces in. cool runnings is the only one i consider a tommy swerdlow script. but i invented none of them.

buttholez691 karma

What was the craziest thing you've done to get dope?

tswerdlow2 karma

ride in the back of a dark freight truck on scrap car parts for 3 hours from somewhere around bakersfield all the way to LA. i thought the truck drivers were gonna take me somewhere and chop me into pieces.

Dumbastia1 karma

What is your absolute favorite line that you have ever written?

tswerdlow7 karma

"don't overcook it. i like it pink. pink as mrs. schivelli." that's a character based on my father in an autobiographical movie that led to me getting the cool runnings job. my favorite scene is the scene between yul brenner and junior in the bathroom. the "pride-power" scene.

awesomface1 karma

Why did every grade I had from Elementary school on make us watch Cool Runnings? I mean, I love the movie but I always wondered. Maybe it was just my schools (grew up on Scottsdale AZ)

Every substitute teacher or random "emergency" where we watched a movie instead of doing school work...we watched Cool Runnings.

tswerdlow6 karma

its an underdog story..inspirational, entertaining…all that good shit I guess

malvarez971 karma

I once heard Shrek was based off a teacher in Notre Dame, is this true?

tswerdlow2 karma

it's a 6 page book by a man named william steig who was a cartoonist for the new yorker magazine. possibly he based the character on the teacher but i'm not sure.

Mamaku1 karma

what is your favorite thing about heroin?

tswerdlow5 karma

the structure. it allows you to be rebellious and at the same time, completely structures your time and focus. it gives you everything and it asks for everything.

Derpiderp1 karma

What inspired you to make Cool Runnings and Shrek, other than heroin?

tswerdlow4 karma

they were rewrite jobs. the only movie heroin addiction ever inspired me to write is the movie i'm directing right now. www.igg.me/at/houseitself

freakoverdose1 karma

How has heroin affected your creativity? Obviously those are 3 very successful scripts. Did heroin help or hurt You?

tswerdlow6 karma

It hurt me… I only say it at all to show the sort of non issue it was and to make the point that you can write sweet kind family entertainment on smack

ThePlasticBling1 karma

Thanks, now whenever I think of Shrek I will see him shooting up in my head.

tswerdlow15 karma

I was responsible more for the donkey..see him shooting up…its easier to see anyway

Sandslash1231 karma

Is it possible to write something amazing without being on drugs?

tswerdlow3 karma

more possible much more… I'm so much better now… the movie i wrote about drugs that i am making I was not on drugs for…check out the link..its bad ass

RattleOn0 karma

Well, not to be disrespectful, but doesn't every artist say/think his latest piece is the best?

tswerdlow7 karma

no. bob dylan says he can't get near the songs he wrote in 1965. and i think woody allen would be hard pressed to think his current movies are his best. and i wasn't saying it was the best, i was saying i was clean when i wrote it.

hanni900 karma

what is your next project? and are you encouraging children's movie screenwriters to shoot up heroin?

tswerdlow3 karma

no, its just my story… i do not glorify it its just what happened to me.. my next project is a movie about the job of what it is to be an addict…getting clean was the best thing I ever did… but I can't change the past

Lennon97-1 karma

Dearest Mr. Swerdlow,

Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 duck sized horses. Thank you.

ThePlasticBling2 karma

I think he means would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 duck sized horses.

Lennon974 karma

So you dont look like an idiot, I accidentally typed one duck sized horse or 100 duck sized horses. I edited it though.

ThePlasticBling2 karma

Thanks brother

tswerdlow11 karma

You're Welcome bro

ThePlasticBling-7 karma

Little giants was a great movie... Do you still shoot up? I could get you some quality heroin real cheap.

tswerdlow5 karma

No I am clean..!!!! almost killed me! open heart surgery… quite a story

4li50n4 karma

can we hear the story? we've got time.

tswerdlow5 karma

The story is I used dope for 20 years and was a bloated desperate yet somewhat successful freak of a mess.. But I do have a certain talent, so that never goes…in 2007 i had an infection of the heart valve…needed the valve replaced…the fall out was a bleeding ulcer not days later and they could nt stop the bleeding..i bled for 2 days… 66 days in the hospital… 6 years later I'm damn fine I am… damn fine

tswerdlow7 karma

Kind of amazing

ThePlasticBling-2 karma

You sure? This shit will make you trip balls. I could also get you some meth, crack, coke, E, or bath salts. I don't sell weed though, that shit is too dangerous.

tswerdlow5 karma

you're a comedy writer… trips balls is very eloquent you tragic desperado..said with love of course

mack_59911 karma

Lol ....you must think you're Heisenberg or something

tswerdlow4 karma

i should ever doing something as good as breaking bad…actually my new movie is realer for sure check the link the house itself…live here now

mack_59913 karma

That's just inappropriate....

tswerdlow4 karma

it is true and inappropriate so at least i got that going for me