Born on August 20, 1969, to the hard blue-collar steel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Billy Gardell would learn early that a strong sense of humor is not only a convenient weapon, but an absolute must for dealing with life in an unstable environment. As is being a die hard Steelers fan wasnt enough cause for stress in the mid eighties, Gardell suddenly found himself transplanted from the traditional "family first values" of Pennsylvania to the obscurity and blistering humidity of Central Florida, the produce of a broken home. Struggling through his awkward teens, an overweight misfit, Billy took part time jobs to help his mother support his young brother and sister while simultaneously writing, directing and starring in a high school theater production entitled "Winter Park Live," where among other things, he performed a "show stopping" portrayal of Ralph Cramdem, Captain of the Starship Enterprise. The piece was so well executed that one reviewer, a Gleason family member, commented the "Jackie would have been very proud."
Billys new addiction to live performance led him down the path of standup comedy. The comedy boom was in full swing making stage time accessible and Gardell was undeniably a natural talent. His bold honest and overwhelming stage persona made him an instant hit with Florida audiences. By the summer of 1989, only two years into the business and still not old enough to legally drink alcohol, Billy Gardell was the most requested act among the regular patrons at Bonkers Comedy Club in Orlando, Billys home club. Word of the young gun from the South spread quickly through the comedy circuit and Billy followed his reputation down that relentless educator known as "The Road." He took ever gig available and effectively used the discos, military bases and honky tonks as his college campus. Its variety of tough audiences served as his professor.
Over the next few years, Billy made several television appearances on ABC, Showtime, A&E and MTV, bringing him more attention and a greater following to his rising talent. While many comedians mulled over dictionaries and encyclopedias to make themselves seem clever and educated, Billy held true to his middle-class, blue-collar background.
Billy moved to Atlanta where he met his manager, then on to Chicago and he currently resides in Los Angeles. In addition to performing stand up, Billy continues to study acting under the direction of Arlene Golanka. Ms. Golanka describes Billy as "an amazing talent" and often refers to him as "the next great one."