As he prepares to take what may be his final bow as Nathan Shelly on the hit Apple TV+ comedy “Ted Lasso,” Nick Mohammed is looking to introduce another British character into the American cultural zeitgeist.
The actor, who has portrayed “Nate the Great” for three seasons on the Jason Sudekis-led comedy, will bring his critically acclaimed alter ego Mr. Swallow to New York City for a one-night-only show at Town Hall on June 2. The event marks the first time in the city for Mohammed as well.
“I’ve never been to New York at all, even as a tourist,” he told The Daily News. “I mean, I feel like almost embarrassed to admit that because … everyone tells me that I will love New York and I already love it when I sort of see it featured in films and programs and have other friends who’ve been and just sort of rave about it. So I genuinely cannot wait. I’m really excited to get there.”
While the English thespian has the Statue of Liberty and Central Park on his to-do list, he may not be able to get to either. His maiden voyage is only for a few days before he must get back to his wife and three young children in London. Mohammed plans to count on pal David Schwimmer as his official tour guide. The “Friends” alum recently appeared in “Intelligence,” a British sitcom created by and starring Mohammed.
“It’s completely surreal to think that I’m mates with David Schwimmer and obviously like other people I grew up watching “Friends” and adored it, and adored him in it for years,” he said, referring to the Flushing, Queens native as “a comic genius who’s got proper physical comedy bones.”
Mohammed is no slouch either at making TV audiences laugh. Long before “Ted Lasso” became a streaming sensation and critical darling, he appeared in a string of British sitcoms including “Reggie Perrin,” “Uncle” and “Stath Lets Flats.”
“Mr. Swallow,” a character he first performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival over a decade ago, is based on a “totally bonkers” former teacher who would often make him and his friends “laugh inadvertently.”
“I started just doing this character more and more, and it was the thing that ended up sticking, because I used to do various characters and this was the one that definitely felt that I could have the most fun with, and that the audience kind of really kind of clicking with,” Mohammed said. “It developed from there and since then, I’ve done it on the radio, television, in stage shows, musicals, and all sorts of things.”
“I’ve actually not gone on a national tour of the U.K. until sort of this year, I’d sort of been biding my time a little bit,” he added. “But it has just been incredible fun taking it on road, and, and now getting to New York, and then hopefully, possibly L.A. or go elsewhere.”
Mohammed is hoping the roller skate-loving Mr. Swallow, whom he describes as an “overzealous and enthusiastic” polymath, has a similar impact on audiences as his “Ted Lasso” character.
But maybe not as divisively.
“Obviously, there’s been a huge sort of decline in the way (Nate) was behaving in season two, I think, because people really rooted for Nate, and they felt almost like personally betrayed,” he said of the fervent fan reaction to his underdog gone rogue.
Keeping his promise not to give away any spoilers, Mohammed says he’s open to a fourth season.
“Oh, God, yeah,” he said “I mean, I think it’s wise that we have a break a little bit because I feel like when they created the show, it was always sort of written with three seasons in mind.”
“And you’ll see on Tuesday, Wednesday, there’s a real kind of cathartic quality to the way it ends, and not just for me, but for a number of the characters. And I think that there are certain things that are completely tied up. You’d hope at some point we have a break and then come back and do season four.”