From doing improv for an easy grade in theater class to performing three-minute open-mic bits in Minneapolis, Nick Swardson has now been in the jokester biz for 15 years. With his new show, “Nick Swardson’s Pretend Time,” the comedian is taking his hilarity to a whole new level.

You’ve done standup specials and “Reno 911!”?on Comedy Central. How did you get your own sketch show, too?

Tom Gianas [from Human Giant] is an old friend, and he called me up like, ‘Hey I’m thinking about doing a sketch show.’ Tom and I went to Comedy Central — they were obviously familiar with us — and they were like, “Yeah, let’s do it.” They didn’t even order a pilot.

Some of your beloved characters, like Gay Robot, have made an appearance on “Pretend Time,”?but others haven’t. Was this an opportunity to develop a new set of identities?

This was a whole new thing. I wanted to start from scratch and just show people a completely different vibe. People know me for my standup and Terry [from “Reno 911!”]. Even though I love doing Terry, I didn’t want that to be the only thing out there.

Why do a sketch series now??

I’ve done standup for 15 years and I’ve done everything I could’ve possibly wanted to do with it. And this sketch show really took its place creatively and really reinvigorated me. It was really great.