John Swihart

John Swihart is an American musical composer for film and television. He is perhaps best known for his score to Napoleon Dynamite,[1] Youth in Revolt,[2] Employee of the Month,[3] and his music for the TV shows How I Met Your Mother,[4] and Go On.[5]

John Swihart was raised in Bloomington, Indiana, the son of a physicist based at Indiana University. He spent a portion of his formative years in Europe and Asia, where his father would sabbatical.

John had some musical training at a very young age but was not deeply absorbed by music until he was about eight. Swihart would leave Indiana to attend Berklee College of Music, in Boston. He graduated in 1986.[6]

Swihart played Chapman Stick, Bass, Guitar and Zither in the Boston, New York and Las Vegas Blue Man Group shows, on his way to Los Angeles. His breakout film project Napoleon Dynamite premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004.[7]




Year Title Director Notes
2002 When Boys Fly
  • Stewart Halpern-Fingerhut
  • Lenid Rolov
Bedford Springs Marc Berlin N/A
2004 Napoleon Dynamite Jared Hess N/A
Purgatory House Cindy Baer N/A
The Least Likely Candidate Will Hartman N/A
2005 The Great New Wonderful Danny Leiner N/A
Mall Cop David Greenspan N/A
Life on the Ledge Lewis Helfer N/A
Our Very Own Cameron Watson N/A
Nadine in Date Land Amie Steir Television film
Daltry Calhoun Katrina Holden Bronson N/A
2006 One Last Dance Max Makowski N/A
The Sasquatch Gang Tim Skousen N/A
Champions David Wike N/A
Bickford Shmeckler's Cool Ideas Scott Lew N/A
Think Tank Brian Petersen N/A
5up 2down Steven Kessler N/A
Employee of the Month Greg Coolidge N/A
2007 Full of It Christian Charles N/A
The Hammer Charles Herman-Wurmfeld N/A
The Education of Charlie Banks Fred Durst N/A
The Brothers Solomon Bob Odenkirk N/A
Randy and the Mob Ray McKinnon N/A
South of Pico Ernst Gossner N/A
2008 The Last Word Geoffrey Haley N/A
2008 The Year of Getting to Know Us Patrick Sisam N/A
Just Add Water Hart Bochner N/A
Garden Party Jason Freeland N/A
HottieBoombaLottie Seth Packard N/A
2009 Balls Out: Gary the Tennis Coach Danny Leiner N/A
Spread David Mackenzie N/A
Finding Bliss Julie Davis N/A
New in Town Jonas Elmer N/A
Youth in Revolt Miguel Arteta N/A
The Other Woman Don Roos N/A
Splinterheads Brant Sersen N/A
The Strip Jameel Khan N/A
Operating Instructions Andy Tennant Television film


Year Title Director Notes
2010 The Perfect Host Nick Tomnay N/A
Hey Watch This Christian Charles N/A
2011 Flypaper Rob Minkoff N/A
Losing Control Valerie Weiss N/A
Lucky Gil Cates Jr. N/A
2012 For a Good Time, Call... Jamie Travis N/A
Love Sick Love Christian Charles N/A
2013 Odd Thomas Stephen Sommers N/A
2014 The Young Kieslowski Kerem Sanga N/A
As Night Comes Richard Zelniker N/A
2015 Accidental Love Stephen Greene N/A
Staten Island Summer Rhys Thomas N/A
A Light Beneath Their Feet Valerie Weiss N/A
2016 First Girl I Loved Kerem Sanga N/A
2017 Table 19 Jeffrey Blitz N/A
A Symphony of Hope Brian Weidling N/A
Angry Angel Jamie Travis Television film
2018 Ideal Home Andrew Fleming Composed with Martin Simpson
Haunting on Fraternity Row Brant Sersen N/A
2019 The Fanatic Fred Dunst N/A
The Fan Connection Mary Wall N/A
The Turkey Bowl Greg Coolidge N/A


Year Title Director Notes
2020 Dinner in America Adam Rehmeier N/A
The Bay of Silence Paula van der Oest N/A

Television series

Year Title Notes
2004 The Drive N/A
2005 Home Blitz N/A
2005–2014 How I Met Your Mother N/A
2006 Trick My Truck N/A
Shorty McShorts' Shorts Episode: "My Mom Married a Yeti"
2007 Trick My Trucker N/A
2007–2011 Greek N/A
2008 Fear Itself Episode: "Community"
Ski Patrol 2 episodes
Ski Patrol 2 episodes
2009–2010 Accidentally on Purpose N/A
2010 Sons of Tucson N/A
2010–2011 Backwash N/A
2011 Mad Love N/A
Pretty Tough N/A
2011–2012 How to Be a Gentleman N/A
2011–2015 Web Therapy N/A
2011–2016 Switched at Birth N/A
2012 The Booth at the End N/A
2012–2013 Go On N/A
2012–2014 Men at Work N/A
2013 The Goodwin Games N/A
We Are Men N/A
2014 Cristela N/A
2014–2015 Red Band Society N/A
2016 The Great Indoors N/A
2017–2018 Trial & Error N/A
2018 Break a Hip N/A
American Woman Composed with Michael Suby

Video game

Year Title Notes
2019 Far Cry New Dawn Composed with Tyler Bates

Awards and nominations


  1. ^ "IMDB page for Napoleon Dynamite". Retrieved 8 October 2012.
  2. ^ "IMDB Page for Youth in Revolt". Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  3. ^ "IMDB page for Employee of the Month". Retrieved 8 October 2012.
  4. ^ "IMDB page for How I Met Your Mother". Retrieved 8 October 2012.
  5. ^ "IMDB Page for Go On".
  6. ^ Ashton, Kimberly (June 5, 2013). "Berklee Alumni Score Summer's Biggest TV and Movie Hits". Berklee College of Music. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
  7. ^ "Bio page from John Swiharts website". Archived from the original on 7 March 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2012.