Nardwuar Net Worth

Nardwuar Net Worth

Have you ever wondered what Nardwuar’s net worth is?

John Ruskin, aka (Nardwuar) is a Canadian interviewer, songwriter, musician, and media personality. You might not remember his name, but you may recognize his iconic face and wardrobe.

As one of the most famous personalities on Canadian radio and TV, Nardwuar must be making big bucks, right?

As of May 2023, Nardwuar’s net worth is $15 million.

Early Life

Nardwuar, the Human Serviette, is a Canadian icon. Thanks to his unbeatable style of interviews and iconic catchphrase “doot doola doot doo,” he became one of the most recognizable faces in the music scene. But how did he get there?

Nardwuar was born on July 5, 1968, in Vancouver, Colombia. His father, Vernon Ruskin, was an engineer who wanted his son to follow in his footsteps. However, Nardwuar followed in his mother’s footsteps instead.

Nardwuar’s mother, Olga Ruskin, was a journalist, historian, and history teacher. She had a passion for journalism and interviews, even if she didn’t earn money from her interviews. Nardwuar says that his mother taught him that everyone has a story.

First Interview

Nardwuar grew up watching his favorite show Soundproof, a punk video show, which was influential to him. He went to Hillside Secondary School in Vancouver. During his time in school, Nardwuar was an active member of the student council.

So he started booking bands for school events. That’s when he got his first interview, in 1985, with the Canadian singer and songwriter Art Bergmann. One year later, John went to college at the University of British Columbia.

At that time, he changed his name to Nardwuar and started volunteering at the campus radio station CITR.

At first, the CITR program director was uncertain that Nardwuar could do a show by himself. But after Nardwuar nagged him many times, he decided to let him do a one-minute show.

Nardwuar’s friend Bill Baker said it was so easy to let him in for the interview, but it was almost impossible to get him out after one minute. He says the shows progressed to be five and then 15 minutes long.


In 1986, Nardwuar met Lisa Marr and John Collins. He then formed his first garage rock band, The Evaporators, with them. Nardwuar was the lead singer and keyboardist. In the 1990s, David Carswell and Scott Livingstone joined the band.

After that, they started releasing their projects, such as “Welcome to the castle,” which was released in 1992.

Even though the band released three successful albums in the 1990s, Nardwuar turned his attention to the radio and interviews. He started interviewing many musicians, celebrities, and politicians.

The Blow Up

Nardwuar’s success in music journalism came from the fact that he does extensive research on his interviewees. He often surprises his guests by asking personal questions about their childhood, hometown, school days, and obscure albums.

He also usually surprises his guests with unique gifts related to their past experiences and accomplishments before their fame.

One of the things that contributed to the blow-up of Nardwuar was his interview with Paul Martin, the former Prime Minister of Canada, in 2004.

During the interview, Nardwuar asked Paul to play a game called Hip Flip. Soon after, the game became one of the most famous games that prime ministers and premiers performed during elections.

Public figures like Christy Clark, John Horgan, Justin Trudeau, and Andrew Weaver also played this game.

Iconic Interviews

Nardwuar the Human Serviette has been inducted into the B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame.
Source: CBC

In 2002, Nardwuar interviewed Snoop Dogg. This was one of the most iconic interviews for Nardwuar. It was also one of his first rap interviews. The interview remains one of the main reasons Nardwuar got famous and popular in the rap community.

Nardwuar says what he likes the most about rap music is that rappers appreciate history and culture. Besides, Nardwuar was more popular among rappers than artists in the rock community.

Thanks to his interviewing style and preparation methods, Nardwuar has been able to provide new insights into many musicians’ careers. He could also show the fans parts of their favorite artist’s personality that they weren’t aware of before.

For instance, one of Nardwuar’s most successful interviews was his meeting with N*E*RD members, Pharrell Williams and Shay. Nardwuar gave Pharrell a copy of Carl Sagan’s Music of The Cosmos, which blew Pharrell’s mind.

He also handed him a copy of one of the first records that Pharrell worked on. Pharrell Williams said it was one of the most impressive interviews he had ever had.

Nardwuar considers this interview one of his favorites, as it led him to meet Jay-Z at The Pemberton Music Festival.

Even though Nardwuar’s character and absurd style in interviews were liked by many interviewees, he wasn’t everyone’s favorite.

Many of his interviews have gone wrong—where celebrities verbally attacked and threatened him, such as Quiet Riot, Lydia Lunch, Harlan Ellison, and Sebastian Bach.

Nardwuar Net Worth 2023

As of May 2023, Nardwuar’s estimated net worth is $15 million.

Most of Nardwuar’s money comes from being one of the most famous and successful interviewers in his country.

In addition, he made a YouTube channel in 2006, and until today, he’s consistently posting videos on his channel, which currently has over 2.6 million subscribers.

Nardwuar has a website that includes unreleased interviews and merch, which also contributes to his net worth.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What did Nardwuar say to Mikhail Gorbachev?

Nardwuar sneaked into a press conference in 1993 when he asked the former leader of the Soviet Union, “which world leader has the biggest pants”.

After this incident, Nardwuar became notorious for sneaking into public events as a regular journalist then he would come up with some of the most absurd and shocking questions.

When did Nardwuar become so famous?

Since Nardwuar’s career is full of mind-blowing moments and interviews, it’s hard to tell what exactly made him so famous.

However, he first got into media when he started his radio show on CITR at the University of British Columbia in 1987. The program was a mix of music, interviews, and commentaries.

Who inspired Nardwuar?

Nardwuar says his interview format was inspired by American Actor Arsenio Hall. It’s safe to say that Nardwuar’s success in music journalism came from his unique interviewing style, which focuses on connecting with the artist’s personal life.

Key Takeaways

Believe in Yourself

Nardwuar’s success story is all about grit, determination, hard work, and self-confidence. Despite being bullied at school, he was determined to make something out of himself.

Even though many artists like Nardwuar, his eccentric and goofy charisma isn’t everyone’s favorite. Many artists ignored, bullied, and disrespected him throughout his career.

Despite all that, Nardwuar is still the same enthusiastic person he was when he first started his career.

Always Come Back Stronger

Even though you always see him smiling and joking, Nardwuar’s personal life wasn’t the easiest. In 1999, he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, seizures, and temporary paralysis.

Later, in 2015, he had a stroke and spent six days in the hospital. One year later, Nardwuar had open heart surgery.

Good Preparation is Key to Success

Extensive research and copious preparation are what make Nardwuar’s interviews second to none.

As an interviewer, he dives deep into his interviewee’s past and present. He also presents them with items related to their childhoods and early career.