In just a few days, comedian Jimmy Pardo and his podcast, Never Not Funny is the returning host of the fifth annual Pardcast-a-thon. He’s streaming the event live from 12 noon to 12 midnight PST on November 29th (Black Friday) as a fundraiser to benefit Smile Train, an International charity that helps children in developing countries get cleft lip/palate surgery.
Aiding Jimmy in the 12 hour marathon will be Matt Belknap (from www.aspecialthing.com and Pat Francis. Pardo and co. will stream live from The ACME Comedy Theatre in Hollywood and feature more than twenty all-star comedy guests. Scheduled participants include Zach Galifianakis, Patton Oswalt, Andy Richter, Joel Stein, Scott Aukerman, Doug Benson and radio legend Phil Hendrie. Donations will be collected throughout the event via online contributions, and for the first time, special items from the guests will be up for grabs live during the show.
We had the chance to catch up with Jimmy Pardo to get some more information about the Pardcast-a-thon, his nickname, and latest stand-up CD.
To begin, tell the fans about Pardcast-a-thon.
The Pardcast-a-Thon is the 12 hour marathon version of my award winning podcast Never Not Funny to raise money and awareness for the charity Smile Train. I host along with Matt Belknap and Pat Francis and I have a different guest from tv, movies, music and comedy on every half hour. Last year we raised over $114,000!!
Can you explain how you got involved with Smile Train?
It was a prefect storm of events… I saw the ad for them on the back of the Sunday paper supplement Parade magazine. It had a before and after photo of a child that had the surgery. It explained that each surgery only takes 45 minutes and only costs $250. Well, My little head could understand that, so I donated. The next day, Never Not Funny regular Pat Francis was on and suggested we auction off a chance to be on Never Not Funny with the proceeds going to Smile Train. I loved the idea as I had just donated myself… so when it came time to do the first “Pardcast-A-Thon,” there was no question who would get the money we raised. I’m proud to now be associated with them.
You’ve been doing podcasts before podcasts were being recognized by a mass audience. As a podcast veteran, what is your take on the podcast phenomenon?
I find it fascinating. I went from having to explain what one is when requesting guests to explaining why mine is different than all the others.
Where do you see the “podcast” going in the future?
I think there are bigger, smarter minds that can answer that.
You recently released a stand-up album Sprezzatura. What can fans expect from it?
I think it really captures what I do in a club setting. Lots of riffing along with the scripted stuff that doesn’t always make the live show.
You’re also well known for your work as Conan’s warm up comic which seems like one of the best jobs in the world. What’s the hardest part about that job?
Driving home from the studio. Seriously, the gig itself is amazing. I get to work with some of the funniest people in show business every day. It’s the 75 minute drive home that is awful. (I only mention the drive home as the drive there is only 30 minutes. LA traffic!)
What is the worst green room food you’ve ever seen while touring?
When I show up and there’s nothing. NOTHING! I demand something… and you provide nothing? (For the record, I don’t really demand anything, but a little snicky-snack would be nice)
You’re from Chicago. Where is the best place to perform in the cite?
I started at a place called The Roxy. It’s no longer there, but it was terrific… you could take chances and not really worry about the crowds bailing on you. (If you were funny) Now, I’d say Zanies.
How did you get the nickname “The Shooter”?
It’s a long boring story that I will try to keep tight. I had been doing open mics for about 5 months and I recieved my first paid gig. But that meant I was MIA for the weekly open mic at The Roxy. Upon my return people asked where I was… “I was doing a paid gig”. “How did you get that?” “Because I’m a big shot in this business… I’m The Shooter!” (said ironically) My friends never stopped calling me that.
Your Wikipedia page explicitly says you’re not related to Don Pardo. It sounds like there’s a story there.
Only that I get asked if I am at least 3 times a day.
And finally, how can fans donate to Pardcast-a-thon?
Nope, thank you. I appreciate you letting me spread the word for this great cause!