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Tuesday
Jan302007

Interrogation: Jimmy Pardo

Jimmy_Pardo_SoxHatWe're starting things off with a thundering whomp here at The Coming, and nothing says thunderous whomp like our first interview subject: Mr. Jimmy Pardo. Once referred to as "the youngest dirty old man", Pardo took a break from hosting seemingly every LA area show to answer a few inquiries via Internet exchange.

One of the highlights of your act is your crowdwork. In fact, a lot of the times it seems like you just throw away your pre-written jokes because talking with an audience member is more interesting to you. Do you pre-plan big chunks of time for crowdwork? Or is that all off-the-cuff?
Talking with the crowd is far more interesting to me and I'd have to assume for the crowd as well. If I'm doing a short set here in L.A., I pretty much assume I'm going to do 95% crowd stuff going in. When I'm doing an hour on the road, it's a different story. I have to do more planned stuff and weave in the crowd work. Even then, it ends up being 70% improvised.

You've become the go-to host whenever there's a big show to be handled, whether it's the premiere show of "You're Welcome" or the 2nd half of the 4th anniversary CDR all-nighter. What makes you the host with the most? Do you have any tips for folks thinking of hosting their own Super Bowl party or ice cream social?
Years of doing it. I've always wanted to host a talk show, so thought the best way to get good at that was to emcee as many shows as possible.
To seriously answer, I know when the crowd needs more of me between acts or when to just move it along. It's a fine line and when it's done right, it's a great show. I love hearing people say they are coming out to a show because I am hosting.

As for hosting sports parties or any social gathering, always have enough pizza. I learned one night in 2002 that if you run out of pizza, you will never hear the end of it. EVER!

You're 3 months away from the one-year anniversary of the highly successful "Never Not Funny" podcast, which has been rolling on a weekly basis through more than 40 shows now. What's the most rewarding part of doing the podcast? Where does NNF go from here? When are you finally going to give the fans what they want and just hold up in some bunker in Colorado (with your co-hosts Mike Schmidt and Matt Belknap) and record the show 24-hours-a-day?
Meeting folks on the road who are fans of the 'cast and receiving e-mails from people all over the world telling us that they make asses out of themselves on the bus every week laughing at our show is by far the best part.

I will bunker up when some sponsor pays me enough to do so. Until then, I'll keep buying dinner weekly for Mike and Matt before we record.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usWhat's the biggest problem you've ever been able to talk your way out of?
I was a junior in High School and this bully named "Barry" wanted to kick my ass for no other reason than he didn't "get me". Didn't know why people found me funny or girls found me interesting. He was the size of a truck and he came up to me and said it was "Go Time!" and I convinced him that since we both knew he could take me, why go through the motions. He knows he can, I know he can... so let's just agree it could be done. He fell for this and I continued my streak of never being in a physical altercation.

You're originally from Chicago and a pretty big sports fan. Can you take your emotions out of the equation and make a Super Bowl pick? What's the bigger deal for you: The 2005 White Sox championship, or a Bears Super Bowl victory?
Not only can I take my emotions out of it... I can tell you I don't care. I'm not a football guy. Never was. I will root for the Bears in a city pride way, so I pick the Bears in 9 rounds by a TKO!

And that should answer your follow up. White Sox by a mile!!! I thought being at Comiskey Park and seeing them clinch in 1993 was exciting... well nothing compared to seeing them clinch in Anaheim. I'm not ashamed to say my eyes welled up like some cliche in a movie.

Where can Pardheads get their Pardfix in 2007?
I will continue to tour the country, put out the podcast, host my monthly show "Running Your Trap" and we've just agreed to doing "Match Game Live!" twice a month now at the UCB Theatre in Los Angeles.

The dear reader of this site can catch up on all things Pardo at www.jimmypardo.com

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