Comedian Jimmy Pardo's Never Not Funny podcast is already a huge hit; on November 26, Friday, they'll be having their annual Pardcast-a-thon with all proceeds going to Smile Train.
For 12 hours (beginning at 6 p.m.) the Pardcast-a-thon will have 24 comedians donating their time and their funnies, which will help children in some of the poorest countries regain their smiles through the miracle of cleft palate surgery.
With the average cost of surgery being $250 to do a 45 minute operation, how can you not tune in and be generous–all while getting a laugh courtesy of some of your favorite comedians? This year the line up is awesome and led by ring leader Jimmy Pardo, it's guaranteed to be a laugh-a-thon…excuse me, a Pardcast-a-thon to remember.
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): Which past episodes of your podcast “Never Not Funny” would you say are the “must listen to” for new subscribers?
Jimmy Pardo: I hate to point to point out the “famous” people but those are the ones that seem to bring in the most new listeners. The most recent one with John Hamm is terrific, Ty Burrell is fantastic, and the one with Conan O'Brien people really like. You know honestly, any other one that people want to sample is great from Paul F. Thompkins, Andy Daly, to a guy named Pat Francis. Their episodes are just as popular as the ones with the famous people.
It's because of you.
You are very kind. I can tell by the three minutes we've been talking that you are the perfect type to listen to the whole show. Do you listen to the show?
I do, but I'll ask the questions around here. Is there someone who hasn't been on your podcast yet (that is still alive) that you've been dreaming of having on?
Ummm…some guests I would love to get would be the legends. Joan Rivers, Richard Lewis, or Paul Reiser. I'd also like to get Tina Fey or Steve Carell. People who are funny and know how to be funny off the top of their heads and just sit right down and fit in with what we do. Not everybody can improvise for 90 minutes with guys they've never met.
Very true. Since your podcast is mostly Improv, do you have to do tons of research ahead of time or are you just funny on cue?
The only research I do it just getting people's “credits” correct. It's not really 100% about the research. People like to talk about themselves so anything you say pretty much leads into a story which will lead to another story and before you know it, you're improvising stories back and forth. You know, a lot of interviewers just have a list but I actually listen.
Hey wait a minute!!
Ok, except for you. You're actually listening.
Thank you. Let's talk about the Pardcast-a-thon on November 26th. How did you hook up with Smile Train and decide to tie it in with your podcast?
I actually saw an ad for Smile Train one Sunday that showed a before and after photo of a child that had cleft palate surgery. It said the surgery only cost $250 and to change a child's life and for that little amount I thought, who doesn't want to do that? I mean whoa, for 250 bucks I want to change someone's life and I made a donation that very day. Two days later we were recording and one of our regular guests said he had an idea for a contest where whoever donates the most money to the charity Smile Train, that they can be a guest. The fact that we has this weird little connection with Smile Train made us want to make it Never Not Funny's charity of choice.
It's great too because of the smile aspect. You want to smile big when you're laughing.
Exactly. And it's funny you say that because when we contacted Smile Train to tell them there was a donation coming in they said, “Wow, you guys are really smart because it's a comedy show and what better way to express yourself other than smiling?”
How did you guys do with the Pardcast-a-thon last year?
Well last year it was nine hours and during the show we raised $16,000. Now that's not Jerry Lewis Telethon money but for a podcast, it's pretty good because we thought we had raised like $2,500. Other than meeting my wife and having my son I've never felt so good about anything in my life!
Do you have a goal number to raise this year?
You know, last year we ended up raising (though subsequent episodes) over $21,000. I can't imagine we are going to top that because it's a crazy amount of money but it's our goal to top last year. Anything is possible.
I do have an idea for you to reach that goal this year and that is during this years 12 hour podcast, you can charge for guests to use the bathroom.
The only reason I am going to tell you this is a bad idea is because I'm not kidding you, last year for nine hours I think three people left to use the bathroom.
What if you stock the place with iced tea and bean burritos?
I'm with you. I will certainly think of that and put it out at our meeting and this is no offence to you, but we'll ignore it.
Well that's fine. I will still tune in because you're having over 20 guests this year right?
We'll be having over 24 guests. Basically two an hour.
Care to name drop a few?
We like to keep it a surprise but a few I can tell you are Sarah Silverman, Rob Corrdry, and Danielle Fishel.
I love Danielle Fishel from “The Dish!” I'm not admitting anything about “Boy Meets World” though…
Oh yeah, I think when you say Topanga from “Boy Meets World” there are a lot of thirty-year old guys who remember beating off to her.
Oh you boys! You know a lot of people have been doing live podcasts from the Irvine Improv lately, when are you planning on coming to Orange County?
Ummm you know they have not contacted me as of yet but I would not be against it.
What can your fans expect from Season 8 of 'Never Not Funny'?
We had so many new guests on season seven that I don't really know what season eight will bring. I think it's going to be a mixture of the same and hopefully some new faces. It will be fun.
How can people donate to Smile Train?
You should go to www.pardcast.com and there is a link on there to donate to Smile Train.
If you'd like to make a donation to Smile Train check out their website at www.smiletrain.org and help a child get their smile back! Also be sure to subscribe to Jimmy's podcast “Never Not Funny” at www.pardcast.com.
Ali Lerman knows much about comedy, basketball, and celebrating Wu-Tang Wednesday. She’s been writing for sixteen years and still calls her mom with grammatical questions.