Stand up Los Angeles comedian, Jimmy Pardo, doesn't only make his audience laugh, but has received mail from fans of his podcast Never Not Funny, telling him it has saved their lives! Growing up comedy was a huge shield for Jimmy, from tough times.
How would you describe your style of comedy to someone who has never heard of you before?
I try to be as off the cuff and improvisational as possible. I am often described as a young Don Rickles. I like to think it's more Groucho Marx meets Richard Lewis. I'm 100% sure that was very unhelpful and didn't answer your question.
How has comedy (whether it be your own or someone else’s) helped you deal with any sort of tough time that you’ve gone through in your life? Do you think comedy is a sort of universal coping tool?
I grew up being the shortest kid in class, the last picked for every sport, being picked on, etc... so I always used humor to defuse those situations. It was easier to make fun of the fact that it was happening than to show my hurt feelings. I would then go home and feel horrible, out of the sight of others. I do think comedy is a coping tool.. who doesn't like to go see a funny movie or be around fun people when one is feeling down?
Your highly acclaimed podcast Never Not Funny was really the first of its kind, and grew organically to the status that it now has amongst podcasts in general. Did you ever see the show that you started in your dining room growing the way it has?
A - I appreciate the kind words. B - I really didn't. I've said it before, I wasn't sure what I was even getting myself into. I was between TV jobs and was looking for another way to express myself and be creative. Luckily Matt Belknap came to me with this idea at the perfect time.
Why do you think people gravitated to free flowing part conversation between friends that is Never Not Funny?
I like to think they get to feel like they are part of the conversation. The way good morning radio is... you are involved, not just listening to guys doing wacky bits.
Would you say that is often therapeutic for some?
We have received countless e-mails and even actual letters from people telling us that NNF has made their life better... or in some instances saved their life. That's a lot for me to wrap my head around, but it feels good to "be there" for someone, even if it is by just providing a 90 minute respite from life.
You’ve had a lot of big names on your show over the years, Conan O’Brien, Jon Hamm, just to name a few. Is there anyone that you personally would love to have on the show if anyone was ready and willing?
I would love to have legends on like Don Rickles, Joan Rivers, Robert Klien, Paul Reiser or the aforementioned Richard Lewis. People that paved the way for my generation. As for contemporaries, It would be great to have Tina Fey or Steve Carrell.
How do you de-stress after a particularly rough day?
I have taken to running. On an extremely stress-filled day, I will run in the morning and at night. I have been sober 12 years, but before that I would find "happiness" in a bottle and I can tell you, that's not the answer... ever.
And what would you tell someone who is going through a rough time? (From personal experience or just a belief about life)
As the slogan of the moment goes; "It gets better". I have contemplated giving up on my dreams more often than I care to admit because things didn't "go my way", but staying focussed and on the path, when you feel it in your bones can only lead to good things... or at least happiness.
How would you define success?
Basically what I just answered... happiness. Enjoying what you love... being a great parent, doing the right job, playing in a Sunday softball league, etc...