Photo by Mandee Johnson
Jimmy Pardo is a renowned comedian, actor, and podcasting personality. His podcast Never Not Funny is the number two comedian-hosted paid podcast (second only to Ricky Gervais’). His guests are some of the biggest names in comedy, including Sarah Silverman, Conan O’Brien, Marc Maron, and Adam Carolla. Since its 2006 inception in Pardo’s living room, Never Not Funny has been voted one of the year’s best podcasts by iTunes and USA Today, and was featured in pieces by Esquire and GQ magazine. Now in its tenth season, Never Not Funny occasionally hits the road, presenting live tapings at comedy and arts festivals. Pardo has even hosted two “Pardcast-a-Thons”, in which he taped the podcast for twelve hours straight as a fundraiser for charity The Smile Train.
In addition to his podcast, Pardo serves as the warm-up act for Conan O’Brien’s show “Conan”, as he did previously on “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien”. Pardo continues to perform his unique, interactive brand of stand-up comedy at clubs nationwide. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Danielle Koenig (who is also a comedian) and their son Oliver.
1.What made you want to become a comedian?
The short answer is that I had no choice. I had a dream job working for a record label, hanging out with rock stars, going to concerts, etc… it wasn’t fulfilling, so I finally “tried” stand-up and quit my day job 7 months later. Oh, and I have no other skills.
2. Who are your comedy icons?
Johnny Carson, Richard Lewis, Don Rickles and Robert Klein.
3. Is it difficult to be married to another comedian – for example, do you feel that it creates competition between you?
It’s actually the greatest partnership in the world. My wife and I have different skill sets, so we are never competing. WE are also able to understand the ups and downs of this business without wondering when the other is going to “give up the dream and get a real job”.
4. You have served as the opening act for Conan O’Brien on his two most recent programs. How has the experience on “Conan” been different than that on “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien”?
I’ve been very lucky in that Conan and his team trust me and just let me do my thing… on both “The Tonight Show” and “Conan”. Overall, there is a different vibe at “Conan”, as we are at a network that wants the show and is thrilled we are there. It’s the perfect place to work!
5. Which do you enjoy more, doing stand-up or interviewing guests?
That’s tough as I enjoy both… if I was forced to pick one, and I’m not sure what crazy world I would be living in that would force me to make such a choice, I’d say interviewing people. I like getting to know more and interacting with them.
6. What inspired you to start “Never Not Funny”?
I was between TV jobs and the young man who is now my producer, Matt Belknap asked me if I wanted to do a podcast. I had been listening to Ricky Gervais’ show and thought it would be a great vehicle for what I do. I had no idea we’d be so successful… and that 3 years later, podcasting would take off and become what it is today.
7. As a classic rock fan, what are a few of your favorite bands or songs?
Chicago, Journey, Styx, Pink Floyd… basically anything you’d hear on radio station that would sponsor a rib-fest somewhere.
8. How do think the explosion in podcasting has affected the comedy scene?
Podcasting has given comedian a way to reach hundreds of thousands of people that may have never had the chance to see/hear us. I think it has also brought more people out to the comedy clubs. They want to see the folks that are in their ears in person.
9. What has been your favorite or most memorable television guest role?
I don’t have a ton to choose from… and it’s hard to judge them, as they are all my babies… so I will say “Monk”, as that seems to keep bringing in the most money with residual checks.
10. Do you have any upcoming projects you want to tell us about?
I just did a pilot for Comedy Central that we are waiting to hear if it gets picked up. We are starting season 11 of my award winning podcast “Never Not Funny” in a few weeks and you can catch me dealing with famous people at teamcoco.com/pardopatrol.