Comic and podcast pioneer Jimmy Pardo is hosting his fifth annual Pardcast-a-thon on Friday, November 29 at The ACME Comedy Theatre in Hollywood. Pardo’s podcast “Never Not Funny” will run for a marathon time of 12 hours, from noon to midnight, to raise funds for Smile Train. After a day of American gluttony and spending time with drunken grandmothers and uncles, there’s nothing like streaming your favorite comedians gabbing away for a greater good. It at least beats feeding the beast of consumerism on Black Friday. In years past, the Pardcast-a-thon has had a wide range of guests, including Jon Hamm, Conan O’Brien, Sarah Silverman, and even the bawdily funny Bob Saget.
Since the inaugural ‘thon back in 2009, the event has raised over $300,000 for Smile Train, a charity that provides cleft surgery for children in developing regions. The organization has aided in funding these surgeries in over 85 countries. It is truly honorable for Pardo, co-hosts Matt Belknap and Pat Francis and all of the celebrity guests to come together and fight for the cause. Viewers can donate via www.pardcast.com throughout the duration of the podcast.
We had a chance to speak with Pardo himself over the phone to learn more about the Pardcast-a-thon and hear about what to expect at this year’s event.
Paste: As far as your guests this year, do you hand pick them or do they approach you?
Pardo: Sometimes people approach me but for the most part it is our show reaching out to try and get these guys to come in. It’s me and co-hosts Matt Belknap and Pat Francis and the three of us are up there the entire twelve hours on the stage and we’ll take a bathroom break time to time but for the most part we are up there for the entire event. I have different guests on it every half hour.
Paste: What guests do you have at the table this year?
Pardo: This year for confirmed guest, we have Zach Galifianakis, Patton Oswalt, Scott Aukerman from Comedy Bang! Bang!, Andy Richter from Conan, Joel Stein from Time Magazine, a bunch of great comics, and people that we are still locking down today.
Paste: As far as the approach to the event, do you have a lot of things planned going in that you want to talk about or is it more off-the-cuff?
Pardo: You know, it’s whatever the guest wants to do. From my point of view, it’s all flies by the seam of your pants. If a guest comes in and they’ve prepared a bit that they would rather do than sit and talk then that’s great too. I welcome that. For the most part, it is just sitting and talking about whatever anyone wants to talk about. For example, last year, Scott Aukerman showed up dressed as a vampire and did a cooking segment. And then Todd Levin had a bit on drawing penises. We’ve also had musicians on in the past, Colin Hay, Lisa Loeb, Aimee Mann, have all been on. That’s another great way of breaking it up. They come out, I chit-chat with them and then they do a couple of songs. So yeah, it’s whatever the guests want to do but as far as I’m concerned, I just show up ready to talk for 12 hours.
Paste: Never Not Funny has such a huge fan-base, I’m sure that the place fills up at the ACME.
Pardo: Oh geez, it sold out within minutes. It’s not the biggest theatre, it seats about 100-and-something. In the years past, people sit there the entire 12 hours while we’re dong this thing. They’re all excited about the current guests and who the next guest coming out is. It just is such a great time with a positive vibe.
Paste: This year, I read that there are going to be special items for the guests, which is something that you haven’t done in the past. Could you tell me a little more about that?
Pardo: We are associated this year with laffster.com and part of their website platform is that they have items that people can buy and/or bid on throughout the day. An example is if Zach Galifianakis brings a Hangover DVD, while he is on, people can bid x-amount of money or donates x-amount of money will get that DVD or whatever another guest brings.
Paste: As far as future plans for Never Not Funny, do you want to reveal anything for upcoming podcasts?
Pardo: You know, there’s not much to report, we are up to the same nonsense every week. Jon Hamm is our guest this week and that’s always exciting when Jon comes back on. Jon is a perennial favorite. Other than that, it is the same old thing, man. We are going to be live in Austin, Texas next week December 8th. The truth is, everything in the past two months just wraps up to Pardcast-a-thon. That is where my focus has been.
Paste: Where can people stream the podcast while it is going on?
Pardo: That’s great. I appreciate you asking that. I should have mentioned that earlier! People can listen at pardcast.com, nevernotfunnypodcast.com, or laffster.com. The goal is to have as many people watch this thing as possible. It does stream live the entire twelve hours. So strap it down, eat your leftovers, and lets do this thing.