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Jimmy Pardo On Working for Conan, Energy Drinks, and Raising Money for Smiles With His Pardcast-a-Thon

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We here at LAist are fans of comic Jimmy Pardo. How can we not be?

He hosts the behind-the-Coco-scenes series, The Pardo Patrol, opens “Conan” for Mr. O’Brien’s live audience, hosts the long-running podcast, Never Not Funny, and is a frequent performer at the UCB Theatre. All efforts are smart and consistently hilarious.

And, oh yeah, he's a charitable gentlemen.

This Friday from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. (PST, of course) marks Never Not Funny’s third annual Pardcast-a-Thon, a twelve-hour gab-marathon to benefit Smile Train, a charity focused on repairing the cleft lip and palates of afflicted children in developing nations.

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Pardo, co-host/producer Matt Belknap, and comedian Pat Francis (”The Third Chair,”) will be broadcasting live from the ACME Theatre in Hollywood. Most of the night’s guests twenty are a secret but LAist has been told to expect Andy Richter, Sarah Silverman, Greg Behrendt, and Walter Koenig from “Star Trek.” The live audience (who typically stays all night) is sold out, but the show will stream online, and later be available for download.

LAist had a chance to chat with Pardo about all of this and more.

LAist: While you’ve been a stand-up on plenty of late night shows, on Conan, you recently did you first panel.  (You crushed, BTW.) How do you rate that experience?

Jimmy Pardo: Thanks for the compliment and that speaks to what I will say... I always knew I'd be better at panel than an actual stand-up set. I'm more of a long set stand-up. Short sets have never been my forte. So while I have had decent stand-up sets in the past, getting to have a conversation and show that muscle was a great. To be able to do it with Conan only made it that much better.

After seven months as Conan O’Brien’s opening act on The Tonight Show, and a season of doing so on TBS, how do you rate your day job?

On a scale of  1-10... I give it a 9. Only because Conan low-balled me on my looks. When I was on his program, I asked him if he thought I was a “7.5” or “8.” He chose 7, not even one of the choices... so I'm saying 9.

What’s surprised you most in two years of Pardcast-a-thons?

Honestly... and maybe this says something about how I view the world, but I am most surprised by the generosity of people, both with their pocketbook and their time.

Is there a funniest, or most memorable, moment that instantly comes to mind from the two previous Pardcast-a-thons?

Everyone always goes back to PCaT 2009 when Jon Hamm came on for his appearance and then just wouldn't leave. He kept coming back on the air and each time was funnier than the last.

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Can you share anything up your sleeve for this year’s event? 

While I admit I will probably not have a chance to use it... I will have an ace of spades up my sleeve.

Is this year’s goal to raise more money than last year’s $26,000?

Telethon bylaws insist that we try and top last year. We aren't rule breakers... we're giving it a try.

Shall you be utilizing Monster energy drinks?

The loyal listener of Never Not Funny knows that I have given up drinking the mighty Lo-Carb Monster Drink. However, I predict at least one will be enjoyed on this great day.

Pardcastathon 2010: Jimmy Pardo, Matt Belknap, Aimee Mann (Photo by Bruce "Omnipoppa" Smith/used with permission)
You’ve also recently been hosting some charity auctions at Amoeba Music on Sunset. How has that been?

I did one back in July and had a ball. I told them I would do it anytime they asked me. I did another just a few weeks ago and raised $1,000 for Smile Train. While I'm sure the guy who just wants to shop and maybe hear some tunes gets annoyed at my barking at them, it's for a good cause and a lot of fun.