Comedian’s comedian Jimmy Pardo comes to The Improv
I never even knew what a podcast was until Jimmy Pardo started making his show available through that medium.
His program “Never Not Funny” has been one of the most popular shows on the old podcast thingy, and he has a never-ending lineup of funny people on his show. With his deadpan style of delivering the funny, Jimmy is perfect host. Jimmy is extremely sharp, inventive and his material, mixed with his quick-on-his-feet improvisational skills, make for a hysterical combination. And you should see his stage show!
In addition to both his stage and podcast show, Pardo has been in big demand for celebrity roasts. His almost kinetic approach to the artform makes him a favorite not just with audience members but with fellow comedians as well. A comics’ comic we like to say, because when one comic can make another comic laugh that is a major accomplishment. Pardo also has this wonderfully expressive mug, an arched-eyebrow if you will, that almost gives him a look of disdain. He’s the same offstage, too, so it’s difficult to tell when he’s kidding or not.
Whether it’s hosting TV shows like “National Lampoon’s Funny Money,” performing stand-up on “The Tonight Show” or starring in his own half-hour special on Comedy Central, Pardo’s work just keeps growing in popularity. He’s also appeared on television series including “Becker” and “That 70’s Show.” It was a treat watching him host AMC’s “Movies at Our House” but they eventually ran out of movies so he moved on. Pardo is a regular on the nationally syndicated “Bob & Tom Radio Show.”
I still feel that Pardo makes for the perfect game show host even though he might disagree. I hate to admit it but he really was born for that role. He can make any contestant look so foolish. It should be pointed out that, while some of these facial masterpieces are presented in response to things a contestant, guest or audience member has said, sometimes Pardo is reacting to things he himself says! But, boy, combine those reactions with top-drawer, refreshing material and a peppy, enormously bright, often self-deprecating delivery, and you wind up with a big blast of invigorating hilarity. It’s no surprise then that Pardo’s influences include Johnny Carson, Don Rickles and Robert Klein.
“Carson is the whole reason I got into this in the first place,” Pardo said. “If I can even come close to how comfortable that man was on stage … Straight standup wise its Rickles and Klein. There was a time when saying Don Rickles wasn’t cliché, but it’s still Rickles and Robert Klein.”
Appearing with Pardo every night this week through Sunday is Michael Burton. Ask any comic who Michael Burton is and they’ll have a story to tell. I look forward to a time when we can all roast him because all of us have a special place for him in our hearts (some a pacemaker).
Burton returns after once again touring overseas for the USO entertaining our young men and women in uniform. He not only performs overseas but also books other comics to play there as well. Kind of like being in a foxhole with your best buddy (but not your girlfriend), Burton is a likable lug and I have learned over the years how a wingman should operate, because until I met him I didn’t even know what that term meant.
In fact, one of Burton’s CDs is titled, “The Ultimate Wingman.” The other is “I Haven’t Slept Since I Was 5.” When you see him it’ll all make sense.
His style is best described as a cross between personal experiences and improvisation, so one never knows what to expect from him on any given night. Case in point: If Burton doesn’t feel like the audience is ‘with him’ on any particular night, he will stop the regularly planned show, sit down on the stool and ask the audience “Okay, so what is going on here people?” It’s his improvisational skills that endear him to any crowd. No two shows are ever alike.
Mike was a regular on Comedy Central’s “Make Me Laugh” in addition to being a regular on the late night talk show circuit. He’s appeared in several movies including “Stuck on You” starring Greg Kinnear and Matt Damon and on television as well, including “The King of Queens.” Burton has also appeared in several TV commercials, including one with Jerry Seinfeld. Mike’s latest CD includes proceeds that benefit the troops overseas. Burton says that performing overseas is one of the most gratifying experiences he has ever had.
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