Jimmy Pardo is an animal—a small, five-foot-three-inch male who grew up in Chicago and migrated to Los Angeles. He has a podcast, and a digitally recorded CD entitled Pompous Clown, but really, he’s an old-school entertainer, a classic standup who would have fit nicely on Johnny’s Tonight Show. His hair is cut Joey Bishop–short and he always wears a suit on stage. He refers to the audience as “ladies and gentlemen,” but you’re not sure he means it. He’s got that Vince Vaughn wiseass Chicago thing where he could make fun of you all night and you would feel sort of flattered.
In fact, that’s exactly what he is—he’s a mini–Vince Vaughn. A likeable prick. He greeted us by saying, “Hey, Minneapolis, great to be here!” and then muttered, “If I keep saying that, maybe I’ll convince myself this isn’t a s*#t gig.” He did a joke and then he looked up and asked, “What do I have to do to rock this toilet bowl tonight?!?”
Last night, he was clearly bored with “doing the act.” He screwed around with the crowd for half his hour, touching their knees, asking their names, asking how long they had been married or dating. He had a bunch of canned lines for this that were funny only because of his delivery.
“How long you been married?”
“A little over two years.”
“What is that, like twenty-five, twenty-six months?”
And then he seemed to make up a bunch of stuff off the top of his head: He compared the muscle groups to the Brat Pack, he referenced the rock group Material Issue, he told the audience to check out RedTube, “the porn YouTube,” when they got home. When he liked an improvised joke, he asked somebody in the crowd to write it down. “That’s a good piece of business,” he said. “I’ll use that later.”
Halfway through, he divided the crowd into two halves: the side that got it, and the “S*#t side.” He did a voice from the s%^t side: “Hey, this guy has a [penis], when’s he going to talk about it?” At which point, Pardo nailed a couple of choice [penis] jokes. “That’s a good piece of business,” he said. “Comedy gold!”