Jimmy Pardo Comedy Bar, Toronto ON, June 9

Jimmy Pardo Comedy Bar, Toronto ON, June 9
8
"I never stop talking." Jimmy Pardo said in the middle of one of his last anecdotes. He's definitely not wrong: Pardo can bounce through several ideas in a minute and talk at an almost auctioneer-like pace at the peak points of his excitement.
 
However, the thing that people don't recognize as keenly about Pardo is that he is also an outstanding listener and observer. During his show, he noted which American comics had performed at the venue before and hilariously referenced them at the top of his act, he did crowd work that was far more thoughtful and in depth than the standard name-based and occupational questions, and he remembered and referenced the details of every person he talked to in the audience throughout the show. His ability to unpredictably alternate between intently absorbing information and gushing every entertaining thing he was thinking was a joy to witness.
 
Before Pardo, Dave Atkinson started the show with one of the strongest opening sets of the year. His explanation of the practical yet insane way that park rangers trap bears was hilarious, as was his reframing of the James Bond movies as a series starring a wild drunk man with dumb drunken plans. His delivery was laidback and charismatic, while his writing was well-crafted yet still came across as spur-of-the-moment and conversational.
 
Nile Seguin also delivered some great laughs as he talked about his cat that inexplicably screams as it poops, and brilliantly theorized that women mistake fatigue for confidence. With equally clever writing but a more energetic stage presence than Atkinson, he also delighted the packed crowd at Comedy Bar.
 
Pardo's act was a mix of crowd work and old bits suggested by the audience. Dedicated Pardo fans were gleeful as he did jokes and characters from his podcast Never Not Funny, while audience members who weren't as familiar with his work smiled, but sometimes struggled to piece together the context. Having said that, those moments were fortunately few and far between. For the majority of the night, the Conan warm-up comedian was fantastically funny for new and old fans alike. He revelled in pulling stellar standup out of thin air as he talked to Darren (a guy who had a long-term girlfriend that Pardo insisted Darren should think about marrying), Darren's friends, and a man called Orbax who worked as a circus freak. He then closed with some long but enthralling anecdotes about meeting Hillary Clinton, Lily Tomlin, and Sarah Palin that gave insight into his life in Hollywood in a comically self-deprecating way.