Jimmy Pardo Comedy Bar, Toronto ON, August 28
Published Aug 31, 2015Jimmy Pardo is a master of crowd work and spinning whimsy from threads of tangents. His exuberant delivery was seemingly effortless, and both his planned and improvised jokes were hilarious. The packed Comedy Bar crowd savoured every moment of his outstanding performance.
The path of Jimmy Pardo's hour was erratic and fast-paced. His darting between crowd work and observational material unpredictably yet smoothly built a gripping, exceptionally funny show. To contrast his breakneck rate of speech, Pardo also occasionally stopped and stared blankly into the crowd during the performance, usually to stretch a laugh to its full potential. These few pauses in the rollercoaster-like pace were always amusingly random, and they prevented Pardo's delivery from losing its novelty or becoming overwhelming.
Most of the highlights of the evening were drawn from Pardo's interactions with the audience. Upon finding out that the event's photographer was named Crissy, he sharply replied: "Hi Crissy, I'm Jimmy! We're two adults with children's names!" Earlier in the show, he also joked about renaming a lady called Lola "Nola," quipped that an audience member called Andrew MacLean needed to be a songwriter, and jestingly pretended to be a creep as he noted that the 23-year-old woman in the front row looked like she was a teenager. Best of all, he hysterically threatened to murder an audience member with a piano string after they commented to their friend about his shirt, and replied snidely to a simple question.
Having said that, Jimmy Pardo's stories were also stellar. His explanation of why he leaves the lowest button of his cardigan undone — which included an anecdote about a stand-up appearance he made on Conan — was wonderful. Moreover, his tale about how he accidentally ended up buying a purple woman's belt, involving an elaborate hypothetical backstory of how the belt was put in the wrong section of the store, was fantastic.
Similarly, Pardo's openers were humorous. Host Todd Van Allen was charismatic, and his material about the abysmal chaos of CP24 traffic coverage and how old he is was amusing. Likewise, Kate Davis's material about her adolescent son was enjoyable, as was her anecdote about being accidentally racist about her child's friend. Lastly, Luke Gordon Field's material about what sort of roles he would play on television got some solid laughs, and his joke about how people with German accents always sound like they're messing with you was very funny.