Why battle the maddening hordes at your local mall when you could be spending Black Friday laughing for a good cause?
That’s the pitch of Pardcast-a-Thon, the annual post-Thanksgiving extension of the Never Not Funny podcast hosted, as usual, by Jimmy Pardo, Matt Belknap, and Pat Francis. Once again, the team will welcome in a cavalcade of special guests over the course of the 12-hour show, which can be streamed via the official Pardcast website as well as watched via the YouTube channel JASH.
This time around, the hosts will welcome in guests like “Weird Al” Yankovic, Sarah Silverman, Scott Aukerman, Paul F. Tompkins, Doug Benson, and a cavalcade of other surprises. “It’s all great show regulars, and then we try to sprinkle in as much celebrity as possible,” says Pardo.
The show raises money for Smile Train, the same charity the Pardcast-a-Thon has been supporting since its inception in 2009. “When we started the thing, the goal was just to do a fun long show and raise money at the same time,” explains Pardo. “Then it felt so good to raise that money, every year became, ‘Let’s beat last year.’ In 2012, I think it was like $114,000, and we figured we’re never gonna top that, and last year we made $144,000. To me, the goal is always to beat last year.”
That’s a tall order, though Pardo figures they’ll be attracting a whole new audience now that his show Never Not Funny has emerged from behind the pay wall and is now a part of the Earwolf podcasting network. “The only feedback we’re getting that’s different is, ‘I didn’t know you guys existed, thank God you went free on Earwolf,'” says Pardo. “I always joke that I’m the worst businessman in the world, but joining Earwolf was the smartest thing we could have done. We really opened up our audience.”
As for Pardcast-a-Thon, the money will be coming both from listener donations and from auction items. “We’ll have the usual nonsense: Lunch with Jimmy, sit in on an episode of Never Not Funny, go play tennis with Pat Francis,” says Pardo. “Those are always fun. You never know what somebody is going to show up and offer.”
Surprise has been one of the big draws of the Pardcast-a-Thon, both for listeners and for the hosts. “You know who was really a surprise was Jill Whelan, who was Vicki on The Love Boat,” Pardo says of a guest from last year’s show. “I love when we have a guest like that who lets the older folks connect with their childhoods. But then she was as hip and funny as anybody else on the show.”
What other surprises will emerge from this year’s Pardcast-a-Thon? You’ll have to listen to find out. Go here to donate and get ready for the show, which kicks off at noon Pacific this Friday, November 28, and runs for 12 hours.
“That’s noon to midnight Pacific time, three to 3 east, two to 2 central,” explains Pardo. “Mountain can go f— themselves, because they’re a bunch of mountain people trying to take down the government anyway.”