The Worst Gigs I Ever Played: Jimmy Pardo

While I'm sure there are a hundred comics that can put these stories to
shame... here are the 6 that immediately came to mind.

Photo: Metaweb / GNU Free Documentation License

  • Palos Hills, IL - 1992
    Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY
    47 VOTES

    Palos Hills, IL - 1992

    I was hired to do a private party at a country club. I arrived to find out it was a graduation party... I just assumed it was for a college student as who would ever hire a comic for a high school graduate? No one... that's right! Not even this guy... it was for an 8th grade graduation! EIGHTH GRADE!! I had a tough time selling my drinking stories and "Maude" references to 14 year olds. The adults hated me because the kids were not being entertained. Ten minutes in, the Grandmother walked over to me, took the mic out of my hand and said "You're done." She then handed the mic to a 9 year old boy who killed with his George Bush impression. I heard the laughs during my entire walk to my car.
    47 votes
  • Saginaw, MI - 1993
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY
    38 VOTES

    Saginaw, MI - 1993

    This was a 2 man show that had me headlining a little too soon in my career. The club insisted the show be 90 minutes or we wouldn't be paid. The comics decided how much time each guy would do. I convinced the other guy to do 40 and then I would rap it up with 50... we get paid and walk away. Well, this gent decided to bail at 11 minutes, leaving me with 79 minutes to fill... or no paycheck. The crowd hated me from the second I got on stage. I have no idea why, but they did... and I have to fill 79 minutes! I just keep talking, no laughs, but I want my money! With ONE minute to go, I say "I'll tell you one more thing and then go." Some guy yells out "Just go!" We get in a heated argument and I race off the stage. This guy and his buddies chase me to my car. I get away unharmed. CUT TO: 6 months later, I am doing another show in Michigan and after the gig I head to Denny's for a bite to eat. I look over and see the same group of guys, who notice me about the same time. Once again I scatter to my car before they can kill me.
    38 votes
  • Orland Park, IL - 1994
    Photo: flickr / CC0
    6 VOTES

    Orland Park, IL - 1994

    The club owner took the other comic and me out for dinner before the show and that turned into a lot of pre-show drinking. We arrived at the club for the show hammered out of our minds. I'm sad to say I once again spent some of my set sitting on the floor wishing the night would end. Unbeknownst to me, all of my Father's co-workers came to that show. I got a call from my Dad the next day asking about this "new Foster Brooks drunk character" I was doing. They thought it was an act!!! So while I thought it was a nightmare, I got away unscathed.
    6 votes
  • Rockford, Il - 1997
    Photo: flickr / CC0
    8 VOTES

    Rockford, Il - 1997

    This was what we call a one niter... a bar that wants to do comedy once a week to get some butts in seats. I had done this venue dozens of times in the early 90s, so I wasn't expecting it to anything but smooth. The radio station gave away most of the tickets for the night, so the room was full of loud drinkers who didn't pay to get in. I started getting heckled BY THE RADIO DJs when I wouldn't drink the shot they sent to the stage (I had to return a rental car immediately after the gig). Sadly, I let them get the best of me and I did that shot and probably dozens more. I know I did about 2 hours, with the last 45 minutes performed lying on stage in the fetal position begging people to leave. I eventually got off stage and argued about whether I should be paid or not... I got paid!
    8 votes
  • Orland Park, IL - 1995
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY
    27 VOTES

    Orland Park, IL - 1995

    Same club... I was headlining the club for the first time and the act that was to go on right before me called in sick. The club owner replaced him with a Def Jam style comic who blew the roof off the place and buried me. I couldn't buy a laugh. Sadly... on this night, my Mother brought her co-workers there for their Christmas party. It took my Mother until 2009 to see me perform again and the co-workers have successfully avoided eye-contact with me for 16 years!
    27 votes
  • Chicago, IL - 1991
    Photo: flickr / CC0
    6 VOTES

    Chicago, IL - 1991

    Opening for an Elvis impersonator. 'Nuff said.
    6 votes