In 2009, comedian Jimmy Pardo learned that there were millions of children unable to afford cleft surgeries in the developing world. Smile Train’s solution to the problem resonated with Jimmy and he wanted to help. “It seemed so simple compared to other charitable causes. Even I could understand the premise — give $250 and a child somewhere in the world will have his or her life changed forever,” Jimmy said.
So, later that same year, he and his podcasting colleagues Matt Belknap and Pat Francis invited their comedian friends over for an all-night telethon-style podcasting marathon to raise funds for Smile Train, which turned into an annual event they call Pardcast-a-Thon.
This March, Jimmy and Matt hosted the 9th Annual Pardcast-a-Thon for twelve straight hours at Flapper’s Comedy Club in Burbank, California. The marathon-vets say that they use their adrenaline to keep the live crowd energized, and talented guests including Conan O’Brien, Jon Hamm, and Zach Galifianakis (among many others) helped to keep the room filled with laughs and the show moving forward.
Some of Pardcast-a-Thon’s fundraising efforts are done through eBay auctions, filled with generous offerings from celebrity guests. Some of this year’s auction items included: guest spots on popular podcasts, autographs, specially recorded voicemail messages, lunches, and even tickets to attend a Dodger’s game with Jimmy Pardo.
Amazingly, after everything was said and done, this year’s Pardcast-a-Thon raised a record $216,000+ through donations and auctions items – bringing the event’s grand total to more than $1 million raised.
Smile Train’s Senior Manager of Community Fundraising Caitlin Roarke said of the milestone, “I’ve been lucky enough to work with the Never Not Funny crew for several years and they are truly amazing! It takes an incredible amount of work to host a twelve-hour live show and they never let us down. $1 million has helped so many kids all over the world. I’m so proud to work with them and thankful for the amazing generosity and kindness of their guests and fans.”
Join Jimmy and Matt in their support of children living with untreated clefts by donating today.
Fans who missed Pardcast-a-Thon 2018 can download the complete 12-hour video. To learn more, visit pardcast.com.