Saturday, November 07, 2020

In & Of Itself

In April 2017, I transformed into something else. No one saw it happen, but it happened all the same. I stopped seeing myself how others defined me and started seeing myself for who I am. More importantly, I stopped identifying others as the simplest breakdown of a singular thing, my biased impression, whatever was easiest, as the definition of them. They, like me, like you, are a thousand possibilities and my transformation allowed me to see that.

All this because I saw a "magic show".

Being a fan of Frank Oz and his work for my entire life, I was aware he directed a stage show in Los Angeles called "In & Of Itself". All I knew about it was that it featured illusions, that people I respected had seen it and loved it, and that it was coming to New York and we'd probably see it sometime during it's run. 
What I didn't know was that I'd run into Frank Oz and the show's creator, Derek DelGaudio, on the street in NYC, take portroids of them, and have a conversation wherein Frank convinced me to get tickets right away during the show's previews. 

What I especially didn't know is that we'd see the show 10 times during the Off-Broadway run and bring 46 people along with us to see it over that year and a half. Each time we saw the show, something new was illuminated, a new conversation was had, new insights into ourselves and others were brought to light. Derek DelGaudio has created something beyond magical. This show connected us. We've been discussing it and the allegories revealed in our world and our lives for the past 3.5 years. It stays. It encourages thinking, being.
The Off-Broadway run ended in August 2018. We spoke to Derek around that time about how much we were going to miss seeing it, or even having the opportunity to revisit outside of memory. He let us in on the news: they had filmed a number of the live shows to be made into a movie.

That movie is finally coming out! Hulu picked it up for release in January 2021. We saw the premiere screening at the Montclair Film Festival recently and it lived up to the live show, which is saying everything.

If you don't want to wait until January for your first viewing of the film (or second if you also attended the premiere), you can watch it as part of DocFest NYC from November 11-19, 2020 virtually from your own home. Buy tickets NOW through this link. I recommend it highly.

I've posted a TON about this show on social media over the past few years, so I won't go into any further details of the actual mechanics or content, other than to say that, if after watching it, all you come away with from having seen it is "those were some incredible magic tricks", it will be worth it. They are incredible. Too incredible to be believed. But, if you look deeper, you'll see it's also a journey into identity: Derek's, yours, everyone's. And if you continue probing, you might find some things you've clung to (pains, prejudices, insecurities, etc.) can disappear if you surround them with love. And, as you go through this path, look out for some familiar faces, including mine ;)

(note: this shot is not in the film, but a different one of us in the audience is, so ... see it)

Oh, and there's an elephant.

Please let me know your thoughts after seeing the film. I'd love to discuss it with you. I'm particularly interested in your views if you never saw the live show (but also if you have).

You can reach me at

See you later,
Rick at

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Portroids will be participating at Pardcast-A-Thon again this year taking Polaroid portraits backstage to be auctioned off after the event to raise additional money for Smile Train. See the press release below for exciting news about some of this year's celebrity guests!!

Jimmy Pardo and Never Not Funny are returning to host the Fifth Annual Pardcast-a-Thon fundraiser to benefit Smile Train.  This year's event will stream live from noon to midnight Pacific Standard Time on Friday, November 29th.  Jimmy will once again be joined by co-hosts Matt Belknap and Pat Francis.

The 12-hour marathon webcast will stream live at from The ACME Comedy Theatre in Hollywood and feature more than twenty all-star comedy guests.  Celebrities scheduled to participate include Zach Galifianakis, Patton Oswalt, Andy Richter, Joel Stein, Scott Aukerman, Doug Benson and radio legend Phil Hendrie.  Donations will be collected throughout the event via online contributions, and for the first time, special items from the guests will be up for grabs live during the show.  Donate and watch live at on November 29th, and get a free ticket to the Laffster stream now at to receive updates when new items from the all-star guests are added.

Since the inaugural webcast in 2009, the Pardcast-a-Thons have exceeded fundraising goals and emerged as one of comedy's most anticipated charitable events.  "I had a blast appearing on the Pardcast-a-Thon," says Conan O'Brien, who participated last year.  "Jimmy Pardo is a hilarious comedy partner and I always have fun when we yell at each other for a good cause."  Additional celebrity guests have included Amy Poehler, Sarah Silverman, Colin Hay, Aimee Mann, Kevin Nealon, Bob Saget and perennial favorite Jon Hamm.  "The Pardcast-a-Thon is the highlight of my Thanksgiving," says Hamm.  "The fact that Jimmy doesn't have to do this, and yet year-in and year-out does it all in the name of charity, and has grown it into a national presence, is nothing short of inspiring." 

To-date, the Pardcast-a-Thons have raised over $300,000 for Smile Train.

"Smile Train is honored to be a part of Jimmy Pardo and Never Not Funny's Fifth Annual Pardcast-a-Thon.  The support Jimmy and his fellow comedians have provided to Smile Train helping children around the world is priceless," said Smile Train CEO Susannah Schaefer.  "A smile is such an important part of comedy and we couldn't be happier to work with such a talented and kindhearted group."

Never Not Funny is a paid subscriber podcast currently in its thirteenth season.  It was named one of Mashable's top ten comedy podcasts, an Editor's Pick by Esquire Magazine and "The #1 Relatively Obscure Thing You Need to Be Paying Attention To" by GQ.  It has been named a top comedy podcast by The AV Club, iTunes and USA Today's pop culture blog Pop Candy.  Full audio and video episodes are available at    

In addition to hosting Never Not Funny, Jimmy Pardo opens for Conan O'Brien at Conan tapings and recently co-hosted two episodes of the show.  His new comedy album Sprezzatura is available now on aspecialthing Records.  Visit for tour dates.

Matt Belknap is the Editorial Director of and the co-founder and President of the comedy record label aspecialthing Records.

Smile Train is launching their Seasons of Smiles campaign this winter to provide children with clefts in the developing world their very first smiles.  The Pardcast-a-Thon will help kick off this campaign, which will run through the holiday season.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

PCAT12 Portroids on Impossible Project Viewfinder blog

Hello everyone,

As you all know, I have been lucky enough to get to participate in one of the best events of the year, Never Not Funny's Pardcast-A-Thon, taking portroids backstage of all the guests. This year was bigger and better than ever! Also, I got to use the brand new PX680 Color Protection film by The Impossible Project mere days after it was released. Very fun!

The Impossible Project contacted me shortly after the event and has included some of the portroids from the marathon podcast event (which raised over $100,000 for Smile Train) in their Viewfinder blog. Check it out.

Such a good time and a great cause. Thanks to everyone involved.

Best Wishes and Fond Regards,

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Hey everyone!

Never Not Funny's Pardcast-A-Thon 2012 (@pardcastathon, @NeverNotFunny, #PCAT12) is next week. This is an early reminder to remind you to watch and donate. Don't forget, okay? All proceeds from this 12 hour charity marathon podcast benefit Smile Train.You can watch it at from 12 noon to 12 midnight PST on November 23, 2012 (that's the day after Thanksgiving!) and you can even donate as early as right now!

The hosts, as always, are Jimmy Pardo, Matt Belknap, and Pat Francis.

(L to R) Matt Belknap, Jimmy Pardo, Pat Francis

Some guests have already been announced. Who are they? Oh, just these amazing people:

Jon Hamm (at Pardcast-A-Thon 2011)
Sarah Silverman (at Pardcast-A-Thon 2010)
Rob Corddry (at Pardcast-A-Thon 2010)
Scott Aukerman
Doug Benson (mentioned on Jimmy's recent appearance on "Doug Loves Movies")

Also, be sure to watch Jimmy Pardo on "CONAN" tonight on TBS (November 15, 2012).

See you at Pardcast-A-Thon 2012!! Be there! Or watch online! And most importantly: DONATE!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Fans of portroids probably know I'm a huge fan of "The State" and all their subsequent projects, so it's no small wonder that I'm greatly looking forward to the new film by director/co-writer David Wain (and co-writer Ken Marino) coming out this Friday (February 24, 2012). It's called "Wanderlust". You, like me, should go see it this weekend. Did you like "Wet Hot American Summer" and/or "The Ten" and/or "Role Models" and/or "Stella" and/or "The State"? I did. Go see "Wanderlust".

Here are some portroid connections to the film for your pre-viewing enjoyment:

David Wain (2003)

David Wain (2012)

Ken Marino (2008)
Paul Rudd (2006)
Paul Rudd (2012)
Malin Akerman (2010)
Joe Lo Truglio (2008)
Kerry Kenney-Silver (2008)
Todd Barry (2007)
Michael Showalter (2003)
Michael Showalter (2012)
Michael Ian Black (2003)
Michael Ian Black (2012)
Zandy Hartig (2012)
Peter Salett (2008)

There are a lot of other great people in the movie, like Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux and Alan Alda and Jordan Peele and Kathryn Hahn and Lauren Ambrose and a lot more. So, like I've said numerous times already, go see it!

Go see it,

Monday, January 16, 2012

SF Sketchfest 2012 (Jan 19 - Feb 4)!!!

SF Sketchfest 2012 starts this week and I am, as I am every year, very excited to attend. There are always so many amazing shows, and if you get the chance to be in San Francisco between January 19 and February 4, please go see a show. Literally any show on the calendar. Seriously.

I'm going to cover some performances while I'm there, so watch this blog and my Twitter and Facebook page for those reviews and recommendations. In the meantime, enjoy this virtual yearbook of announced guests of SF Sketchfest 2012 who appear on

SF Sketchfest founders
Janet Varney
Cole Stratton
David Owen
David Cross
Eugene Mirman
Paul F. Tompkins
Dana Gould
Michael Showalter
Chris Elliott
Jason Woliner
Brett Gelman
Maria Thayer
Erinn Hayes
Kevin Pollak
Samm Levine
Michael Ian Black
Joe Lo Truglio
Ken Marino
Amy Poehler
Paul Rudd
David Wain
Brent Weinbach
Matt Besser
Matt Walsh
Busy Philipps
Andy Richter
James Urbaniak
Judy Greer
Gary Anthony Williams (w/ Phil LaMarr behind him in the picture (also at SF Sketchfest))
Cedric Yarbrough
Eddie Izzard (Matt Groening not in attendance)
Thomas Lennon
Robert Ben Garant
Kerri Kenney-Silver
Matt Mira
Brendon Walsh
Natasha Leggero
April Richardson
Andy Wood
Matt Braunger
Steve Agee
Kevin Allison
Doug Benson
Chris Hardwick
Jonah Ray
Jon Benjamin
Leo Allen
Kumail Nanjiani
Kevin Smith
Dan Harmon
Reggie Watts
Todd Barry
Rob Delaney
Mary Lynn Rajskub
Greg Behrendt
Patton Oswalt
Dave Holmes
Will Forte
Fred Willard
Jimmy Pardo
Pat Francis
Kyle Kinane
Bob Odenkirk
Oscar Nunez
Kevin O'Shea
Matt Belknap
Elliott Gould
Jen Kirkman

Go to SF Sketchfest!