Volume 92, Issue 40

Friday, November 13, 1998

listening or hearing


Comic makes good impression

Gazette file photo
HERE'S JOHNNY! Ron Pardo brings over 200 impressive characters to Yuk Yuk's tonight and tomorrow.

By Mike Murphy

Gazette Staff

"I knew I could make people laugh but I never really considered a career in comedy," Ron Pardo explains.

Pardo had taught grade school for 12 years before trading in his lesson book for the mic and props of a comic impressionist. He is living proof that, in this world, you never know where you'll end up.

Since winning Yuk Yuk's Search for Canada's Funniest New Comic Award in 1994, Pardo has gone on to do countless voice-overs, stand-up performances and corporate events. He is now starring in a new Canadian television series called History Bites.

The series, which takes a humorous look at major historical events through modern TV conventions like music videos, commercials, sports and news shows, is the brainchild of Rick Green, known best for his work on the Red Green Show. Pardo, who impersonates everyone from Don Cherry to Bill Clinton on History Bites, sounds optimistic about the show's prospects. "Rick Green says that this series can go for a long time because it's not really dated, even though it is dated," he jokes.

Growing up in a small community near Chatham, Pardo showed early inclinations towards comedy with an uncanny ability to imitate his favourite cartoon characters. His many hours in front of the tube also acquainted him with some of the leading comedians of the day. "I loved George Carlin and Steve Martin in terms of impressionists and I'd always stay up to watch Rich Little whenever he was on TV."

During his formative years, Pardo also developed a strong interest in music, learning to play drums and guitar. He even entertained the possibility of a musical career before choosing to attend university at Ryerson and the faculty of education here at Western. By incorporating singing and guitar-playing into his act, Pardo has been able to revisit something he loves to do. "I do musical parody. I'll have Jean Chretien singing or I'll have Lucien Bouchard singing," he explains.

Pardo seems very pleased with his new career path, though he does admit comedy is a demanding job. "I have a whole schedule," he says. "I write during the day and I set some time aside to rehearse voices, practice new ones, practice the guitar and warm up my throat. It's a real regimen that I go through.

"It's a job, but it's still a lot of fun, the most fun I've ever had. But it's also, I think, the hardest I've ever worked," he adds.

Rigorous schedule notwithstanding, acting funny certainly seems to agree with Ron Pardo. "I guess it's that whole thing," he says. "Once you find something you love to do, it's really worthwhile."

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazette.entertainment@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998