Hey all! Jimmy, RACE TO ESCAPE host, and Riaz, RACE TO ESCAPE creator, here to chat about our new show on the Science Channel, the other work we've done, and generally anything else! So let's get started - ask us anything!

Here's more about the show and a trailer for the show is available here!

Jimmy Proof: https://twitter.com/jimmypardo/status/624640940024598528

Riaz Proof: https://twitter.com/RiazPatel/status/624640927378878466

/u/courtiebabe420 is here over the phone helping type for us today! (Be nice, it's her first time.)

EDIT: Thanks so much for hanging out with us! We've had a blast, but we have to get going now. Don't forget to check out RACE TO ESCAPE on the Science Channel!

Comments: 189 • Responses: 42  • Date: 

AbleStrable41 karma

When was the first time you heard of U2?

Jimmy_and_Riaz18 karma

J: Oh Jesus, I don't know. When the video for New Year's Day came on MTV. And I was MESMERIZED!

binglebongle35 karma

Hi Jimmy! Are you enjoying your plan to fellate all the living vice presidents? Who is next?

And when are you and Danielle expecting your second child?

Jimmy_and_Riaz23 karma

J: Very much so and looking forward to Dan Quayle coming to my house!

Within the next 9 months!

zacxwolf30 karma

Any update on that plane?

Jimmy_and_Riaz45 karma

J: Uh, I will get Rich Sommer on the phone ASAP!

StruggleSoHard28 karma

Hi guys! The show looks great!

Jimmy, I'm wondering if this bit with you and Todd Glass at the gas station was stolen for the Zoolander movie?

Jimmy_and_Riaz43 karma

Boy it sure looks that way, huh?

Murders01725 karma

Is there any possible chance for a Team Elliot vs Team Garin episode for Race to Escape?

Jimmy_and_Riaz70 karma

J: In a perfect world, NO.

megtripp24 karma

Jimmy, when it comes to measuring a year, do you prefer daylights, sunsets, midnights, or cups of coffee?

Jimmy_and_Riaz33 karma

J: I prefer 525,600 minutes.

dylanwise20 karma

Hi Jimmy! What do we as a city need to do to get you and the NNF gang to come to Boston?

Jimmy_and_Riaz19 karma

J: Send us a huge check!

Murders01718 karma

Hey, Jimmy! Thanks for doing this AMA. Any big plans for your upcoming 41st birthday?

Jimmy_and_Riaz26 karma

Gonna ring in another year of 41 while enjoying a delicious steak with my family!

DanTelfer17 karma

Jimmy, when a contestant successfully follows the clues, solves the puzzles, and conquers each room will they then technically be "The Best Detective in the Room"?

Jimmy_and_Riaz17 karma

J: Uhhhh No, there's only one best detective in the room, and that's me.

ImRichieDagger15 karma

Hi Jimmy! I'm a big fan of your work and loved Pompous Clown and Sprezzatura. Do you have any plans to re-release Uno? Or record a new album?

Jimmy_and_Riaz14 karma

I hate the sound of my voice on UNO so probably not. And no idea!

queegee12 karma

Riaz, Jimmy has said on a previous episode of the podcast that he really enjoys hosting shows and that is his strength.

When did you realize that Jimmy was the best choice to host Race to Escape? While not necessarily a straight comedy show, what does he bring to the show that other hosts couldn't?

Jimmy_and_Riaz35 karma

J: Yea, come on Riaz!

R: Jimmy's actually incredibly insightful about people. I think that's where a lot of his humor come from. The key to the show is the dynamics between the people and Jimmy has laser focus about personal dynamics. And he was cheaper than any other option.

J: HA! That's fun.

queegee12 karma

Hey Jimmy! Big fan of NNF - never miss both the free and players club episodes and I can't wait to watch Race to Escape.

Anyone that listens to the podcast knows you were previously an alcoholic. You've cleaned things up and now have a nice career going to show for it.

For those who might be battling a similar situation as to what you were in years ago, what advice would you give them to help them get back on the right track?

Jimmy_and_Riaz24 karma

J: Oh, uh, you know as cliche as it is - just admitting it. If meetings are right for you, hit meetings. Lean on your friends but not to the point of annoyance. And, um, find healthier vices. I dove head first into fantasy baseball and really focused on my career so I wasn't really missing drinking.

R: I love that you're so open about that experience.

J: I mean why not. If it's my life, right? I wish I hadn't gone through it, but I did. By the way it was 16 years ago -- 5 days ago!

R: Congratulations!

J: Thank you!

R: You're still an asshole...

J: I was waiting for that.

mmdeclane12 karma

Hello, Jimmy Pardo, welcome indeed toooooo Reddit’s AMA! Yes, A. M. A. (insert spontaneous and random reference to obscure 80’s song and proceed to get angry at everyone in the room for barely getting it)

All joking aside, it’s great to have you on here, Mr. Pardo. I listen to your podcast every week and love listening to weekly updates of Nashville and breakdowns of the L.A. Kiss’s season. Sounds like you should invite Matt to the games more often to bump up their record.

I have two questions

1.) Which guest on NNF surprised you the most once you had them on? I know you tend to get people you’ve known beforehand, but has there every been a guest that either you didn’t know and was shocked to find out was so funny/interesting/whathaveyou OR maybe a guest you had already known but dropped a bomb on you that you weren’t expecting while you were recording?

2.) It's clear you love hosting, and you've been very involved in the world of talk shows. With the obvious stipulation that you continue to host Race to Escape, what would be your dream hosting gig?

Jimmy_and_Riaz8 karma

J: Ty Burrell because I hadn't met him and he fit right in.

Oh, revitalization of the old MATCH GAME!

R: Which will probably never happen with the RACE TO ESCAPE staying on the air!

J; This says with the obvious stipulation that you continue to host Race to Escape right there! I can do 2, 3, or 4 jobs!

ZombieLannister10 karma

I look forward to seeing you in Toronto! Will you and Matt have a guest for the live podcast taping?

And, you are my hero, sir! And congratulations on Race to Escape, looks like a fun show.

Jimmy_and_Riaz28 karma

J: A - thank you! B - Working on a great guest as we speak! Well, not right now. I'm working on this dumb reddit thing.

Murders0179 karma

Hey Jimmy, is there any chance that The Chicago Podcast Authority could still happen?

Jimmy_and_Riaz8 karma

J: Ahhhh, I would love for it to! I don't have the time because I'm busy promoting and hosting RACE TO ESCAPE (announcer voice).

bigstevec9 karma

How would you complete the following statement?

Wham! Bam!

I am! A man!

Job or no job…

Jimmy_and_Riaz12 karma

J: You can't tell me that I'm not.

candleboy959 karma

Jimmy, I'm a huge NNF fan and I want you to know you got me hooked on Cat Stevens when you were describing his concert. I've even started buying his old albums on vinyl. So what I'd like to know is:

What are your top 3 favorite Cat Steven's records?

Jimmy_and_Riaz9 karma

J: T for the Tillerman, Footsteps in the Dark (Greatest Hits Volume II), and then oddly enough Greatest Hits and then you're really covered!

robbd79 karma

Hi Jimmy! Primo member of the podcast here. Obviously you have a history of TV hosting jobs and podcasting but standup is where you got your start.

  1. Who are your favorite young standups nowadays?

  2. Do you think we are in another comedy bubble like the late 80s and it will crash?

  3. Can you describe the transition in your standup from scripted jokes to crowd work?

Jimmy_and_Riaz10 karma

  1. Um God, that's a great quesiton. I'm an old man that stays home so I have no idea. Ryan Singer! Ryan Singer's funny. Oh God there's another kid out of Bloomington - Oh Ken Schultz! ...This kid's funny, but I can't find his name. It's gonna drive me bananas! And Benn Moore!

  2. Yes, and hopefully soon.

  3. Just put the switch on January 1st, 1993 and never look back! I'm not so sure that this answers this question but be happy I'm responding at all!

marczak34348 karma

Hi Jimmy! When do we get our sweep of the out-of-town scoreboard?

Jimmy_and_Riaz14 karma

J: At the top and bottom of each hour.

queegee8 karma

Jimmy - After listening to NNF for virtually every episode, I almost consider you family. I'll listen to the latest episode at work and when I'm home with my wife I'll break out a "oh the show this week, Matt had to go next door..." and she looks at me like you look at Eliot.

You've mentioned how you'll go to shows and make a joke that has some sort of reference to the show and you'll hear a handful of people laugh at it because they understand the connection.

What is that feeling like? Did you ever think you could take a podcast and basically create another family around it?

Jimmy_and_Riaz6 karma

J: Of course I didn't think that. That's the most flattering thing in the world. I don't know if there's anything more to add to it than that.

R: I can't believe you can form relationships.

J: How DARE you?

Pitchwife8 karma

Hi, Riaz,

As I'm sure you'll be seeing from the questions to come, Jimmy has a ton of fans, largely because he's a very strong flavor. Given that the show is featuring the contestants solving the rooms, what is it about Jimmy that you hope will come through without taking over? First episode was pretty great, by the way. :)

(Put a slightly different way - why did you feel he is the right man for the job?)

Jimmy_and_Riaz14 karma

R: I think Jimmy's play-by-play is incredibly entertaining and informative. We're hoping he adds a layer of additional information and humor as the game goes on. Very strong flavor indeed!

DC_CAB7 karma

Who's a better warm-up guy? Jimmy Pardo or Brody Stevens?

Jimmy_and_Riaz9 karma

Ah, Brody's the best! And I did the best I could as well, but I no longer do that job.

AmandaReneaZ6 karma

What is your favorite kind of pie? What kind does Cajun Jimmy like? How about Larry?

Jimmy_and_Riaz13 karma

J: I don't know - apple crumble. Cajun JImmy of course likes a Gator Pie. And Larry can't have pie because it gets caught in his throat.

R: I don't have a sweet tooth.

skoot6 karma

I have opened, what I can only assume, is a very important AMA.

What's the process like for Jimmy's role on Race to Escape? Are you given a script to follow, or just a few points to hit and left to improvise on your own, or somewhere in between?

The first episode was great; looking forward to seeing more!

Jimmy_and_Riaz7 karma

J: Ya know, this is a good question. The answer is "somewhere in between." I get to bring a little bit of Jimmy to bullet points that are important to hit in the show.

R: In all seriousness, the process is pretty seamless. And that is the only compliment I will give you in the next year, Jimmy.

J: I will take it.

R: And I already regret it.

mrjeffro6 karma

Does Robin Ventura last the season?

Jimmy_and_Riaz6 karma

J: Sadly, yes.

fiveamp5 karma

Mr. Pardo, big fan. I was lucky enough to drive the 6 hours from Michigan to Go Bananas to be at the sprezzatura recording, then drove even further to see you in Lexington to introduce your comedy to my beautiful girlfriend. How does it feel to have idiots driving across country to see you? Creepy, right?

Jimmy_and_Riaz13 karma

J: WRONG! It's the most flattering thing in the world AND... a little creepy.

frito7115 karma

Jimmy! Can you think of one good reason to vote for Donald Trump?

Jimmy_and_Riaz6 karma

J: Uhhh. No, I can't. The humor? No, I can't. I refuse to answer!

areynol24 karma

Jimmy, what happened on the Today show that made it so awkward?

Jimmy_and_Riaz12 karma

J: I've narrowed it down to two things...

thewonderwaffle4 karma

Hi Jimmy- age old question I feel you are uniquely qualified to answer: Twenty-five, or six to four?

Jimmy_and_Riaz7 karma

J: 3:34.

IKingJeremy3 karma

What were some of the obstacles to overcome in getting this show on the air?

Jimmy_and_Riaz6 karma

R: It was incredibly hard for the network to find the idea of an entire show that's locked in one room. Finally SCIENCE CHANNEL got that the dynamics in the room are entertaining enough without having to change the scenery. But it was a long, long, long road.

jackarroo3 karma

Jimmy why the hell can the White Sox not hit this year?

Jimmy_and_Riaz6 karma

J: My thought is they don't want to play for this manager.

mikfrench3 karma

Jimmy!! I'm a Never Not Funny listener all the way from season 1. Thanks for the hours and hours of entertainment.

Question A: What is a typical taping day for Race to Escape like? Since the game has a time limit of 60 minutes, taping the actual game seems like it would go fairly quickly. Are there instances where you need to stop and reset or does it go straight through? I'm assuming that Jimmy's running cometary is added after the fact?

Question B - Jimmy is a genius at interacting with people. Is there any chance of seeing more interaction between him and the guests?

Jimmy_and_Riaz8 karma

R: There is a massive machine behind each episode. From the way the contestants arrive and are secluded and never meet each other, never interact, never even cross paths on the way to the bathroom. To the way they are briefed, brought into the room blindfolded. It is a machine. It is so much more complicated than people realize. But we can guarantee they have never met or spoken to the other people in the room, and they have no idea what the environment will look like. It is completely, completely authentic and none of it is faked. We've had a couple of challenges go off the rails, but that's the game.

Jimmy and I both love sitting in the control room when the lights go on because we have no idea what's going to happen.

J: And it's fun yelling at he monitors when they are doing something either right or wrong. It's fun to literally yell and be invested.

R: Once it starts, we stop being hosts/executive producer, and we just become the audience. That makes me feel closer to you, Jimmy.

R: Jimmy's commentary is both. Some of it is live, but we add psychology/science factoids to weave into the episodes. IT's a tough thing because we have to make sure it's fair. If Jimmy is interacting with one tea and inadvertently gives them a hint, it becomes suddenly unfair. We are limited to how much Jimmy can interact with them live because it has to be completely even. And the poor people is locked in a room. The last thing they need is Jimmy talking at them too. That's just cruelty. This isn't Syria.

J: Unfair. Unfair.

kylesaur3 karma

Did you both visit actual escape rooms as research/preparation for the show? Where do you get some of the ideas for the puzzles/clues?

And Jimmy, do you know the answers to the clues/puzzles while you are watching the contestants trying to figure them out?

Jimmy_and_Riaz8 karma

R: The show actually came out of living in New York City during the blackout. I haven't really been to the Escape Room, but I love the idea that they are catching on. There is a MASSIVE team that puts together the challenges. There is someone tied up or blindfolded all the time.

J: Riaz and I should actually go and do one together!

R: I would kill you.

J: Agreed!

R: The idea of being locked in a room with you terrifies me to my soul.

J: It's only an hour! And we could win $25,000.

R: Still not worth it!

Part 2)

J: I do technically know the answer, but I never know how they will figure it out, since there is more than one way to solve the puzzle.

R: Generally, the 2 of us are always shocked by what happens in the room. We never know what's going to happen in the room.

J: I would agree with that.

R: You contractually have to agree.

LadyMegatron3 karma

Hi Jimmy! I discovered Never Not Funny 2 years ago and went back and listened to every episode. You have really helped me through some lengthy commutes and work days. I'm sure everyone says that. I wish I had something cool or original to say. You make me laugh my ass off on the subway and Thursday is always my favorite day, because I get to listen to you, Matt and your awesome guests. My question is, what is your favorite Chicago record and why?

P.s. love race to escape!!

Jimmy_and_Riaz6 karma

Uh.. probably CTA - it's them at their best. They have many great albums but that is their best. Chicago 7 is their second and let's not ignore Chicago 16!

ShadowNozeKnows3 karma

All of Austin awaits your visit in a couple of weeks. It's over a hundred degrees here, though...any tips for keeping cool? I've ditched my hard shoe for a filth-foot sandal.

Jimmy_and_Riaz6 karma

J: ANIMAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Spineless_Windbag3 karma

Should I splash around in the pool tonight with my wife or watch Rent on Bluray?

Jimmy_and_Riaz6 karma

J: Why not do both? No day like today.

FantasyLiver3 karma

Hey Jimmy! What advice would you give to aspiring comics on how to both improve their comedy game and how to get their careers started?

Jimmy_and_Riaz10 karma

J: Get as much stage time as you can and SUCK IN A VOID. Don't put everything you do up on YOUTUBE or FACEBOOK. Young comics today make the mistake of putting stuff on before they are ready, and don't understand why no is responding to them.

See that Riaz, I care about other people!

R: Apparently you do. Just not about me.

somethingasaur3 karma

Hey Jimmy! I've been an NNF fan for a long time! You guys are fantastic! I'd love to see you in North Carolina some time!

How did you get involved with RACE TO ESCAPE? Were you approached by them or was it something you pursued?

Jimmy_and_Riaz10 karma

J: Oh no, Riaz reached out for a meeting. I took the meeting; he was 20 minutes late. I sat there like an asshole waiting. And I still accepted the job.

R: I wasn't 20 minutes late. I was spying on you from my car to see what you were really like.


R: What if I were? I was.

J: The sweat on your brow says you were not when you arrived.

R: That's part of the rouse, Jimmy.

J: It's all a long con, right?

R: Rita Mullen, GM of Science Channel, thought we'd get along, so we were match made.


R: Yea!

J: Oh!

JonnyHanukkah3 karma

Hey Jimmy - Looking forward to Race to Escape. How much of a Kiss completest are you? Will that force you to watch the Kiss/Scooby Doo crossover movie that just came out? Also, when do you think you'll do a stand up or NNF show again in NYC?

Jimmy_and_Riaz3 karma

I have everything they put out and YES it's the perfect crossover for my 8 year old son. SCOOBY DOOBY DOO!!!!

Hopefully soon, nothing on the books. Last one was great, would love to get back!

supertrashbros3 karma

Are the teams really doing this concurrently or do you do one team and then reset and do the other? I couldn't tell from the trailer I saw.

Jimmy_and_Riaz4 karma

R: They are actually doing it at the exact same time. There's actually a team of 3 lawyers who ensures the game is fair. But you are ABSOLUTELY seeing the live run as it transpires. Almost no other reality show can promise that. We have no idea who's gonna win or what's gonna happen once those doors are locked.

TheCarrzilico2 karma

Hello Jimmy and Riaz. I really liked the first episode of Race to Escape. Jimmy, I'm a big fan of your podcast and your comedy in general. I'm also a big fan of science and science education. Has the nature of the show, with your explanations of logical (and illogical) thinking and the psychological traps that we can all fall into if we're not careful, been an education to you? Has it helped you at all in your work outside of the show?

Also, The Muppet Show is really good. You and Matt are wrong on that front. Subversive humor at its finest.

Jimmy_and_Riaz5 karma

J: Yes. No.

R: I had to explain to Jimmy what psychology was.


Also, /u/TheCarrzilico, you are wrong about THE MUPPETS.

mrjeffro2 karma

Were there any contestants on the show that you wished you could have just left locked in there forever?

Jimmy_and_Riaz3 karma

R: It's funny the contestants that had the most ego were the worst at teamwork and ended up getting stuck in the room anyway!