Comedian Jimmy Pardo has just released a brand-spanking new album called Sprezzatura, which is a fast-moving, richly entertaining slice of comedy goodness. You should buy the shit out of it here. It finds the Chicago native, current Conan staffer and podcast revolutionary liberally playing with his audience and slinging well-crafted jokes. You may be asking, ‘What does Sprezzatura mean?’ Well, I’m here to tell you that we don’t have the answer for you. What we do have, however, is the below exclusive interview with Pardo — along with even more exclusive-er photos — concerning the state of his new closet. Here’s how my recent phone call to Jimmy went down.
Hey, Jimmy. How’s it going?
Great. Let me just tell you this up front. There was supposed to be a contractor here at nine o’clock and I admit that maybe I misunderstood that it may have been a window between, like, nine and 11—and not just at nine.
But I still blame him. I admit that I may be at fault, but I still blame him. This asshole isn’t here yet, so I may be interrupted at some point— and if I am, I apologize.
I totally get it. It just so happens that a plumber is currently at my home.
What are you having done?
The water isn’t draining in our upstairs tub and sink.
You got a clog, it sounds like.
I think it’s a systemic problem.
Well, listen. We had the copper pipes, everything redone about a year ago; we had exactly what you’re talking about – we had to have a tub and sink replaced – so I know what you’re dealing with. This is being a homeowner, Dylan.
Yeah, it’s not fun. So, this contractor. What’s he going to do at your place— something fancy?
We just had our furnace replaced and we had air-conditioning installed for the first time. So that was a lot of dough that we dropped. They moved the furnace from the hallway to the attic— I guess that’s the way they’re doing it these days. So now we’re getting our hallway closet turned into a closet. It used to house a furnace and now it’s going to be a closet.
What kind of closet are we talking about here? What can you fit in there once it’s done?
It’s a very nice size. It’s fairly deep. It’s not the widest closet; I think it’s a standard width, but it goes a little deeper— not unlike my emotions, Dylan. For the fun of it, since we’re talking like gentlemen, I’m going to give you some stats on the closet.
It’s 36 inches deep. That’s three feet, Dylan. Let me give you a width on this– 32 wide. I’m more than happy to give you the height.
Yeah, give me the height! By the way, what are you using to measure right now?
I’m using a standard tape measure.
Are we talking the metal kind?
Yep, it’s metal. The height is 94 inches. That’s seven-feet-10-inches. So it’s a good-sized closet. We’re probably going to put some clothes in here. I thought about making it a game closet for my son. Then my wife said, ‘Why don’t we make this another clothes closet’…who cares? We’re making room for games is what we’re doing.
Where in your house is this closet situated?
Right in the hallway. You walk into the house. You’re going to see a closet— not the closet we’re talking about. You’re going to see a foyer closer, a coat closet. But if you continue walking, on your left hand side you’ve got your linen closet with sheets and towels and what have you. Directly across from that, Dylan, is the new closet we’re talking about. Now, if you want to keep walking, you’ll see the restroom on your left and then, guess what? Another closet. That’s my closet. And then one step away is our master bedroom.
So this new closet was always a closet but since they took the furnace out, there’s now a hole in it. Is that correct?
There used to be a furnace, but you know what? They did the finishing work, so technically right now I could store boxes and maybe a vacuum. But there’s no shelving and no clothes rod in there.
So then what’s the contractor supposed to do today if it’s finished and you could store stuff in there?
Yeah, it may be overkill. It needs to be finished further. It’s a rough finish. It needs to be completely finished and then add some shelving and some clothes rods, depending on what they envision.
And this is work you couldn’t do yourself?
Oh, I’m an idiot.
As am I. I don’t blame you.
Let’s be clear. I made a huge mistake with the guy who did the rough finish. I told him, ‘Hey, I’ve got a contractor coming who’s going to make that into a nice closet. Just make it a real rough finish.’ And he looked at me like I was nuts and said, ‘Well, how does it look now?’ And I said, ‘It’s great, the other guy is going to have to do stuff anyway so you can just take off.’ If I would’ve had him do 20 more minutes of work, it would’ve been a closet and then I could’ve bought a clothes rod myself and install that and be done. So, I admit I made a mistake here by thinking big picture. The whole thing’s a mess. But a bigger problem I have right now is that I put down my half lemonade, half iced tea while I was talking to you and I can’t find it.
Do you drink that sweetened or no?
It is not sweetened. And good news, Dylan. It was right in the new closet. I buy the 23-ounce can of Arizona brand. It’s the zero-calorie Arnold Palmer. Even the light is too sweet for me. So this one fits the bill.
[At this point in the interview, I ask Jimmy about boring stuff— like about him being a dad. Let’s just skip ahead to the good stuff. The next words you’ll read our Jimmy’s]
I’m really frustrated with this contractor. He should’ve been here at nine. I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt that it was a window between nine and 11.
Have you contacted him?
Yes! And I get a voicemail!
Contractors are the worst people.
I’ve been very, very lucky. I have a handyman— a guy named Ernie, who Marc Maron also uses. Ernie is the hardest worker; he’s a great worker with reasonable prices. And he’s in the wind; we can’t find him. It’s the only reason I had this other contractor here— because Ernie is nowhere to be found.
Maybe he’s on vacation.
Let’s not use logic. Let’s not throw that into the mix. Maron can’t find him, either. We’re emailing, we’re calling and we can’t find this guy.
Maybe Marc paid him and he’s giving himself a little vacation.
You think he’s on the move with some IFC dough?
You might be right about that. I don’t know. I know this guy does terrific work and it bummed me out when I couldn’t reach him. And let’s not kid ourselves. This new contractor is not coming.
I think he’s coming. You’re on television, goddamnit.
I am from television. It sounds like this guy has little respect for the medium.
As of this writing, the new contractor never showed. Jimmy got a new contractor named Jim, who seems like he’s going to work out. Jimmy has still not found Ernie.