Comedy and music are seamlessly mixed in Rob Paravonian’s clean and clever performances. Known worldwide for his famous “Pachelbel Rant” Rob has opened for comedy legends George Carlin and Lily Tomlin, and his affable stage presence has won over crowds coast to coast and internationally.
Price Range: $500-$2500
Gig Length: 15 - 60 minutes
What to Expect
Audiences and clients can expect an engaging show from an energetic and likable performer, with the added element of music bringing the audience together and raising the energy of any gathering. Rob is quick on his feet and can incorporate information about the groups he’s working with and the people in the audience.
The music in Rob’s act features top-notch guitar playing and strong vocals, thanks to Rob’s lifelong history studying and performing in orchestras and bands, and Rob incorporates pop music references into his act as well as well-written, hysterical originals. There may be call and response, sing-alongs, and Rob may point out things in classic pop songs that never occurred to you. The comedy, the music, and the personality will combine to make any event a memorable and fun success.
Rob discovered music at an early age, learning cello at age six and playing it from grade school through to the Waukegan High School Symphony (yes, there was a Waukegan High School Symphony). At age 10 Rob got his first taste of life on the road when the Grade School Orchestra went to nationals in Nashville, and at 13 he went to Florida with the High School Chamber Orchestra.
While in high school, Rob taught himself guitar and bass and began playing in bands, much to the dismay of his music instructors. While he was still underage, he played in bars in Chicago, Milwaukee, and once he went to college, the greater Los Angeles area.
Although music had been the bulk of his life up until college, as an undergrad Rob pursued his other passion and studied writing. U.S.C.’s creative writing program was headed by author T.C. Boyle and Rob focused on short fiction and novellas.
Rob also found a new love while in college–comedy–and he began performing at in artsy open stages at cafes in L.A. (the precursor to the alternative comedy trend). The variety in these shows encouraged Rob to experiment mixing his life-long love of music with his comedy and the response from audiences and peers alike was overwhelmingly positive.
Comedy and rock took Rob back to Chicago after college, where he studied improvisation and ensemble work at the legendary Second City Training Center, while playing gigs and recording with his critically-acclaimed band The Steppingstones. Pursuing stand up, Rob became a regular at the Improv and began going on the road, playing the Midwest clubs and headlining colleges from coast to coast. Taking the songs from his act into the studio, Rob recorded the first of his CD’s Don’t Crowd the Plow, in Chicago, which led to his first airplay on the legendary comedy music showcase The Dr. Demento Show. Rob’s stand up career began to flourish and Rob soon decided to pursue stand up full time by making the move to New York.
In New York, Rob quickly made a name for himself as an intelligent and unique performer. Rob became a regular at Catch a Rising Star’s Big Bad Music Show, which led to his discovery by Comedy Central, where he has appeared twice on Premium Blend and was also featured on their Hi Fi Party special. Rob also became established in the downtown alternative comedy scene performing at Surf Reality, Luna Lounge and many other quintessential alt-comedy venues.
In late 2006, Rob posted a video of his performance piece “Pachelbel Rant” on YouTube (an earlier, audio-only version of which had been a favorite on the Dr. Demento Show) and it soon went viral, garnering hundreds of thousands of views in just a few weeks. Now surpassing 11 million views, the Pachelbel Rant is known the world over thanks to some industrious fans who have subtitled the piece in French, Spanish, German, Portuguese and Italian.
The success of the Pachelbel Rant brought a new level of visibility to Rob’s work, and also led him to being the opening act for the legendary George Carlin for several dates on his final “It’s Bad For Ya” tour in 2007-2008. In the fall of 2008 Rob traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland and performed in the Edinburgh Free Fringe Festival, making his first U.K. appearances; and in 2009 Rob opened for another legend, Lily Tomlin, during her first-ever shows in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand.
Branching out from stand up comedy, Rob created three one-man shows which he has performed in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, including development spaces run by Comedy Central and NBC. He has written three one-act plays, one of which was a finalist in The Network’s One-Act Festival in 2008, and he regularly writes for New York-based sketch group Spurn.
2016 saw the start of Rob’s #52Sellout series on YouTube, in which he posted a new commercial parody each week, composing and recording the music for each. And in November 2016 Rob announced the surprise release of his latest studio album A/B. The 14 studio tracks were recorded between 2014–2016 and feature some of his most accomplished writing.
Other albums include Rob’s 2013 studio CD Keep Your Jazz Hand Strong which was released after a kickstarter campaign that saw the funding goal reached in just 4 days. Videos from the album have been featured on the websites for the Wall Street Journal, Time Out New York, The New York Observer and many, many blogs; and songs have been played on radio and podcasts throughout the world. Earlier work includes Songs From The Second Floor (2009), Live on Both Coastslive (2002), Living it Down (2001), American Cheese (1998) Playing For Drunks live(1998), and Don’t Crowd the Plow (1995).
Additional Booking Notes
Performances require a P.A. with at least 2 channels, one for a vocal/speaking mic and one for the guitar. One mic stand is needed for the vocal/speaking mic. I have a small P.A. I can bring for shows in the NYC tri-state area (approximately 100-mile radius from NYC).
For larger rooms and events a riser or stage is helpful and strongly suggested (4'x8' or larger if groups of people need to speak or present before or after my performance).
Tech Support for Mom & Dad
Pushing Band Candy
Civil War Music
Buffet, Oh Yeah!
The Friends Theme
The Pachelbel Rant
Influences & Inspiration
Steve Martin, Bob Newhart, Tom Lehrer, George Carlin, and The Monkees all have influenced me growing up, along with Weird Al Yankovic and many of the artists I heard on the Dr. Demento Radio Show growing up.
P.A. with at least 2 channels, 1 mic with stand
stage or riser (for larger rooms)