UPDATE2: more generic vectorized function, which will work for multiple normal and multiple list columns

def explode(df, lst_cols, fill_value='', preserve_index=False):
    # make sure `lst_cols` is list-alike
    if (lst_cols is not None
        and len(lst_cols) > 0
        and not isinstance(lst_cols, (list, tuple, np.ndarray, pd.Series))):
        lst_cols = [lst_cols]
    # all columns except `lst_cols`
    idx_cols = df.columns.difference(lst_cols)
    # calculate lengths of lists
    lens = df[lst_cols[0]].str.len()
    # preserve original index values    
    idx = np.repeat(df.index.values, lens)
    # create "exploded" DF
    res = (pd.DataFrame({
                col:np.repeat(df[col].values, lens)
                for col in idx_cols},
                index=idx)
             .assign(**{col:np.concatenate(df.loc[lens>0, col].values)
                            for col in lst_cols}))
    # append those rows that have empty lists
    if (lens == 0).any():
        # at least one list in cells is empty
        res = (res.append(df.loc[lens==0, idx_cols], sort=False)
                  .fillna(fill_value))
    # revert the original index order
    res = res.sort_index()
    # reset index if requested
    if not preserve_index:        
        res = res.reset_index(drop=True)
    return res

Demo:

Multiple list columns - all list columns must have the same # of elements in each row:

In [134]: df
Out[134]:
   aaa  myid        num          text
0   10     1  [1, 2, 3]  [aa, bb, cc]
1   11     2         []            []
2   12     3     [1, 2]      [cc, dd]
3   13     4         []            []

In [135]: explode(df, ['num','text'], fill_value='')
Out[135]:
   aaa  myid num text
0   10     1   1   aa
1   10     1   2   bb
2   10     1   3   cc
3   11     2
4   12     3   1   cc
5   12     3   2   dd
6   13     4

preserving original index values:

In [136]: explode(df, ['num','text'], fill_value='', preserve_index=True)
Out[136]:
   aaa  myid num text
0   10     1   1   aa
0   10     1   2   bb
0   10     1   3   cc
1   11     2
2   12     3   1   cc
2   12     3   2   dd
3   13     4

Setup:

df = pd.DataFrame({
 'aaa': {0: 10, 1: 11, 2: 12, 3: 13},
 'myid': {0: 1, 1: 2, 2: 3, 3: 4},
 'num': {0: [1, 2, 3], 1: [], 2: [1, 2], 3: []},
 'text': {0: ['aa', 'bb', 'cc'], 1: [], 2: ['cc', 'dd'], 3: []}
})

CSV column:

In [46]: df
Out[46]:
        var1  var2 var3
0      a,b,c     1   XX
1  d,e,f,x,y     2   ZZ

In [47]: explode(df.assign(var1=df.var1.str.split(',')), 'var1')
Out[47]:
  var1  var2 var3
0    a     1   XX
1    b     1   XX
2    c     1   XX
3    d     2   ZZ
4    e     2   ZZ
5    f     2   ZZ
6    x     2   ZZ
7    y     2   ZZ

using this little trick we can convert CSV-like column to list column:

In [48]: df.assign(var1=df.var1.str.split(','))
Out[48]:
              var1  var2 var3
0        [a, b, c]     1   XX
1  [d, e, f, x, y]     2   ZZ

UPDATE: generic vectorized approach (will work also for multiple columns):

Original DF:

In [177]: df
Out[177]:
        var1  var2 var3
0      a,b,c     1   XX
1  d,e,f,x,y     2   ZZ

Solution:

first let's convert CSV strings to lists:

In [178]: lst_col = 'var1' 

In [179]: x = df.assign(**{lst_col:df[lst_col].str.split(',')})

In [180]: x
Out[180]:
              var1  var2 var3
0        [a, b, c]     1   XX
1  [d, e, f, x, y]     2   ZZ

Now we can do this:

In [181]: pd.DataFrame({
     ...:     col:np.repeat(x[col].values, x[lst_col].str.len())
     ...:     for col in x.columns.difference([lst_col])
     ...: }).assign(**{lst_col:np.concatenate(x[lst_col].values)})[x.columns.tolist()]
     ...:
Out[181]:
  var1  var2 var3
0    a     1   XX
1    b     1   XX
2    c     1   XX
3    d     2   ZZ
4    e     2   ZZ
5    f     2   ZZ
6    x     2   ZZ
7    y     2   ZZ

OLD answer:

Inspired by @AFinkelstein solution, i wanted to make it bit more generalized which could be applied to DF with more than two columns and as fast, well almost, as fast as AFinkelstein's solution):

In [2]: df = pd.DataFrame(
   ...:    [{'var1': 'a,b,c', 'var2': 1, 'var3': 'XX'},
   ...:     {'var1': 'd,e,f,x,y', 'var2': 2, 'var3': 'ZZ'}]
   ...: )

In [3]: df
Out[3]:
        var1  var2 var3
0      a,b,c     1   XX
1  d,e,f,x,y     2   ZZ

In [4]: (df.set_index(df.columns.drop('var1',1).tolist())
   ...:    .var1.str.split(',', expand=True)
   ...:    .stack()
   ...:    .reset_index()
   ...:    .rename(columns={0:'var1'})
   ...:    .loc[:, df.columns]
   ...: )
Out[4]:
  var1  var2 var3
0    a     1   XX
1    b     1   XX
2    c     1   XX
3    d     2   ZZ
4    e     2   ZZ
5    f     2   ZZ
6    x     2   ZZ
7    y     2   ZZ