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Ep. 130: Marathon Man

by Big Sauce on October 30, 2012

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Hermetically sealed, kept in a mayonnaise jar on Bob Howard’s porch since noon today, it’s another episode of the Big Sauce Radio Show!

Biggie, Thryn and T-Money (the man who won’t turn down gravy or women) meet up with local comedian and passionate marathon runner Jim Laprel this time in the den of debauchery. The group shows their class (we always knew it was there) and discusses the origins of modern comedy with nods to men like Red Skelton, Jackie Gleason, and the man behind Carnac the Magnificent, Johnny Carson. (Heeeeeere’s Johnny!)

Jim Laprel

And Here’s Jim! He lives in the North Shore but does comedy everywhere, seizing every moment with a verve and alacrity rarely seen. His comedy career started in 2003 at the age of 51, an age where most people have already settled into life, but Jim was just getting started! Over the last eight years he has had a prolific comedy career, but what’s probably more impressive is his other great passion: running.

Jim fell in love with running in 1979 while still in school. Since then, he has ran in over 700 road races, 74 of those being marathons – he’s run the Boston Marathon 40 times! On November 4th, he will be running his 75th lifetime marathon in New York City. If that doesn’t impress you, then you’re either a robot or illiterate.

However, according to Jim, (referring to marathon running) “If someone really wants to do it they can do it.”

Even Dean, who that very morning walked two miles on the treadmill at a speed of 3.8. He’s well on his way to marathon readiness, don’t you think?

Jim describes the New York marathon as being one of the best races in the country. Runners go through all five boroughs of New York City, beginning at the Verrazano Bridge on Staten Island and finishing in Central Park in Manhattan. All throughout the race, runners, well the ones who aren’t vomiting on themselves or unconscious by the side of the road, get to see incredible views of the Manhattan Skyline, New York Harbor, and much more. 

But the New York of today is much safer, cleaner, and more homogenized than the NYC of decades past. The New York of the 1980s was a “cornucopia of debauchery” where every other storefront was a peep show. Nowadays, when running, the participants race through a veritable Disney Land, and only have to avoid human waste occasionally. They even have bands positioned at certain check points cheering them on – one particular high school marching band in Brooklyn plays the theme song to Rocky for the entire race.

This mentioning of “band” folk brings up painful memories for Dean. In his childhood he tried out for the band on two separate occasions, once for drums, the second time for…baton? Oh yes, Dean tried out for the baton squad and was denied entrance, a rejection he has carried with him throughout his adult life, manifesting in an intense hatred for all things “band.”

Although there’s a higher chance that Jim Laprel will still be running marathons at the age of 120 then that Dean would ever run a 5k, potentially, if the Big-un were to find himself halfway through the New York Marathon this November, fully equipped with beer can hat and/or full body rhino suit, and he heard the epic synthesized brass opening notes of the theme song to Rocky as they drifted over the uneven pavement, maybe his worldview would change. Maybe he would take up baton again and finally get the chance to live out the dreams of his youth!

Jim Laprel’s next appearance will be at Fody’s Tavern in Nashua, NH. For more info on show dates, visit – and make sure to check back soon for the next episode of the Big Sauce Radio Show.

Joey Phoenix is a freelance writer and comedy show enthusiast stationed in Beantown.


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