TNB Night Owl – Jim Purol

Rose Bowl in Pasadena, photo by Ted Eytan

Jim “Mouth” Purol is a comedian – but that’s not where he earned his sobriquet. He earned that by having, literally, a huge mouth… specifically, a jaw that he can easily dislocate to allow his wide lips to encircle things.

Things like 18 hot dogs simultaneously. Or 41 cigars. Or 180 french fries. 76 candy canes. And on one famed instance, 151 lit cigarettes.

In many of these instances, he was beating his own record… for example, he’d previously had 150 fries in his mouth, 40 lit cigars, and 141 lit cigarettes. The cigar and cigarette records were attempts he’d made to raise money for charity… specifically, the American Lung Association. Purol is a nonsmoker, normally, but he puffed through the lot of them as promised for the money, and because, as he explained to the Los Angeles Times in 1987:

“I hate smoking,” he explained. “I perform the stunts as a statement against smoking. Lookit this picture of me with cigarettes stuffed in my face. This is glamorous? It’s disgusting.”

That would be enough to make him noteworthy… moreso because, as he readily admits, his records aren’t normal records, they’re stunts. Activities he does for amusement or to raise sponsorship money for charities.

It isn’t just about his mouth, though.

When Purol was in his mid-twenties, he was an aspiring entertainer. Realizing he had been able to play the drums for a fairly long time, he decided to see just how long he’d be able to play them.

Twelve days and a few hours after he’d begun, he finally stopped. Because of extensive hallucinations during the event, he swore to never do long-term drumming again.

Instead, the next year he set a record for underwater drumming, which only lasted an hour. A decade after that, he organized a band which became the first to put on a concert while underwater.

In October of 1983, he leapfrogged a five foot parking meter in Farmington, Michigan, 5000 times in a row. Twice during the effort he didn’t quite clear the meter. He admitted to not being able to walk for three days afterward… whether due to joint or groin pain was undisclosed.

In 1984 he decided to become the first person to sit in all 107,701 seats in the University of Michgan’s football stadium. That, in turn, inspired another feat… although it took a decade for him to get authorization to do it. In 2008, he sat in 39,250 seats over the course of 48 hours in the Pasadena Rose Bowl, again for charity.

Having broken the record for number of seats used in the course of 48 hours… he proceeded to sit in all of the remaining stadium seats over the course of the next three days.

Question of the night: What’s a memorable stadium event you’ve attended?

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.