Thomas Trueblood and the Ridiculous Marathon: Citation Needed 2×01

Thomas Trueblood and the Ridiculous Marathon: Citation Needed 2×01


This is the Technical Difficulties, we’re playing Citation Needed. Joining me in the studio today, he reads books, you know it’s Chris Joel! Hello! Everybody’s favourite Gary Brannan, Gary Brannan! Good evening…! And the bounciest man on the internet, Matt Gray! Hello YouTube… In front of me, I have an article from Wikipedia, and these folks can’t see it. All… Matt! Every fact they get right is a point and a ding [DING]. And theres a special prize for particularly good answers which is… So undignified. Today’s article is Thomas Trueblood. That’s a fine Victorian name, I’m thinking… Uh, you’re right. Yes… Born…I’ll give you a point for that. Thank you! [DING] Born 1856. Was he an engineer? No…not at all, quite the opposite, in fact. A demolitions expert! Okay, not literally the opposite. Was he going around mills, letting the steam out? Fly free, water vapour! Begone from your… Thomas Trueblood. So…Victorian not-an-engineer… Yeah…he’s very much in the liberal arts. Author. Uh, no. Not really. More to do with, um, spoken word than the written word. Was he president of the British Shouting Association? Oh…you’re not close enough for a point…but you’re in the right area. American Oratorial Society. I will give you the point there. [DING] He’s a Professor of Oratory and Elocution. And somehow I said that really, really, eloquently, because… — Oratory and elocution.
— Elocution, darling(!) Yes… Um, Trueblood gave dramatic readings around the world. He did a performance of Hamlet. What might have been special about that? All he did was rent out some pork products Ham-let. Jesus(!) I want it back, sithee… Oh sorry, elocution. I would like that back when you’re finished with it. First radio performance of Hamlet? Little bit early for that, sadly. We’re…1908. First slapstick performance of Hamlet? Chuckle Brothers’ Hamlet. To me, to you… Do we have to explain the Chuckle Brothers to the rest of the internet? — No.
— They can Google it…it’s fine. Don’t Google it! Yeah, do! Don’t! It was simply a one-man, abridged production. Was it just really short? I quote here, “It is his plan to keep the principal scenes of the play, narrating the unimportant parts.” Like it! He literally just skipped the boring bits. “Hamlet, the highlights.” Yup! I could do that…I could do that kind of Shakespeare! “Everybody dies.” “Hamlet.” “Everybody dies…” “Romeo and Juliet.” Yeah. The most notable thing in this article is just titled… “The Jam Handy incident.” Who is Jam Handy? Well, that is literally the question I would like to ask you. Because it’s a name! I assume it’s some precursor to the Hamburglar. I’m for your delicious conserves! “You can’t stop me, Trueblood. Why…I don’t know why you run a conserve business… “but you see where I’m driving at…” “You see where we’re going with this…” Did he savagely put down Jam Handy in a debate? Ooh, yes. Sure. Was this a scandal because Jam Handy was of the upper class and Trueblood was of the middle class? Well, you wouldn’t want to fight him… ’cause Jam Handy’s damn handy! It’s a wonderful plot… but no it’s not. Jam Handy was a freshman student, 17 years old. Henry Jamison Handy, hence Jam Handy. Yeah, if I had that kind of a name, I think I’d go with Jam Handy as well, so yeah. He got a bronze in the 1904 Olympics. Was that the Olympics where they had to stop the marathon, because the bloke drove a car and won it? Um, give me a moment… There was one of those Olympics where the marathon was called off ’cause some bloke blatantly ran the first hundred yards, got in a car, drove it That’s much more common in the Tour de France in the early years as well. Yeah. Gary… No way! Nice! Really? Smooth! 1904 Summer Olympics, Frederick Lorz rode the rest of the way in a car, to retrieve his clothes, after dropping out after nine miles. So he dropped out at nine miles, rode the rest of the way, then the car broke down at mile 19, and he just started jogging again! To be fair, Lorz went on to win the Boston marathon, but the actual winner was a Brit called Thomas Hicks who was a Brit running for the US. But he had been… doped, it would be in modern terms. He was supported by his trainers when he crossed the finish… What had they given him? Brandy! Yes! [DING] Spot on with brandy. Have the point. What had they mixed it with? Beans! Cocaine! Ketamine! Margarine! Rat poison. Bollocks! — What?!
— Harsh! Strychnine sulfate. Right… Poisoned you in just the right way, if done in just the right amount? Yup! He possibly would have died in the stadium, had he not been treated by several doctors. Why did you say brandy? Because it just seems to be…
it’s just the standard pick-me-up. Again, ’cause I do cycling and follow cycling… Early days of the Tour de France… Stop, have a brandy, crack back on! It’s traditional sort of mind, brain, and nerve tonic. You know… It gets worse. ‘Cause we had Frederick Lorz, rode some of the way in a car… Thomas Hicks, technically won,
but doped by modern terms Felix Carvajal — I might’ve mispronounced that —
is a Cuban postman. Arrived at the last minute, ran in his street clothes. What kind of slowed him down? His bag full of post. And his hat. Getting attacked by every dog on the way. Yeah. Yes. Getting it off all the ladies on the way. Oh hang on, yeah. Yeah. He just picked up a sarnie on the way? Not quite a sarnie… Tackled a cow! Had a bite. No, not quite. It was a vegetable, rather than an animal Potato? He stood in a marrow? Just clomped along with it on his foot! “I’ve been attacked by a squash!” “How am I meant to run in these marrowy clogs?!” What do I need this for? I mean the clogs are the main problem there, really. I mean, I know technically the Dutch marathon team do use them, but… Can you imagine… the best thing about the English language… nowhere else in the world is anyone going to yell today… “How do I win in these marrowy clogs?” Marrowy Clogs actually came fifth. Right now, we need to smash cut to somewhere in the Netherlands. “How do I run in these marrowy clogs?!” “No one else say that today…” No, he stopped off to have some apples that he took from an orchard. Why did those actually slow him down a little bit? Arsenic poisoning? Uh…why arsenic? There’s…in apple seeds is that arsenic? — Cyanide.
— Cyanide! Sorry, wrong thing, right idea. Were they a lot of crab apples? Did they give him…like a dodgy tummy? Um, they did give him a dodgy tummy. They were just rotten. Oh, you idiots. Well that wasn’t very bright… You would know if you picked up a rotten apple! He had to lie down and take a nap! And here’s the thing… this is why you say 1904…this is possibly why it stuck in your head, because there were so many things… despite that, he finished fourth! How?! So someone’s had a nap, the other guy got in the car… So presumably he actually finished second because the first two cheated… Well, uh, no. The guy who… Doping wasn’t technically an offense at that point. Oh, okay. There wasn’t synthetic drugs there, they’d given him an incredibly dangerous cocktail and no one had thought to put that in the rules. Is this all the same race? This is all the same race! This is the 1904 Olympic marathon. Now you said, “Was he chased by dogs?” The postman wasn’t… one of the other runners was! Nearly a mile off course. Um, one of the first two black Africans to compete in the Olympics. Uh, Len Tau was chased a mile off course by aggressive dogs. You’ve got a dog Benny Hill, you’ve got a man cheating in a car, you’ve got a bloke on brandy, another guy who’s had a nap. And they weren’t even part of the Olympics! The Africans running the marathon, they just… they were students from South Africa who’d been brought over as part of an exhibit on the Boer War that was next to the Olympics! Had they just thought “We’ll have a go.” “We’ll have a go!” “It’s only 26 miles.” Why…why has this not been serialized for television?! Guys, I think we found the format… Yes! Um, a long time ago, folks, we were talking about Jam Handy. Oh, we were! Oh, what was he about again? Refresh my memory. He got a bronze in the 1904 Olympics in swimming. But what we’re actually talking about is what he did to Thomas Trueblood. Did he heckle him in a particularly hilarious fashion? Um, not in person. Started a scandal about him. Ooh, yeah, surely. Yes, have a point. [DING] — Yay!
— Yes. “Once mispronounced something…
if you know what I mean.” I’m going to give you another point, because it really is [DING] “if you know what I mean”. Trueblood was teaching, and I’m going to quote here, “The delivery of short extracts from masterpieces of oratory”. Which was from a scene from a play, in which a man kneels in front of a woman, pleading for her hand. Okay? Nothing particularly off-colour about that. Unfortunately, Handy then wrote an article for a newspaper. Does anyone want to guess what he actually said was going on there? Oh! Some kind of dirty filth? That was not fit for the stage. Yeah, you can have a point there. [DING] He said that students at Ann Arbor were taking lessons in lovemaking. A lesson in Victorian lovemaking would be: man is knelt in that fashion, lights go off, someone goes ouch, lights come back on, she’s got a baby. That’s basically how it works in those days, I think. That’s accurate. It’s how it works now, isn’t it? That article did the 1900s equivalent of going viral, because… Sold three copies! Yeah, well every…the local newspaper picked it up, then the national newspaper picked it up, and all of a sudden, Trueblood is sitting there, in his superior’s office
with all these cuttings around him going “I didn’t do this!” I quote here, from the Chicago Tribune… “Trueblood has nearly worn out his trousers at the knees.” You’ve got to pay your way through college somehow… We’ve all been there, eh, fellows? Um, what did Handy… Um, Handy went on to do many things, um, he went on to be athletic. What was his main job? Parachutist. Public Relations. Aww… There’s this lovely picture here of the last… you know the vanity card, the last thing you see, when the logo comes up, and the… Oh yeah. Okay. Yeah “A Jam Handy picture.” At the end of the show, uh… Oh! It’s over! Thank God it’s over! Congratulations, Chris! You win this week. Yay! You win a miniature library, to be inserted rectally from which you can shoot the President of the United States. It’s a “Texas Book Suppository”. I was with you… I was against you…
It’s just about come back… Thank you very much to Chris Joel. Thank you very much. To Gary Brannan. To Matt Gray. Buh bye! That’s been the Technical Difficulties, I’ve been Tom Scott, and we’ll see you next time! [Translating these subtitles? Add your name here!]

100 Replies to “Thomas Trueblood and the Ridiculous Marathon: Citation Needed 2×01”

  1. Another fun fact about the 1904 marathon, only 15 people (officially 14 discounting the one who was disqualified for the car) out of 32 athletes actually finished the race because the race was set in the afternoon of one of the hottest days of the year (32 ℃ or 90 ℉), and most of the runners collapsed due to heat exhaustion. One man almost died after inhaling the dust thrown up by the officials cars.

  2. I would guess that "Thomas Trueblood" would refer to someone called Thomas wearing a shirt with the true colour of blood.

  3. Jon Bois, a writer for the sports channel SB Nation, actually made a great video about the 1904 marathon for his series "Pretty Good". Hearing about it here makes it sound like an episode of Wacky Races, but hearing the gory detail and seeing photos of the event makes you realize how scary it actually was.

  4. I actually found myself watching a Jam Handy production yesterday, the short leading into the MST3K episode featuring Bloodlust to be precise.

  5. I think I've watched about 20 of these non-sequentially instead of studying for finals.

  6. Something I've never thought of; Where's the comma in "he reads books you know it's Chris Joel?" Is it after "books," or is it after "know?"

  7. I'm quite disappointed that you mentioned abridging Shakespeare without mentioning the Reduced Shakespeare Company!

  8. When I was a child and had exhausted all entertainment options at my grandparents’ house apart from tv, if the chuckle brothers came on I would rather be bored than watch it. Annoyingly I can still remember the theme song and many moments, that I saw briefly when flicking through the channels. The producers may not have created a show that suited my particular tastes but I have to give them credit for cementing parts of their show into my unwilling mind. I hope parts of this show stick quite as well as I do really rather enjoy citation needed.

  9. Where's the Jon Bois link? Y'all need Tom Scott + Jon Bois to complete your live
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4AhABManTw

  10. Very surprised this hasn't been posted yet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4AhABManTw. All about the 1904 Olympic Marathon

  11. We Dutch don't have a dedicated word for marrow though, we just call it 'pumpkin' like all the other pumpkins.
    "Hoe ren ik in deze pompoenige klompen?" doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

  12. The still of Chris's face when Tom says "Lorz went on to win the Boston Marathon" in complete monotone becomes so much funnier when you realise that in the earlier takes, Gary farted at that line and all the guys lost it.

  13. +Tom Scott … But how did you seriously get through the Thomas Trueblood article without mentioning the University of Michigan, only dropping Ann Arbor as the hint, and Jam Handy was more notable than say Eugene Joseph Marshall? I guess terms of the absurdity angle… Go Blue!

  14. ive been re watching all of these god i forgot how awful the camera angle was this season. i was very happy when they changed that

  15. I already knew all this stuff about 1904 Marathon due to Jon Bois' video. People who like this channel will like that one. And the thing about being chased by dogs isn't even wrong because that happened too in that marathon.

  16. knowing we are in the last season of this show, it saddens my heart a little to see the positive encouragement to comment and share it with friends. I think the hiatus might be good for the boys; but I do hope they consider a return along with some of the other formats they tested.

    People love these guys, and I'm seeing Tom Scott mentioned on more and more other video comments! Earlier I saw him mentioned in a Tested post, though maybe not in the most flattering of ways as the comment was something akin to what Tom Scott would look like when older in relation to the one day build guitar case guest.

  17. Guys, in the US, "handy" is slang for a hand job. So "jam handy" gave me a very different image than it gave you guys.

  18. ‘Lovemaking’ in the nineteenth century more often referred to flirting than to sex, so you can see how Jam Handy might have gotten the wrong idea.

  19. The best part of the 1904 Olympic Marathon was that it was held in Missouri in goddamn July. Hundred degrees and humid as a swamp. Even without the rat poison it's a miracle no one died.

  20. I was watching an old General Motors training film about differential gears in my engineering class, and the title card said "A Jam Handy Picture".
    Nobody else knew why I was laughing so hard.

  21. 4:09 is so different when you know "Gary Doesn't Get Away With It" exists. It's like discovering an alternate timeline where everything is considerably fartier.

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