Jim Labriola’s story is easily relatable for modern-day Americans. Born and raised in Queens, New York, Jim grew up in a household that only paid marginal homage to their ancestral religious traditions.
As a Roman Catholic, his family believed in God but rarely attended church. At the age of eight however, Jim stumbled across a Bible at a friend’s house and began to read it. He came across a passage which revealed that God is accessible to those who earnestly seek Him in prayer.
The revelation affected him deeply and impelled him to become steadfast in daily prayer, a commitment which he continues to honor. During those formative years, his faith was tangible yet lacked the substance necessary for radical, gut-level change. Without a guiding force leading him to greater truths, he remained childlike in his faith. As a young boy, Jim had a natural flair for comedy. Although many kids his age spent their time listening to music, Jim’s instinct and natural sense of humor led him to delve deeply into comedic arts. Jim spent endless hours listening to comedic routines from legends like Pat Cooper, George Carlin and his personal hero Don Rickles. Even if it meant driving an hour and a half for a five minute slot, Jim accepted all opportunities to perform.
As Jim’s gift blossomed, patrons responded and clubs took notice. His burgeoning popularity led to regular gigs in Brooklyn and Manhattan, and eventually he became a favorite in comedy clubs across the nation. In 1989, Jim opened for Tim Allen at the Governor’s Comedy Club on Long Island. This fortuitous meeting sparked a close friendship and a big boost for Jim’s career. He was given an opportunity that morphed into the recurring of donut-loving freeloader Benny Baroni on ABC’s hit show Home Improvement. Jim went on to guest star in various other network sitcoms and motion pictures including Disney’s massive hit, The Santa Clause. Like most comedians, Jim’s early routines were steeped in adult themes and vulgarity.
However, Ephesians 5:4 led him to reassess his core values and contemplate serious changes for his life. This led him to a “Heart Improvement,” which became the title of his latest CD. He eased into his newfound persona by exclusively performing clean comedy at local churches and charity events. Armed with a new fundamentally transformed purpose, Jim travels the country speaking at business meetings and motivational seminars. Despite his expanding political activism and unwavering reverence for God, one indispensable fact remains true – Jim Labriola is ridiculously funny and never passes up the opportunity to elicit laughter when two or more are gathered together.