What do running, NPR, Ben & Jerry’s have in common? Schweddy Balls

Schweddy Balls, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, NPR

Schweddy Balls, Ben & Jerry’s newest flavor.

It’s official. Someone at National Public Radio is obsessed with Schweddy Balls. And I suspect that person might be a runner.

Back in April 2010, I reported on the ACLI Capital Challenge, an annual road race in Washington, D.C., between members of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government, as well as the D.C. media. The event has been lampooning partisan politics since 1981 for a good cause, raising money for Special Olympics District of Columbia. Runners compete in teams, captained by luminaries from their respective branches of government or news agency.

Among the best parts of the competition are the awards for Best Team Name and Worst Team Name. Enter NPR. In 2010, one of their 11 teams won the coveted James B. Kenin Worst Team Name award for Team Schweddy Balls, named for the classic Saturday Night Live skit starring Alec Baldwin, Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon that lampoons, appropriately, NPR. I thought it was pretty funny at the time; they showed their sense of humor by picking a name that both pokes fun at themselves and tangentially relates to running. After all, running does make you sweaty, or Schweddy, as the case may be.

But now NPR is reporting a story about Schweddy Balls for the second time. Rumors have been circulating on NY1 and Gothamist about a new Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavor named for the 1998 skit. Ben and Jerry’s wouldn’t confirm the rumor, until now, when they officially announced Schweddy Balls as their newest flavor—a concoction of Fair Trade vanilla ice cream with a hint of rum and fudge covered rum and milk chocolate malt balls. NPR said they “thought it would never happen” and even tracked down Ben & Jerry’s spokesman for a comment.

I guess Schweddy Balls is the joke that just keeps on giving for NPR. As an SNL and ice cream fan—my weakness for ice cream, and Ben & Jerry’s in particular, is well documented on Run, Karla, Run—I say, bring it on. SNL, the Capital Challenge and now Ben & Jerry’s are keeping NPR in popular culture.

What does all this have to do with running? Well, not much other than NPR making a name for themselves at a race with Team Schweddy Balls, which eventually became a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor, which I will no doubt eat and posthaste head out for a run to burn off the calories. It seems that Schweddy Balls may just be one more reason why I—and NPR employees—run.

Enjoy! The original Saturday Night Live Delicious Dish Schweddy Balls skit:

Karla Bruning is a veteran journalist and running nerd. She has completed four marathons, trains with the New York Harriers and is a member of New York Road Runners. Follow Karla’s “Notes From a Running Nerd” at RunKarlaRun.com, Facebook and Twitter@KBruning.

Karla Bruning


Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.


09 2011

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  1. 1

    Ahhh…I was at the grocery store yesterday and completely forgot to look for this! Not only was the skit absolutely hilarious, but the ingredients actually sound pretty good too!

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