I don't know the specifics (bathroom breaks, nap time if any) but I know how TIRING such a thing is.
Well before I wrote "Comedy On Record" and "The Goldmine Comedy Record Price Guide," I set some kind of record via "The Comedy Record Marathon." I took over the turntables at WSCR and played nothing but comedy records from 10am to 10am.
I was both the DJ and the engineer, so the longest break I could take was about 20 minutes...one side of an album. But since I didn't bring an alarm clock or a timer with me, I couldn't risk taking a break and falling asleep! So it was indeed, 24 solid hours.
Just why I thought of doing this, I have no idea. I'd never stayed up all night in my life. I just figured that if Dick Van Dyke (that sitcom episode, "The 100 Terrible Hours") wasn't punchy until the second or third day, I could survive one day.
Things went pretty well until around 9pm, when I realized I still had a half a day to go. A slight panic attack set in, as I wondered about my back-up plan. Coffee? Tea? I was never a coffee drinker. I most certainly never took ups (or downs). I hadn't even thought of asking people to bring up a lot of Pepsi (there was no Red Bull back then). So all I could do was settle in for the long, solitary hours. I'd made my bed...an upright chair in a radio station...and I'd have to sit up in it.
I think around 6am, 7am, I knew the worst was over. I had only a few hours of reel-to-reel tape, so I was conserving it by only recording myself for about 10 minutes at a time. I haven't heard the recordings in years, but I remember that my voice was very weary (this was no longer funny!) and I was a bit spaced out. "This is Ronald L. Smith, and I've been Ronald L. Smith for 20 hours now..."
I also remember trudging back to my room, lying down, and NOT being able to fall asleep. Not for a little while, anyway.
Like Al Roker, the main comment I had after it was over, was two words: "Never again!"