Comedian Owen Benjamin to give homecoming performance

Owen BenjaminComedian, actor and writer Owen Benjamin, an Oswego native, will come home to perform at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 24, in SUNY Oswego’s Waterman Theatre.

“I have not been to Oswego in 10 years and would love to come back to my roots,” said Benjamin, who left the Port City to get his history degree at Plattsburgh State. He owes some of his performance inspiration to his father John Kares Smith, a SUNY Oswego communication studies professor who sings opera.

Benjamin played classical piano since childhood, but veered into the world of stand-up comedy. His big break came when he joined the cast of the MTV show “Punk’d.”

Benjamin is slated to co-star with Christina Ricci in “All’s Faire in Love,” tentatively scheduled for 2009 release. He started with a small role in the Adam Sandler movie “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry,” which led to a bigger part in “The House Bunny,” produced by Sandler’s Happy Madison production company.

Now living in Los Angeles and a regular at top Hollywood comedy clubs, Benjamin also writes and stars in the Web TV series “Gaytown” on Sony’s C-Spot comedy channel. The social-satire series features the Bizarro-world twist of Benjamin playing a straight man afraid to come out in an all-gay world.

Benjamin blends comedy with music in his show to add to his versatility. He directed and co-created the band-driven Comedy Central series “That’s My Daughter,” and he has toured in support of Julio Iglesias.

“I love to use music in comedy because music can add an emotion . . . that can contradict or add to any joke you are doing and make it much funnier,” he said.

Benjamin also will give a free talk on how to develop a show business career at 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 25, in the Campus Center auditorium.

SUNY Oswego’s Shaun Cassidy Fan Club Improv Comedy Troupe will open the evening show. Active at Oswego since 1990, the troupe was named “one of 13 Cool Campus Clubs” in the country by the CollegeBound Network.

Tickets are $12 ($10 for seniors or students, $7 for SUNY Oswego students). Due to mature themes, the show is suggested for those 18 years of age or older.

For information or reservations, contact Tyler box office at 312-2141 or tickets@oswego.edu.

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(Posted: Nov 10, 2008)

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