Julia Sweeney on Ben Stein’s improv skills

Julia Sweeney on Ben Stein:

Ben Stein once did a Groundling show, an improv show, that I was a part of. I found him to be spectacularly ill-informed and narcissistic and weirdly devoted to his schtick and worst of all, hacky. He didn’t listen to his fellow performers and played everything outward to his friends in the audience who laughed (fake, forced) at every single thing he did. When he became known as a “thinker” – when his public persona became the “smart guy” I was astounded. So this type of film does not come as any surprise.

(HT to Jim Lippard)


2 thoughts on “Julia Sweeney on Ben Stein’s improv skills

  1. That Ben Stein incurred a reputation as some kind of intellectual only shows the extent to which image takes precedent over substance. What Stein lacks in originality, insight or even rudimentary understanding he makes up for in a relatively convincing nerdy appearance.

  2. It’s not unlike Dennis Miller — it took him coming out as a doctrinaire conservative for me (and I’m sure others) to realize that he really was a pretentious jerk. MST3K did his schtick far better, and with fewer gratuitous sesquipedalianisms, but it does serve as a reminder of how image directs our thinking.

Comments are closed.