Ben Gleib is a comedian who can be seen recently voicing Marshall in “Ice Age: Continental Drift”. He also has his own podcast called “Last Week on Earth” on Kevin Smith’s Smodcast Network. Ben took out some time with Media Mikes to chat about appearing on “Chelsea Lately”, hanging with Jaleel White and time traveling with Syfy while working the show “Insane or Inspired?”
Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your role of Marshall in “Ice Age: Continental Drift”?
Ben Gleib: Well I had had an obsession with sloths since early in my life. So I have had to shape my career so that one way or another, I would portray a sloth on the silver screen. Actually that answer is bullshit. I just auditioned and got cast. It was very exciting though. Every kid grows up watching cartoons and you would never imagine that you would become a cartoon yourself. It has certainly ruined my ability to watch cartoons again though since now I know the process that goes into it…but it is worth it to entertain America’s children [pauses]…I only say I want to entertain America’s children so that women will read this and want to have sex with me.
MG: Tell us about your podcast “Last Week on Earth” on Kevin Smith’s Smodcast Network?
BG: I did a TV pilot with Kevin originally. He then asked me to co-host a podcast with him and shortly after he offered me my own show on his network. The idea behind it was that I try and cover every single event that happens the week before on Earth. News, politics, pop culture, science, social trends, technology and just weird shit. Every other week a celebrity guest joins me for it. I am having the time of my life doing it. It is a shit ton of work trying to learn the details of all of theevents on planet Earth each week. But I feel like it is worth it as a gift to all of my listeners. And by gift I mean a gift that no one asked for, and will probably get returned to the store.
MG: What is the prepare time for each episode?
BG: It is a lot of time. I am following the news all week. I’m also pre-writing a lot of concepts for the podcast. Each episode probably takes me between 20-30 hours to prepare. If I don’t end up on “Jeopardy” or at least the dumb version of it “Celebrity Jeopardy” one of these days, my life will be a failure.
MG: Tell us how you ended up appearing as a frequent guest on “Chelsea Lately”?
BG: I knew Chelsea a bit before she had her show just from doing stand-up together. So one day she told me they wanted me on the show and I have been asked back ever since. I have been very fortunate because I really enjoy being on television. Chelsea’s show is best place for comedians to be these days. You go on her show and just riff about everything going on with pop culture that week and it is a lot of fun. Plus it is even easier for me, since if I tell jokes that don’t go over so well, Chelsea just makes fun of me and it gets laughs anyway. So it is a win-win situation and a fail safe.
MG: How did you get involved with Syfy’s “Insane or Inspired?”?
BG: The casting director of that show, Phyllis Coblentz, called me up one day and asked me to be on the show. I agreed to do it and thought it sounded like a fun show to do. We actually just got picked up for another twelve episodes as well. It has been awesome with Syfy because besides being paid to be on their show, they also conduct experiments on you. I can’t say too much more, but my end of this phone call is happening in the 1800′s. I might have already said too much, so let me cover it up and say that my end of the conversation is actually place in the 23rd century. That way it will keep you guessing.
MG: I noticed you wear the same clothes in every episode, do you ever consider personal hygiene?
BG: When you work with Syfy and are a time traveler, you don’t really have time to pack a heavy bag. You just keep the same clothes. Syfy didn’t really know which clips would be in each episode, so they asked us to wear the same clothes each taping. It was a little silly because in the same episode you can see me with long hair and a beard and short hair and clean shaven, all while being in the same clothes. That or it could have been just the longest taping in history or I just have bionic fast growing hair.
MG: Speaking of the SyFy family, you worked with Jaleel White, host of “Total Blackout” in the film “Dumbbells”, tell us about that?
BG: We already shot “Dumbbells” and I didn’t even know that Jaleel White was in the movie until you told me right now. I am very excited to know that now and more excited about my film career since he is in it. I did actually meet Jaleel White once in the past. I was at a bar in Hollywood last year and there was a very attractive girl I was trying to impress and while she went to the bathroom, I felt like my breath could use a little freshening. And like a knight in shining armor, like everyone knows he is, Jaleel White walks into the bar. So I asked him if he could spare a piece, since I saw him chewing and I felt nervous asking Steve Urkel for gum. He put a piece of gum in my hand and closed my fingers around it and said to me “Never forget me man, I hooked you up”. Things did not work out with that girl. But if they did work out, could you have guessed who the best man at the wedding would have been?
MG: Let me guess…Jaleel White?
BG: No, it would have been my best friend Scott. I just got a piece of gum from Jaleel White, that’s really not a big deal.
MG: Being a comedian, who are your all-time favorites comedians?
BG: My favorite comedians of all-time would have to be George Carlin, Chris Rock and George W. Bush. They are definitely three of the funniest people in history.
MG: What do you enjoy most about doing stand-up comedy?
BG: It is the most free medium for a comedian. It is really a privilege to bring comedy to people on any form, whether it be TV or movies. But when it is stand-up, there is literally nobody else that gets to have a say in it. I get to say or do anything I want. It is completely just my unfettered creative output that gets directly to the audience and you get immediate feedback. It is also exhilarating, in the moment, with every second to second and joke to joke you don’t know how it is going to go. So it keeps you on your toes. Also when you are on your toes it is good because you seem taller. Girls enjoy tall guys, and you just hope that they do not look down because girls do not like guys who stand on their tippy toes. They do not find it very manly.
MG: What do I need to do to get you down to the Improv clubs here in Orlando, FL?
BG: All you need to do is find very attractive women who are into somewhat tall comedians who make themselves look like taller ballet dancers, and then I will be there. Because that is the girl I like. The kind of girl I like, and you can quote me on this, is the kind of girl that likes me. But do me a favor though, do not quote me on anything else I said so far.
MG: Well that is going to make this a very short interview then.