In case your Instagram or TikTok algorithm feeds you comedy bits and sketches, chances are high you’ve come throughout Benny Drama. Benito Skinner, generally known as Benny Drama on the web, initially rose to fame with a zodiac-themed sketch sequence. Personifying the zodiac indicators with distinctive characters whereas concurrently lambasting each single signal.
Since then, he’s continued to make the world chortle with an assortment of characters he’s created over time. Some standouts are Throat-Rippin’ Annie (a model of Annie who by no means appeared to flee the hard-knock life), Kooper the Gen Z intern (whereby Benito performs an intern with no grasp of social niceties), and Jenni the TMI hairstylist (fairly explanatory). After years of Instagram and TikTok movies, Benito now has his sights set on enjoying components that last more than a couple of minutes. However don’t fear, he’s not quitting the sketches any time quickly.
In dialog with Schön! Journal, Benito discusses his favorite characters that he’s created, his new function within the upcoming movie First Feminine Director, and serious about useless canines so he can keep away from breaking character.
Hey, Benito. It’s so good speaking to you. I’m so excited. How are you?
Oh, I’m so excited. Hi, I’m so good. How are you?
I’m great. I’m gonna say I’m actually joyful it’s audio solely as a result of I believe in case you have been seeing my face you’ll see how excited I used to be. You’ll see my little Grinch smirk. It could simply be embarrassing.
Should you have been seeing mine… I’ve an audition after this. I’ve an insane quantity of make-up on. That is for the very best, babe.
So I wish to get began by asking you slightly bit about the entire characters that you just do. You’ve received like 1,000,000 and 6. They’re all so nicely fashioned. The place do all these concepts come from? Are they impressed by folks that you just meet in actual life, exaggerated concepts of sure folks, or are you simply arising with it off the cuff?
I believe it’s most likely like a mix of perhaps somebody I’ve type of met out within the wild. Most likely a variety of them are identical to me. Each time I make a Jenni the TMI hairstylist make-up artist video, my boyfriend will watch it and say, “That’s simply you. She’s simply speaking such as you. What did you do? Placed on make-up?” I believe they’re slightly little bit of me. It’s enjoyable to observe them type of develop primarily based on what I put on the market and the longer I sit with a personality I really feel just like the extra color I can add to them. The costuming can also be an enormous half for me that’s the place they’ll begin to really feel like actual folks.
I keep in mind once I was doing Deliverance Richards, my actual property agent, I used to be in search of what would her hair be like after which I discovered this wig that was platinum with this dangerous root. I knew it was Deliverance!It’s only a vary of issues. The simplest factor for me is simply to exit and meet folks and attempt to have as many experiences as attainable. I do discover my characters out on the earth, however then I merge them with me and you then get some obscene characters and, hopefully, we’re nonetheless making folks chortle.
I’m obsessive about Deliverance, she’s my favorite proper now.
Oh my god. Thanks. I believe we’re attempting to determine like, I believe I may need her perhaps promoting like timeshares or one thing…
Can she promote timeshares with Armie Hammer?
Precisely. She’s within the Cayman Islands. I’m simply discovering that there’s a lot on the web, which could be a good factor. I simply really feel like every part’s been made at this level. I’m attempting to make my characters really feel like they do exist. That’s been my present factor.
You’ve gotten all of those distinctive appears to be like for your entire characters. The place did you study to do the make-up and the costuming?
Oh my god, nicely make-up I truthfully give a lot credit score to Nikki Tutorials. I keep in mind I believe she had one, and perhaps Patrick Starr had a “tips on how to do Kardashian make-up video.” Then I was simply so deeply anxious earlier than I got here out of the closet so I might watch all these like ASMR movies to loosen up me. I discovered the make-up movies once I was simply beginning to do my movies as a result of I needed to get the make-up proper for the characters. It wasn’t going to be excellent, however I nonetheless needed it to be inside purpose. I began watching on YouTube after which I might observe with pals who have been gracious sufficient to let me do their make-up.
It turned type of just like the peaceable time earlier than a video for me to do my make-up – that was enjoyable for me. It was a pleasant time to get into character and makes me really feel very very like I’m the character. It simply turned type of like a peaceable factor for me and now I’m obsessive about it. I watch good folks on TikTok and YouTube on a regular basis. It’s so peaceable. I simply suppose it’s such an artwork type and I really feel like that it pursuits me. For costumes, I’ve all the time simply type of like obsessive about garments and vogue. It’s actually enjoyable for me to exit and search for issues that work for characters. I really like being in a thrift retailer and discovering one thing and being like, “Oh my god, that is so Jenni.”
Do you ever discover items that encourage characters later?
Oh, completely. I had this Annie wig that I received from a Bob Ross place. After I put it on I regarded like Annie. I used to be like, “Oh my god, I’ve to do Annie.” So I purchased the wig. Then, that very same week, I used to be at L Practice Classic in Bushwick and I discovered this crimson polka dot costume and I used to be like, that is Annie’s costume. What I discover dictates it, or it’ll dictate the following iteration of a personality. I’ll discover one thing and be like, “oh my god, this works for this character.” That’s all the time been such a enjoyable course of for me and it helps me get into character however lets me do one thing that I like to do, which is enjoyable.
I do know that you just’re additionally pals with certainly one of my different favorite folks on the web, Meg Stalter. You guys have been simply working collectively on a movie. I simply wish to know in case you can inform me slightly bit extra about how that friendship got here to be and what it’s like collaborating together with her.
She’s truthfully heavenly in each manner. She’s like such a real drive and a star. We met I believe late 2018 or 2019. I met her after we have been doing a present referred to as Merciless Intentions in New York. Mary Beth Barone stated, “It’s important to meet this woman Meg Stalter, you’re gonna die at her set.” I’ve by no means had such a witch cackle got here out of me. I couldn’t consider how humorous she was. She instantly simply turned it on after which turned it proper off and walked off stage and was identical to the warmest, candy angel ever. We’ve been pals since then.
Then, I received this function on this film from Chelsea Peretti. The script was so enjoyable. I simply was so honoured to be in it after which I present as much as just like the desk learn and yeah, it’s Meg. I used to be like, oh my god, it is a dream come true. It’s Meg and likewise Kate Berlant who I simply have idolised without end. She is so superb to be in scenes with and likewise laborious as a result of typically Meg will simply do one thing and I couldn’t break. I might have to consider essentially the most despicable factor that would occur. I had to consider one thing so terrible – like a canine being killed – in order that I didn’t chortle at Meg or break the take. I’m so excited for folks to see this film. Hopefully, I believe, it’ll come out subsequent yr and it’s simply actually particular. And Chelsea’s unimaginable.
This movie is insane. It has all of my favorite folks in it – particularly Blake Anderson. I’ve been watching Workaholics since I used to be 16.
Daddy! I advised Blake the primary time we met, I used to be watching Workaholics and it was the one a part of straight tradition I didn’t hate. I genuinely love Workaholics. And he was like, “Oh my god, that’s so candy.” I did educate him the rain on me dance.
What are the main variations between enjoying a personality that you just’ve written versus characters which can be handed to you for roles?
I really feel like typically it’s actually thrilling since you haven’t had to take action a lot of the creativity of just like the costumes, the make-up, the writing. It’s releasing at occasions. I really feel like I’ve a lot power once I come into the half and Chelsea was so collaborative and I received so as to add to the character and discover issues that have been you already know, making each of us chortle. I might say that’s what’s essentially the most attention-grabbing. Getting to consider it in so many various methods versus me writing it. There’s one thing enjoyable about one thing that you just don’t know what’s within the head of the director or the author. However then additionally attending to collaborate with so many individuals on who that character is. So the make-up division, hair, the producers, the director, like that’s thrilling. And discovering the voice.
Fortunately I’ve had a lot observe with creating these characters on the web. If I might try this, I can do that. It’s a special problem, I might say. I really feel like I come into it with extra in my tank. I’m not sitting in entrance of the inexperienced display screen having written it and likewise dreading the edits. I’m so glad I’m not modifying the film. I take into consideration that on a regular basis – I’m like, what a present. The editors do god’s work. I might say that’s type of the distinction.
In doing my analysis I noticed an interview that you just did the place you have been saying while you first received into creating your movies and stuff you beforehand had been writing for different folks and getting them to do it and also you’d be like, hmm, not how I might play that half. Do you are feeling slightly little bit of that concern, taking Chelsea’s work after which perhaps not delivering it the best way she was imagining?
Oh, completely. It’s like being terrified that you could’t do it. I knew primarily based on my audition that she was excited by what I used to be doing. It was so collaborative. The voice I used to be doing and the mannerisms. I believe I can reveal that I play a theatre child so there was rather a lot to play with, which was enjoyable. I believe it doesn’t matter what, there’s all the time the concern of questioning: is that this what they need? I believe I all the time really feel like if it’s making me chortle it’ll most likely make another person chortle.
For Queer as Folks, that was attention-grabbing as a result of it was a drama. It wanted a pointy character. The character that they had written was a darker comedy, and attending to observe with that was attention-grabbing. How one can make that character actual and somebody that folks inside the story would each idolise and likewise the principle solid would suppose was disgusting. It was such an attention-grabbing problem as a result of it’s like looking for a manner that comedy will be part of a drama. I had all of that and I took it into the Chelsea mission, however then that was part of a comedy. So I might even have slightly bit extra room to play. I’m writing one thing proper now and I’m actually curious if I’ll be again to that school section of somebody appearing it and me being like, “That isn’t proper. That isn’t what I wrote on the web page.” I don’t suppose I might be. I believe I’ve chilled out slightly bit since school… hopefully.
Your profession has been insane. I’ve been following you because you first did that video the place it’s Thanksgiving and also you step outdoors and also you’re crying about being the best-dressed individual in your loved ones.
Oh my god, thanks a lot! Rattling. That’s a rattling throwback.
It’s been a minute. I’ve been following you without end. I’ve been so impressed by your profession and simply so happy with you as a fan. I wish to name myself an OG fan so I simply will. Your profession has modified and grown and developed a lot over time. However I’m questioning if there’s something that you just thought was so outrageous, you’ll by no means be capable to do it – and you then did.
Oh my god, truthfully, all of it. I simply visited my mother in Idaho. She was saying that she has all the time needed this for me. It’s loopy that it labored in a variety of methods. I’ve had these moments on movie units with these those that I’ve been followers of for therefore lengthy and I really feel so fortunate to have completed this. I’ve labored laborious however I believe there’s additionally one thing particular about arising on the web. In a variety of methods it does really feel type of communal. A win looks like I’m doing it with the folks which can be part of this too. I really feel like they’ve given me a lot help and that’s rewarding.
I needed all of this however I grew up in Idaho. This was not one thing that I might have ever thought was attainable. God bless Instagram, truthfully, and the folks round me for being like, “Truthfully, publish that shit. Like, simply do it.” I really feel fortunate to have had that help. I believe perhaps in my coronary heart of hearts I needed this however you by no means know.
Now TikTok has come to be extra common. Did you are feeling any strain to jump over onto that platform? Do you are feeling like your content material has modified in any respect since TikTok has risen?
I believe the great thing about it’s that I don’t really feel the necessity to create a completely produced movie for each sketch. It’s laborious for me to select off slightly little bit of slickness that I like in edit or perhaps simply to publish one thing that’s 10 seconds. That feels loopy to me. I didn’t really feel strain at first. I took my time and tried to determine how I match into it. I realised rapidly that I’m not a trends-based individual. The one factor about it that I believe you already know, hopefully, will change is that comedy will not be trend-based. Doing somebody’s bit is like truly taking their joke. It’s not like with make-up the place you credit score somebody after which we’re all part of it. It’s like no, that’s the little bit of my video that you just simply took. That a part of it’s unusual. I’m like wait, you simply made my video. That’s not what folks do. I’m like attempting to throw my fingers up within the air and type of vibe with it.
I really feel a lot freer to publish no matter and perhaps publish issues that don’t really feel excellent to me. I’m a perfectionist, so having the ability to simply publish a video or perhaps a BTS fairly than making a full sketch is enjoyable. I really like the neighborhood there. I’m additionally very impressed by what I see on there, too. I wouldn’t say that I essentially have modified an excessive amount of of what I’ve completed. I most likely am not going to be nice on the lip sync, or dance stuff. I can lip sync, however so far as dancing… that’s most likely not a part of my journey. Not knocking anybody who does – you look nice. I believe the earnestness of that platform is difficult for me to wrap my head round. However aside from that, I’m having enjoyable.
Yeah, the earnestness is humorous to me. I really feel like Gen Z desires to come back off as hardcore and be like, “We’re edgy.” However on the identical time, it’s just like the softest, most weak platform, too. That binary is wild.
Vulnerability as like social media foreign money is fascinating to me. I’m attempting to determine that out and the way I might use that. It has impressed some codecs. I really feel like Kooper the Gen Z intern got here into his personal and kicked off. I believe Jenni works nicely on that platform. She’s actually enjoyable to do on there. It’s been enjoyable and I’m glad individuals are nonetheless watching my movies and are excited by them as a result of I nonetheless am too, that’s been enjoyable. However yeah, new platform, why the hell not? Let’s do it.
Are there every other comedians whose work you like that you just’d like to work with sooner or later?
You already know, I’ve all the time actually revered and beloved Amy Schumer. I might like to do one thing with Amy. Watching her sketch present once I was in school impressed me a lot and I really like her writing. I believe she’s additionally simply an unimaginable actress. I really like her a lot. Who else do I really like? That is laborious as a result of additionally comedians are delicate. If I don’t say anyone I’ll get in hassle. I would get a textual content. Fortunately, I did get to work with a variety of my heroes. Amy Poehler… that was loopy. Working together with her was weird and it was so humorous as a result of we simply had this second collectively and I used to be like, can we speak about Imply Women? She was like, “Yeah, in fact.” I needed to get that out of my system which was so good. It’s identical to heavenly. I grew up watching Maya Rudolph and Tina Fey. Truthfully, to do one thing with Maya or Tina could be loopy. They’re all simply geniuses, and since my expertise with Amy was so superb, I believe that might be nice.
I like that I’m solely itemizing girls. That’s most likely it. Was there anybody else? I’m positive there might be after this name. Really! You already know what Jerrod Carmichael. I might like to do one thing with him. And Bo Burnham I believe? Yeah, okay, these are two guys.
You’ve labored with a ton of celebrities like Jennifer Aniston. The Kardashian household. Is there one specific superstar that you just’ve been most nervous or excited to fulfill?
Who was I nervous for? I get nervous for all of them. It doesn’t matter what I all the time take my boyfriend with me. I might by no means simply drive there alone. I want another person in order that I don’t dissociate the entire time. Each time I meet somebody, I’m about to movie a video. I really feel like I’ve to remain fairly centered and perhaps attempt to channel the character. I used to be nervous concerning the Kardashians as a result of I knew that I might be filmed for the present being simply me, in order that was terrifying. It was bizarre and the digicam is instantly on you — that mic pack was on and I used to be able to go. I used to be slightly terrified, however it was a lot enjoyable and Kourtney’s like… we journey at daybreak. She’s the rattling greatest.
Who has been essentially the most enjoyable superstar to work with then?
Is it dangerous if I reply? Brent [his agent], are you there? I’ll say that each single one has been a lot enjoyable. I cried with Jennifer Aniston. That was insane. I couldn’t consider that and likewise I used to be dressed as Jenni, in order that was enjoyable. Cameron Diaz, that was insane as a result of I had pitched this sketch to her the place I used to be speaking about One thing About Mary. Effectively, the preliminary factor I pitched however we couldn’t do Shrek with an alcohol model… However I used to be gonna be in full Shrek costume together with her. That was a lot enjoyable.
I really feel actually fortunate although. I’ve had solely unbelievable experiences. Very a lot meet your hero. I’m having fun with it. Loving it. I suppose I’ve collaborated now fairly a number of occasions with Charli XCX. She is a pricey good friend and I cherish all our time collectively. I used to be such a fan earlier than and yeah, that’s loopy that I really feel like I get to name her a good friend and that feels very particular. So in case, you’re studying this, it’s you, Charli.
What’s the following outrageous factor the place you’re like, “oh my god. How do I climb this mountain? I actually wish to do that.”
I’m positively in it proper now. I’m writing a TV present and it’s such a mountain. I’m so enthusiastic about it and it’s a lot enjoyable to inform a full story. It’s slightly bit about me however discovering its manner into like a very enjoyable thirty-minute comedy. I’m so excited for folks to see it. It’s a protracted course of and the longest I’ve spent on one thing which I believe additionally makes it loopy. I’m on a name day by day with an agent who’s like reminding me that it’s a marathon. I’m joyful and happy with myself for that and I can’t anticipate folks to see the present. I believe it’s gonna be very me and I’m happy with it. Particularly for those who have simply been with me, such as you, an OG. It’s a variety of me, however it grounds it and yanks out a number of of the wigs and tones down the make-up just a bit bit. And you already know, we get slightly bit extra of the emotional aspect. However yeah, that’s the rattling mountain. It’s a fucking climb child — Miley’s “The Climb.” Then additionally perhaps touring once more and doing one other reside present. I’ve labored on a wide range of musicals to perhaps take out on the street or to be filmed for a particular. And that, I believe, can also be a mountain however I’m excited to make it.
Who has your dream profession, and would you kill them to have it?
I all the time defer to one thing that Mary Beth Barone all the time says, which is, “Nobody has my profession and that’s why I root for everybody.” It sounds type of corny, and slightly cliche, and that’s my woman, I really like her to demise. However I do really feel that manner. I’m so excited by TV and movie and the web. Due to the web, so many extra voices are being heard. Folks can inform genuine tales which can be true to them. They get to be actual folks. Now folks need to expertise this stuff of their roles and the author’s room.
I don’t know if there’s one individual. I believe Nick Kroll has an unimaginable profession – I really like the vary of what he’s completed, I believe he’s superb. And Amy Schumer – I really like what she’s completed. I really like her writing, from the sketch exhibits to Life and Beth. There’s a lot vary there I believe the power to do these sketches and likewise do issues which can be slightly extra minimal is absolutely thrilling. I like having the ability to do my very own factor.
Effectively, is there anything you would like I’d requested or one thing you’d prefer to convey up?
Oh my god. No. I believe we did it. These have been my favorite questions ever. This was so superb. We lined all of it. Oh, wait, one factor. I’m bringing again the podcast with Mary Beth. We’re so excited. That is one thing I get to do with an in depth good friend. The company approaching are superb.
Can’t wait to hear. Extra thrilling issues to sit up for coming from you!
Babe! Every little thing! No matter you need! And you like Deliverance, so I’ll get a brand new one out for you.
Sure! Please! For me! A lot appreciated.
Queer as Folks is out now.