2007_04_jon_benjamin.jpg Jon Benjamin started performing in Boston in the early 90's with comedian Sam Seder before getting involved with the David Cross lead Cross Comedy. Since then, he's been a fixture of comedy in all mediums. Home Movies, Wet Hot American Summer, and the popular live revue Tinkle are amongst his many credits. Gothamist sat down with Benjamin to find out more about this highly saught after comedic talent.

What's a typical day like for you?
Read the Huffington Post and have lunch with Todd Barry.

How much time do you dedicate every day to writing?
It varies. I don’t really write just to write. It depends on what’s going on. I did write a haiku about Daisuke Matsuzaka this morning.

What would be your ideal project?
I would like to live on a hang glider with Richard Branson for a year.

What are some projects that you're currently working on?
Right now, I’m working on a cartoon for Superdeluxe with my friends Matt Hall and Patrick Borelli called Thunderpoint. We’re producing three episodes that more specifically renders your next question moot.

Do you plan on getting involved in online programming, like Superdeluxe? In the future, which medium do you think people will look to for comedy?
Ha. Told you. In the future, there will be very little comedy left, except for that ‘Tater Salad’ Guy who’s brain will be preserved. But, there will be fuck powder, so it will balance out.

In a previous interview, you said that you started writing at sixteen. What was your writing like at the time and how did you develop that skill at a young age?
I wrote extremely pretentious poetry. In my last years of high school, I ran with a very poetic crowd. I started reading Blake, Keats, Tennyson, Rossetti, the pre-Raphaelites and I wrote poems ripped off from them with titles called, “The Tear” and “Stone Fields”, which regrettably was about a cemetery.

Were you often injecting humor into your school assignments?
I did write a college essay once where the question was, “Who would want to have lunch with and why?’ and I wrote this long essay about me wanting to lunch with Hitler and we would go to this swank outdoor restaurant we would have this wonderful lunch and in the end I would point and say, "Adolph, look," and he would turn around and I would slip poison in his drink. I did not get into college.

You mentioned being bullied often growing up. How did you deal with bullies and what advice can you offer to someone being bullied right now?
I mainly tried to befriend them. But, for every bully that tried to destroy me, there was another bully who would protect me from that bully. Bullies have a hierarchy too. It was akin to prison. I was anybody’s bitch. If I had to give advice, I would say give your bully something really confusing. Go up to him one day and hand him a savings bond and say, "hey. It’s not cash, but it’s an investment for the future. It will appreciate in value and in like ten years, this will be worth like two hundred bucks."

You had mentioned that your first foray into live comedy was with Sam Seder. What direction was your life going in prior to that?
I was going to graduate school in Chicago for history and was desperately trying to stay in school forever. Overall, I think college was a mixed bag for me. I wanted to be an intellectual without putting in the work, like reading. I wore an Albert Camus t-shirt. If I met me then now, I would date me for a week, then punch me in the face.

What sort of acting training do you have? Did you do any sort of performing in high school?
None and no. I used to tape record interviews with people. That was my only outlet in doing anything creative outside of drinking and playing tennis.

What are some things, perhaps films, people, events, etc, that have influenced your comedic sensibility?
Woody Allen was huge influence, but someone that influential can often have negative effects. It took a long time to not just emulate him and to try and create humor out of my own experiences. Then, I started getting into David Letterman and copied him. I never learn.

What are some topics or subjects that you find yourself often returning to for humor?
I have a son now so it is convenient to exploit him as a topic.

What do you think of physical and slapstick humor? What's one of your favorite old time gags or routines?
Modern comedies are so slapstick heavy, it’s hard to be a fan. I mean, watching trailers for comedies now is literally like watching something hitting somebody’s balls for three minutes. And pepper spray. When does that gag get old? Sometimes it’s both in one scene. But, as a kid, of course, I liked physical comedy a lot and I have to say, the Jackass stuff makes me laugh. Those guys are the best practitioners of slapstick and physical humor in my opinion. I thought the opening of the Jackass movie was one the grandest Slapstick comedy scenes ever filmed. (Sorry Buster Keaton and Jacques Tati)

On the 16th of April, you'll be doing a show called Grouch Club. Do you consider yourself a grouch?
I am often irritable.

What ticks you off?
Ticks bother me. People with ticks. Ticking bothers me. Clocks are such a pain in the ass. Democracy irks me.

How do you deal with stress?
I wish I had more positive ways to deal with stress, I internalize a lot. I can perform auto-fellatio, so that helps sometimes.

Check Jon out tonight, April 17th, at Here's The Thing at The People's Improv Theater.