Owen Benjamin debuts at Tahoe Improv as headliner
Ryan Summerlin October 4, 2012
STATELINE, Nev. — I kept racking my brain trying to remember why Owen Benjamin’s name sounded familiar. Then I remembered: it wasn’t his comedy but his acting that made it come into focus. After reviewing the movie “I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry” then reading that he had been engaged to actress Christina Ricci, I did some research and found out he was a comedian and here it is some four years later is performing this week at Harveys Improv for the first time.That relationship may have ended, but his career is going stronger than ever. Owen is bringing his dog up and will soon realize what a dog-friendly environment Tahoe is. In addition to being in “I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry” (which stars Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Jessica Biel), he’s also appeared in “The House Bunny” with Colin Hanks, Anna Faris and Emma Stone, “All’s Faire In Love” with Christina Ricci and “Born To Be A Star” with fellow comedian Nick Swardson. Owen has crossed over several streams of entertainment, blending them all together, making for a very entertaining stage show. As a child, he was taught classical piano and had a very, shall we say, intellectual upbringing? Both parents are faculty members at State University of New York, Oswego. His dad is Dr. John Kares Smith, a professor of communication studies and his mother, Dr. Jean Troy Smith, is a professor of English. Pretty diverse, eh? Owen has made numerous appearances on the small screen including stints on MTV’s “PUNK’D,” E!’s “Chelsea Lately,” Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham,” “The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon,” more than 10 appearances on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” regular appearances on Nick Swardson’s “Pretend Time” and on the hit TBS sitcom “Sullivan and Sons.”He’s done standup at the Aspen Comedy Festival, Montreal Comedy Festival, a nationwide 18-city tour with comedic actors Vince Vaughn and Kevin James as well as clubs and colleges across America. He can now finally add Tahoe to his impressive list of credits.
Frances Dilorinzo has always been funny, but it wasn’t until her collegiate years that the buzz started happening. She can credit one of her English professors who encouraged his students in class to always add some humor when giving an assigned speech presentation in class. It paid off in a big way for Frances because once Frances started adding jokes to her presentations everyone remembered the humor more than what it was she had been assigned to talk about. Word spread quickly about this very attractive, tall coed who not only gave an intelligent presentation but also kept their interest because she was cracking everybody up. I think that’s when Frances started getting some of her first comedy awards becoming the first in her university to win California’s gold metal in the “Speech to Entertain” category two years in a row! Years later Frances is still leaving ’em in stitches but (as mentioned earlier) is getting paid for it. For all of her accomplishments in the comedy circle Frances Dilorinzo will forever be known as that YouTube sensation called, “Homemade Implants” that went viral receiving in excess of over 3 million hits (and still climbing). She’s also performed overseas for our men and women in uniform making her one of the more sought-after comics to have on the marquee. All this and a mom too? Oh, don’t even get me started on how funny she is talking about her kids, her outdoorsy husband and how she managed to juggle everything into a very funny act.Her ability to deliver the funny has garnered some cool television credits that include NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” “Comics Unleashed” and being on Comedy Central. Frances has also been on both the Lifetime and BET Network, Inside Joke on SiTV and “Funny Money” on the Game Show Network. Past credits include “Que Loco” on Galavision, “Comic View” on BET, “South Coast Review” on Cox Cable and “Comedy Factory” on Netherlands TV.