Ben Stein is known by many as “the-Clear-Eyes-guy,” or “Ferris Bueller’s teacher” in the 1986 cult classic “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”But there’s another Ben Stein.
“He spreads across groups and generations,” said Mark Murtagh, a senior political science major and Fogelson Honors Forum coordinator.
TCU had its slice of Stein last night, when Stein was the featured speaker at the Fogelson Honors Forum.
Murtagh said it asked Stein to speak because of his diverse resume and his widespread appeal.
“Ben Stein is a humorist, financial whiz, lawyer, columnist, presidential speech writer, best-selling author and an expert on bringing meaning to both life and work,” according to www.greatertalent.com.
Stein, who is marked as “fervently conservative,” graduated from Columbia University in 1966 with a degree in economics. He later graduated from Yale Law School, according to www.benstein.com.
In 1973, Stein said he went to work at the White House as a speechwriter for Richard Nixon and later worked for Gerald Ford.
Stein was even accused of being Deep Throat after his stretch as speechwriter, according to Wikipedia.
Stein was a poverty lawyer before becoming a trial lawyer for the Federal Trade Commission.
He also had a stint as a professor at a variety of universities, primarily teaching about the political and social content of mass culture, according to www.benstein.com.
Stein has written for The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times and has published numerous books. Stein said he has also tried his hand at screenwriting.
Stein the intellectual turned out to be Stein the comedian.
In an interview with People magazine, Matthew Broderick said, “Ben’s voice, to his luck or not, hits that note.”
Stein worked with Broderick in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
His deadpan face and “dull voice” have brought him recognition.
“I get satisfaction from thinking that part of his theatrical success derives from the dull voice he inherited from me,” said Stein’s father, Herbert Stein, in his article on slate.msn.com.
Stein has had a role in numerous television series. “The Wonder Years,” “Charles in Charge,” “Melrose Place,” “Full House” and “Seinfeld” are among the notables.
“Stein excelled at playing these bland and unemotional characters, and was subsequently typecast into many roles, mainly as a nerd,” according to Wikipedia.
Post Bueller, Ben gained further fame through his Comedy Central quiz show, “Win Ben Stein’s Money,” where he competed against contestants to win $5,000.
Herbert Stein said in his article that Ben “plays two different characters on the show.”
“In one character he is what I think of as himself. He is witty, well-informed and good-natured. In the other character he shouts; becomes excited; and goes through various gestures like bowing, saluting and rapping himself on the chest,” according to Stein’s article.
In an interview in People magazine, Jimmy Kimmel, who was Stein’s sidekick on the show, said Stein is rather competitive.
“If he wins, he’s like, ‘Yaaay! I’m smarter than you,'” Kimmel said.