Today’s Guest: Jonathan Bennett, actor, Van Wilder: Freshman Year
When I was a freshman at the University of Miami back in 1978, Animal House was all the rage and the coolest guys on campus wanted to be like “Otter,” played by Peter Riegert. He knew all the girls, glided through school and was envied by all the guys.
Well, it’s 30 years later—damn, where did the time go—and now all the young college dudes want to be like another National Lampoon character: Van Wilder.
There have been two Van Wilder movies and two talented actors who played the smooth, suave young dude: Ryan Reynolds—whatever happened to him?—and my guest tonight, Jonathan Bennett, who starred in National Lampoon’s Van Wilder: Freshman Year.
JONATHAN BENNETT podcast excerpt: “There are more Vans down in the pipeline… I will play Van Wilder until I’m 90, I love that character so much. We can do Van Wilder: The Senior Years and do it in the retirement home!”
A heavy responsibility befalls the man who wears the crown of a guy like Van Wilder, the model of horny, party-going young men everywhere, but I suspect Young Master Bennett can handle the pressure—he’s made a cottage industry of being second to step in time-honored roles, including starring as Bo Duke in The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning. You may have also seen him in Mean Girls as Lindsay Lohan’s boyfriend, Bachelor Party Vegas, opposite Kal Pen of Harold & Kumar fame, or in the Steve Martin movie Cheaper By the Dozen 2 as Bud McNulty.
But this Saturday night, September 19 at 8 p.m., he faces a real challenge as celebrity host of Acme Comedy Theatre’s “Acme Saturday Night.”