DC Exclusive: Jonathan Bennett Talks AMC's Move, Mean Girls, Van Wilder and ACME Saturday Night!
SoCal will be even hotter than usual this Saturday night, Sept. 19, not to mention funnier! That's because soap hunk-turned-film comedian Jonathan Bennett will be hosting ACME Saturday Night at 8 pm PT, at the ACME Comedy Theater (135 N. La Brea in Los Angeles).
Bennett, whose first big break came when All My Children tapped him to play a young adult Adam Chandler Jr., went on to make teen girls everywhere swoon opposite fellow soap alum Lindsay Lohan (ex-Ali, Another World) in the monster hit romantic comedy Mean Girls. However, it's raunchy roles like the titular Van Wilder, whom the actor played in the Direct-to-DVD prequel Van Wilder: Freshman Year—currently being shown in heavy rotation on Comedy Central—that Bennett admits he has much more fun playing. I caught up with Bennett as he was getting ready for his sketch comedy debut.
Daytime Confidential: So you're hosting ACME Saturday Night, how did that come about?
Jonathan Bennett: Well, Van Wilder: Freshman Year has been airing a lot on cable, so I think that's where the idea for me to host ACME came from.
DC: Sweet, now this is the third Van Wilder film, will there be another, and if so, will you be in it?
JB: That's the plan, to do another prequel.
DC: Every teenage girl in America fell in love with you after romantic comedies like Mean Girls and Cheaper By The Dozen 2. Now you're doing raunchier frat boy comedies. Which do you prefer?
JB: Oh, definitely the frat boy comedies! Romantic comedies are fun, but I like to give my audience some diversity. The girls can check out my romantic comedic movies, but when the guys put in a Van Wilder DVD, the girls can go out and get dinner or have a girl's night out, because it probably won't be for them! [Laughs]
DC: By now you're a pro at feature film comedy. Will hosting ACME Saturday Night be your first stab at sketch comedy?
JB: Yes, this is my first time doing sketch comedy.
DC: Are you nervous?
JB: No, not at all. I did theater all through high school and college. I feel most at home on the stage.
DC: What can you tell me about the sketches you'll be doing?
JB: Oh man, the ACME writers have really come up with some funny stuff for me to do! There's this one sketch called "Rough Translation", that just makes me lose it every time! It's about an interprepter who interprets a lot more than he should. Then there's this one called, "That Thing You Do", about two parents who have a really annoying habit that they aren't aware of. Then there's the craziest skit of all, and it's called "Got Sex".
DC: Will you be spoofing your role in Mean Girls or your time on soaps at all?
JB: Yeah, my opening will be a little bit of a spoof of all of my roles.
DC: Nice, well, speaking of soaps, your old soap home, All My Children is moving from New York to Los Angeles. Had you heard about that?
JB: I had. That's insane! I feel really bad for the crew. There are a lot of really great people who work on that crew and I am sure they aren't gonna move them out.
DC: Yeah, the soaps aren't making as much money as they used to. So you have a film in pre-production entitled Slightly Single in L.A. I guess I don't have to ask what it's about.
JB: Yep, you guessed it, being slightly single, in L.A.! [Laughs] It's about a group of young people in Los Angeles, going through what you go through trying to date in L.A. It's basically a really heartfelt love story disguised as a comedy making fun of L.A.
DC: Sounds great! Before I let you go, what else can you tell me about your gig hosting ACME Saturday Night?
JB: It's gonna be crazy! Seriously, a really hot show. I am excited to show off my stage skills, and can't wait to perform all the funny stuff the folks at ACME have come up with for me to do!