Returning favorites—Ben Sandell (a.k.a. Leaky Pen, Inc.)


by Matthew A. Everett • July 24, 2008 •

“This state has my kind of ancestors. Westward Oregon Trial pioneers who said, ‘Good enough.'”

I’ve been waiting for this show for two years – basically ever since Ben Sandell finished his last solo Fringe show, I’ve been waiting for his next. Welcome back, Ben!

Check out a video clip of him in the first edition of this year’s Fringe-For-All on the Fringe’s YouTube page.

Single White Fringe Geek (and Mom) is the blog of Matthew A. Everett, one of five bloggers covering the Minnesota Fringe Festival for the Daily Planet.

2006 – Mittens for Fat Kids

2007 – The F Quotient – (he’s was just one of the hosts, I won’t hold it against him 🙂

and now…

Strawberry Fields Temporarily

(Oh well, sometimes the working title is what you end up with.)

“The maker of ‘Mittens for Fat Kids‘ performs tales about the humiliations of stand-up comedy, the consequences of pornography theft, and the celebration of life as a long and winding driveway.”

“(Ben San Del) basically gave a clinic on how to keep a crowd completely in stitches with pinpoint timing so sharp it seemed effortless. You may want to see this guy a couple of times” — Pulse of the Twin Cities

Can’t argue with that. Right after the Fringe in 2006, Ben won the Acme Comedy Club’s Funniest Person in the Twin Cities contest. So, it’s not just my opinion. Or Pulse’s. The guy just has a very dry, off-kilter sense of humor. It’s the smart brand of funny, which I frequently prefer. So I’m really glad he’s back.

He says it’s more of a storytelling bent to the show this time, rather than mostly stand-up like it was last time. Doesn’t matter. I know I’ll enjoy myself. If you saw Ben’s last show, or the Fringe-For-All preview, you know what I mean. If you haven’t, trust me, you should. And he played the Fringe-For-All gig just right. Getting out with the yellow light shining, and teasing us with just enough laughs and story that we want more.

Ben first caught my attention at the first Fringe-For-All back in 2006, and wound up in my pre-Fringe Top 10 that year. I’ve been enjoying his amusing musings ever since. Plus, we are comrades in the writing game – offering encouragement when the scripts are coming slowly, as we’re both experiencing lately on other projects.

We did the postcard gauntlet after the Fringe-For-All shows side by side. Ben was joking he should take master self-promoter Jimmy Hogg’s line, “One man show from London. One man show from London.” Hey, it worked for Jimmy. So what if Ben doesn’t have an accent? Well, a British accent.

Ben’s one of the best reasons to head over the Interact Center this year. If you need a laugh, and who doesn’t, the guy delivers. He’s got a regular gig as one of the hosts over at the Acme Comedy Club, so if you like what you see at the Fringe, you can get some smatterings of his stuff throughout the year to tide you over til his next solo gig. But first, Fringe!

He can be found online at

Info on show location, dates and times, and tickets can be found here

Entering his sixth year of blogging about the Minnesota Fringe Festival (and bringing Mom along for the ride as a guest reviewer), Matthew A. Everett is also a local playwright and three-time recipient of grant support from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Information on Matthew and his plays can be found at