Benito Skinner aka Benny Drama on TikTok

Benny Drama’s Getting Biographical In His Next Project — Well, Kinda

The comedian dishes on his new show Overcompensating and getting starstruck on set.

Benito Skinner — better known as Benny Drama — often goes viral for acting like somebody else: impersonating celebs like Lana Del Rey and Kourtney Kardashian or creating characters like Kooper the Intern and Deliverance the Real Estate Agent. Kooper even made a surprise appearance in e.l.f.’s Super Bowl ad (but more on that later). Most recently, however, Skinner’s been trying out a different character: himself... or, at least, a version of himself.

Since March 2023, he’s been co-hosting the Ride podcast with comedian and bestie Mary Beth Barone. “It’s just us talking about our new eras and things that we love. [Ride] is truly my baby because it's with my wife. I can't do anything without my girl,” Skinner says of the podcast — though initially, he needed convincing from Barone and his boyfriend, Terrence (Terry) O’Connor.

“They were both pushing me to do it because I definitely am scared sometimes to be myself in things and to be a little freak on the podcast,” Skinner tells Elite Daily. “I had no idea how meaningful it would be until we did it. It sounds so cliché almost, but the community surrounding that podcast has been the greatest joy.”

Now, he’s taking that push to the next level. In February, Skinner announced that his ensemble comedy series Overcompensating had found its home at Prime Video. “The show’s inspired by my experience coming out in college and trying to figure out who I am,” the 30-year-old says.

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Still, the show is not exactly a biography. “Even though my character’s name is Benny, it definitely feels like a different person,” he adds. “The parents aren't really my parents, and I have a sister in the show, but I have three siblings in real life. I did go to college with my actual sister, but I keep having to remind her that I wrote that character for someone else.”

Since announcing the project earlier this year, Skinner’s noticed some reticence from his family and friends. “People are telling me fewer things now,” he explains. “I've been texting friends to ask, ‘What was that thing called in college?’ And they respond, ‘Are you going to use this against me?’” He insists that he won’t, but he’s not sure it’ll make much of a difference. “People love to make things about them, so I'm sure some people will find a way.”

We're going to give people this really delicious, sexy, funny, very heartfelt college show.

The details haven’t all been ironed out yet — casting still hasn’t begun and Skinner talks to Elite Daily while taking a break from the writers room — but he does make some promises. “We're going to give people this really delicious, sexy, funny, very heartfelt college show,” he says. “I’m already so proud of it. I'm ready. I wrote it five years ago, so it took a while, but you know what? Patience is a good lesson for me.”

Looking at his resume, it doesn’t seem like Skinner had much need of patience in the past. His sketches and impressions have earned him viral moments and a platform of millions of followers — plus, he even landed a spot in e.l.f.’s Super Bowl commercial. The partnership made sense: “Makeup has always been a huge part of everything I do. I love using it to transform into characters,” Skinner says.

Still, he doesn’t think anyone expected to see him — well, his character Kooper the Intern — while tuning into the game. “I'm sure my high school football coaches would be very shocked to see me in a Super Bowl commercial,” he jokes. “I was wide receiver, and I just liked the pants.”

Here, Skinner discusses his latest projects, his most memorable celebrity interactions, and the importance of “talking sh*t.”

Courtesy of e.l.f.

Elite Daily: What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Benito Skinner: Moodiness. There's something about straight men — they have this indulgence of always being in a bad mood. Perk up. It's no one else’s issue that you're in a bad mood.

When someone brings a bad mood into a set, I'm just like, “That's on you. Figure it out.” The rest of us, we adapt and pretend. Grow up. Just be an adult. You're better than that.

ED: When was the last time you got really starstruck?

BS: On Chelsea [Peretti]'s movie [First Time Female Director]. The first few days of shooting, I was like, “OK, I’m looking at Chelsea Peretti. We’re doing a scene. I’ll stop dissociating.”

I saw Rihanna at an event in New York, and I felt like my whole body went cold. It was icy. I couldn’t move my face.

Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Aniston, too. I couldn't believe that they're real people and they're as iconic and lovely as they are. That was shocking. They are everything you would want and more.

I'm trying to think when my heart really stopped. I saw Rihanna at an event in New York, and I felt like my whole body went cold. It was icy. I couldn’t move my face.

Also, on the set for e.l.f., Ronald from Jury Duty. Are you kidding? That's my king. I blush. I can't even talk about it.

ED: Who’s your favorite person you’ve worked with (so far)?

BS: Oh my God, that's so hard, you're going to make them so mad. Mary Beth is literally my best friend, so if I didn't say her, that would be a little insane. But I also work with my boyfriend on so many projects. And Charlie XCX is working on the music for my show with me. Those are my top three.

ED: Do you consider talking sh*t a hobby?

BS: Yeah, of course. People have done it for thousands of years. It's healthy to get that out. My boyfriend and I will literally start from the top once we finish. You know what? We deserve it as a treat.

ED: What’s your favorite conspiracy theory?

BS: That Katy Perry is JonBenét Ramsey. It's like the most wild sh*t I've ever seen. There's YouTube videos about this. It's been debunked ultimately, but it’s wild.

ED: What’s your favorite trend right now?

BS: I'm into trad wives, obviously. I can't stop watching people make things from scratch. It's unbelievable. My jaw is on the floor. I'm in my trad wife era. I don't know if I love it or not, but I am mesmerized.

It’s because I have no skills like that, so I keep thinking of myself trying it. Like, I'd go get nuggets from Wendy's and plate them, you know what I mean?

ED: When you make a video and are watching it back, do you laugh at yourself?

BS: No, except Deliverance [the real estate agent character]. Sometimes, I do think she is a real person, and so I laugh at her because I love her.

ED: Without laughing at it yourself, how do you assess if it’s funny or not?

BS: Sometimes, I know in my heart that my girls will like it, or I'll show it to Terry and Mary Beth. Other times, I'll know because I’m giggling as I'm writing the script because I'm picturing the lines and that's funny to me.

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But when I’m actually seeing the performance, I'm just trying to make sure it's exactly what it should be. By that time, I've said and heard the joke 10 times, so I’m a bit like, “You suck Benny. I’m so over your sh*t.”

ED: What’s one thing you wish more people knew about you?

BS: Oh my God, I'm so sensitive. So keep that in mind before you comment.

People also hopefully know this, but every video I make comes from a place of care and love. I am never coming from a bullying place. Sometimes, people understand impressions as taking the piss. In comedy historically, impressions maybe came from a more malicious place, but mine have always come from being obsessed with that person.

ED: Is there anything you wish people didn’t know about you?

BS: I’ve probably said so much on the pod now that I'm like, “What the f*ck?” I feel like it's all out there at this point, but I don't know if I'm necessarily ashamed of anything.

There was one episode of Ride, where I accidentally left in the edit that I was going to take a dump. But you know what? That was really honest, so maybe I don't even regret that. Can we be real for five seconds? That's just life.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.