Benjamin Jeremy Stein, born November 25, 1944 (age 78), in Washington, DC, is a lawyer, writer, actor and economist. He is a conservative social activist, public speaker and presidential speechwriter. He has also been a game show host.
His father was economist Herbert Stein. Stein earned a law degree from Yale. Having been a speech writer and lawyer for former Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford as well as a publisher of conservative thought in newspapers, Stein unexpectedly turned up with a new career on television after getting his start in the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off as the boring high school economics teacher due to his monotone voice. In this scene, which was mostly unscripted, Stein showed a key knowledge for understated humor.
Stein has been married for 55 years - having married, divorced, and remarried the same woman.
A man of considerable intellect, Stein starred in his own gameshow, Win Ben Stein's Money, which would culminate in Stein taking on the winning contestant in a ten-question round to see who could answer more of the questions correctly. Most of the time Stein would emerge victorious. Stein had a subtle form of comedy playing the mostly straight man to Jimmy Kimmel as the joking cohost; however much of the banter contained sexual innuendos not suitable for children.
Stein went on to host his own talk show Turn Ben Stein On.
Today Stein can still be seen on television with his "dry humor" such as in the "dry eyes" commercial.
Stein has never lost his conservative roots or his desire to engage in intelligent dialogue. He has appeared many times on Fox News discussing politics and finance. Ben Stein also writes his "Diary" in every issue of The American Spectator, and is a regular weekly contributor to the Business Section of the New York Times.
Stein was on The Weakest Link along with seven other celebrities in 2002. Although he was the strongest link before voting was to take place for the final two, he was voted off by the other contestants who said they didn't want to face him head to head.
Evolution and Intelligent Design
Stein co-wrote and appears as the narrator in a movie (Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed), released in the US in April 2008 which portrays "Big Science" as suppressing Intelligent design from being discussed and considered in academic settings.
Stein is interested in questions such as:
- How did we get here?
- Where are we going?
- Is there a meaning and purpose in life? Or are we, the universe, and everything in it merely the result of pure dumb fate and chance?
And he objects to the idea that we are nothing more than "mud animated by lightning".
Appearing on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel show, Stein said:
- We made a documentary about the struggle between Intelligent Design and Darwinism. It's a big thing in the schools and universities, and we were concerned because we think Darwinism is a brilliant, brilliant, brilliant theory - beyond words brilliant - but it only takes you part of the way. It's like the New Jersey Turnpike only takes you part of the way between Washington, D.C., and New York.
- ... and anyway who built the roads in the first place? Where did gravity come from, and where did the planets come from, and where did thermodynamics come from, where did the laws of physics come from?
- So we just asked a whole bunch of questions: asked why academics are fired for asking those questions, and, believe me, none of us has anything but respect for Darwin. We just think a lot of questions should be asked that aren't being asked.
- "I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat."
- "I'm a rebel to my core ... and happy to be in an uphill struggle, as long as the cause is right."
- Fairly Odd Parents
- Loony Toon
- The Mask
- Son of the Mask
- Ferris Bueller's Day Off
- Expelled (released in April 2008)
- Yes, You Can Become a Successful Income Investor!
- The Gift Of Peace: Guideposts on the Road to Serenity
- How to Ruin Your Life
- How to Ruin Your Love Life
- How to Ruin Your Financial Life
- "Sharpton in the Morning"
- "Bush Much Greater"
- "The Lynching of the President"
- "Hypocrisy, Democrat Style"
- "How to Lose to Terrorists"
- "Why I Am a Republican"
- "Eretz Israel"
CBS Sunday Morning Commentary:
New York Times
- "Expelled" trailer
- Except for the famous line "Bueller...Bueller?", the entire scene -- a lecture on the Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930 and the then-current debate over supply-side economics -- was totally adlibbed by Stein based on his economics knowledge.
- IMDB listing for Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
- Jimmy Kimmel Live 2-15-08
- Intelligent Design foes no match for Stein in 'Expelled'