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Benzine at VidCon in 2012.
|Born||Craig Gene Benzine
October 5, 1980
Marshall, Wisconsin, United States
Craig Gene Benzine (born October 5, 1980) is an American video producer, musician, and vlogger better known by his YouTube channel name of WheezyWaiter. As of May 3, 2016, his channel has 581,668 subscribers and 110,028,941 total video views.
Benzine started out, together with his fellow Driftless Pony Club band members, on the channel "sambonejr", co-starring in several short comical video clips, of which the first 19 videos were uploaded in March 2006. Together with his friends Zaid Maxwell and Amelia Styer, Benzine also created an album and a movie to the album under the name Ozark Cousins, of which a sample is still commonly used in his WheezyWaiter videos as background music, which plays when Craig moves his chair.
After an unprofitable shift in 2007 at the restaurant in Chicago where he worked as a waiter, Benzine's boss told him not to come into work the next day because he doubted there would be enough customers. Benzine, as a result, was worried about how he was going to get money to pay his rent. On his day off, Benzine spent the entire day watching Ze Frank videos on YouTube, and was inspired to start his own vlogging channel. The name "WheezyWaiter" referred to his waiter job at the time and the asthma that he has had since birth. Originally, the vlogs were centred around Benzine's frustrations surrounding his job, but quickly grew to incorporate song parodies, cultural commentaries, and documentation of Benzine's daily life with fictionalized elements added, such as sharing his apartment with a never-ending parade of clones of himself, as well as a whale, David Hasselhoff, and Michael Phelps.
Eventually, Benzine was hired as the video editor for a web development company, and was able to quit his job as a waiter. He continued to produce content for his YouTube channel, despite having a small audience, usually making videos in the morning before going to his office job.
Benzine now works professionally as a video editor and vlogger. He continues to upload new content to his main channel, on 's channelYouTube, as well as to his more personal channel, WheezyNews, and others. He no longer uploads daily videos on the WheezyNews channel. On February 16, 2016, he started making videos in the format of daily vlogs. He is still doing this.
Driftless Pony Club
Together with Matt Weber, Sam Grant and Nate Bartley, Craig is member of the indie rock band Driftless Pony Club as a lead singer and guitarist. Both the band and Benzine are signed to DFTBA Records. Driftless Pony Club has six albums available: Janel, Cholera, Expert, Buckminster, Magnicifent, and Zastera. Their song "House of 1982, Built Like a Ship" is the theme song to the webseries, MyMusic, which uses other songs in their library throughout the show.
On May 12, 2016, the band posted a video on their YouTube channel discussing a Kickstarter project initiated to fund the band's vinyl-pressing of their upcoming album, Zastera, in addition to debuting a new song called "Chorus Complains," which appeared on the same album.
The Platoon of Power Squadron
He is also a main cast member on The Platoon of Power Squadron, a sporadically-updated webseries on YouTube about superheroes. Benzine plays Donald, a man who can project lightning from his hands.
The Good Stuff
The Good Stuff is a playlist-based webseries (originally referred to only as a "Secret POJECT") co-created by Craig Benzine and his friend and bandmate Matt Weber. In February 2013, the first video playlist was uploaded to a new YouTube channel of the same name, "The Good Stuff". The Good Stuff releases playlists of videos of various formats connected by a theme. Themes so far have included "Miniature", "Rockstar Lifestyle", "Origins", "Airplanes", "Time", "Community", and "Geek Week"; the episodes have featured short films, interviews, documentaries and compilations of viewer-submitted content.
Benzine has participated in and promoted various charity projects. In 2009 and 2010 he promoted Action Against Hunger as his contribution to the Project for Awesome, in 2012 he promoted the project Water.org. On his fourth mission for the Ford Fiesta Movement he organized a poker game to raise money for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. Benzine has also made a video in which he promotes Water.org.
On September 15, 2014, Benzine proposed to his girlfriend, Chyna Pate, on his 1000th episode by stringing the first letters of episode titles to read "CHYNA WILL YOU MARRY ME," followed by a question mark as the title for the 1000th episode. They married on October 11, 2015 at the Mars Gallery in Chicago.
Benzine currently lives in Chicago and has for many years, but recently announced that he is planning to move to Austin, Texas.
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- Houk, Sierra (March 19, 2012). "Nerd Band of the Week: Driftless Pony Club". Almost Nerdy. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
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- GET OUR NEW ALBUM NOW!
- Gutele, Sam (June 10, 2013). "Wheezy Waiter Explores The Good Stuff In Show Based Around Playlists". Tubefilter. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
- Benzine, Craig (December 17, 2009). "Project for Awesome – Action Against Hunger". WheezyWaiter.
- Benzine, Craig (December 17, 2010). "Project for Awesome 2010". WheezyWaiter.
- Benzine, Craig (December 17, 2012). "Project For Awesome 2012 - Water.org". WheezyWaiter.
- Benzine, Craig (September 8, 2009). "Poker for Charity". WheezyWaiter.
- Benzine, Craig (March 22, 2012). "World Water Day".
- Benzine, Craig (September 15, 2014). "? - (1000th Video!)". WheezyWaiter.
- WheezyWaiter (2016-04-03), And The City We're Moving to Is..., retrieved 2016-05-04