Craig Benzine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Craig Benzine
Craig Benzine (7486834826).jpg
Benzine at VidCon in 2012.
Personal information
Born Craig Gene Benzine
(1980-10-05) October 5, 1980 (age 35)
Marshall, Wisconsin, United States[1]
Nationality American
Residence Chicago, Illinois
YouTube information
Years active 2007–present

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.[2]

On January 23, 2015, Benzine became host of the Crash Course U.S. government and politics series.[3]



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.[4] 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,[5] of which a sample is still commonly used in his WheezyWaiter videos as background music, which plays when Craig moves his chair.[6]

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.[7][8][9] 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[10] 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.[7][11] 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, WheezyWaiter's channel on YouTube, 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.[12] He is still doing this.

Benzine performing at Vidcon 2012.

Driftless Pony Club[edit]

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.[13][14][15][16] Both the band and Benzine are signed to DFTBA Records.[17][18] Driftless Pony Club has six albums available: Janel, Cholera, Expert, Buckminster, Magnicifent, and Zastera.[19] 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.[20]

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.[21]

On June 14, 2016, the band released their album Zastera digitally on Spotify, Google Play Music, and iTunes.

The Platoon of Power Squadron[edit]

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.[22]

The Good Stuff[edit]

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.[23] 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.

Charity work[edit]

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[24][25][26] On his fourth mission for the Ford Fiesta Movement he organized a poker game to raise money for the Prevent Cancer Foundation.[27] Benzine has also made a video in which he promotes[28]

Personal life[edit]

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.[29] 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.[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Benzine, Craig (March 6, 2013). "Origin of Me". WheezyWaiter. YouTube. Retrieved April 1, 2013. 
  2. ^ "WheezyWaiter's Channel". Wheezy Waiter. YouTube. Retrieved May 3, 2016. 
  3. ^ CrashCourse (2015-01-23), Introduction: Crash Course U.S. Government and Politics, retrieved 2016-03-04 
  4. ^ "Driftless Pony Club channel uploads". Driftless Pony Club. YouTube. March 2006. Retrieved October 7, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Origins of DPC and Ozark Cousins". WheezyWaiter. YouTube. October 30, 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Making of Greetings". WheezyWaiter. YouTube. June 30, 2011. Retrieved October 7, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Benzine, Craig (December 7, 2012). WheezyWaiter Goes on The Interview Show, a Show in Which He Is Interviewed. Interview with Mark Bazer. The Interview Show. Chicago. Retrieved May 1, 2013. 
  8. ^ Benzine, Craig (May 28, 2008). "Nothing You Ever Wanted to Know About Wheezy Waiter". WheezyWaiter. YouTube. Retrieved May 1, 2013. 
  9. ^ Pagliarini, Robert (August 2, 2010). "When Success Doesn't Come Fast Enough". CBS News Moneywatch (CBS News). Retrieved October 18, 2013. 
  10. ^ Eakin, Marah (January 21, 2011). "Craig Benzine of Wheezy Waiter". A.V. Club. Retrieved May 1, 2013. 
  11. ^ Benzine, Craig (2012). "About WheezyWaiter". WheezyWaiter. Retrieved May 1, 2013. 
  12. ^ WheezyWaiter (2016-02-16), It's Time For A Change Up, retrieved 2016-06-14 
  13. ^ "Driftless Pony Club". Retrieved April 4, 2013. 
  14. ^ Milson, Tom (February 13, 2011). "thinking is terrible – Driftless Pony Club – Buckminster". Retrieved April 4, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Driftless Pony Club". Retrieved April 4, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Driftless Pony Club". Sputnik Music. Retrieved April 4, 2013. 
  17. ^ "DFTBA Records :: Driftless Pony Club". DFTBA Records. Retrieved April 4, 2013. 
  18. ^ "DFTBA Records :: WheezyWaiter". DFTBA Records. Retrieved April 4, 2013. 
  19. ^ Houk, Sierra (March 19, 2012). "Nerd Band of the Week: Driftless Pony Club". Almost Nerdy. Retrieved October 18, 2013. 
  20. ^ Kotenko, Jam (August 21, 2013). "Here's Why You Need to be Watching the YouTube Breakout Hit Series 'MyMusic'". Digital Trends. Retrieved October 18, 2013. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ Gutele, Sam (June 10, 2013). "Wheezy Waiter Explores The Good Stuff In Show Based Around Playlists". Tubefilter. Retrieved August 8, 2013. 
  24. ^ Benzine, Craig (December 17, 2009). "Project for Awesome – Action Against Hunger". WheezyWaiter. 
  25. ^ Benzine, Craig (December 17, 2010). "Project for Awesome 2010". WheezyWaiter. 
  26. ^ Benzine, Craig (December 17, 2012). "Project For Awesome 2012 -". WheezyWaiter. 
  27. ^ Benzine, Craig (September 8, 2009). "Poker for Charity". WheezyWaiter. 
  28. ^ Benzine, Craig (March 22, 2012). "World Water Day". 
  29. ^ Benzine, Craig (September 15, 2014). "? - (1000th Video!)". WheezyWaiter. 
  30. ^ WheezyWaiter (2016-04-03), And The City We're Moving to Is..., retrieved 2016-05-04