Stefano Benni (born 12 August 1947 in Bologna) is an Italian satirical writer, poet and journalist. His books have been translated into around 20 foreign languages and scored notable commercial success. 2.5 million copies of his books have been sold in Italy.
Benni has written many successful novels and anthologies, among which are Bar Sport, Elianto, Terra!, La compagnia dei celestini, Baol, Comici spaventati guerrieri, Saltatempo, Margherita Dolcevita and Il bar sotto il mare. He has also worked with the weekly magazines L'espresso and Panorama, and with the satirical Cuore and Tango, the monthly magazines Il Mago (where he began and published in installments part of Bar Sport) and Linus, and the newspapers La Repubblica and il manifesto.
He also wrote television sketches for Beppe Grillo at the beginning of Grillo's career, and one of these sketches – called "Pietro Longo=P2" – caused the Psdi to ask the RAI commission to remove Grillo from RAI TV; their request was denied. Now, Benni works with Beppe Grillo by writing some entries on Grillo's blog. In 1989 with Umberto Angelucci, Benni directed the film Musica per vecchi animali, adapted from his book Comici spaventati guerrieri with the actors Dario Fo, Paolo Rossi, and Viola Simoncioni, and just two years before that he was also the screenwriter of another film, Topo Galileo by Francesco Laudadio, starring his friend Beppe Grillo and with music by Fabrizio De André and Mauro Pagani. With the jazz musician Umberto Petrin, he also wrote Misterioso. Viaggio nel silenzio di Thelonius Monk. His novels contain, within imaginary worlds and situations, a strong satire of Italian society over the last few decades. His writing style includes many puns, neologisms and parodies of other literary styles. In 2009 he acted in the film Sleepless, directed by Maddalena De Panfilis. In January and February 2010, he presented the event Bennac, a meeting between himself and the French writer Daniel Pennac.