BenMonsterTV Leads the Evolution of Interactive Public Access Content on Twitch
09/02/2021, New York, NY // PRODIGY: Feature Story //
BenMonsterTV isn’t your grandma’s public access programming, but only because Meemaw doesn’t understand wifi and thinks your Twitch is something a doctor should check. Otherwise, public access has long been a bastion for the bizarre, endearing, and tireless creativity that the BenMonsterTV team are all about sharing in the age of interactive live streaming. The titular Ben Monster, a pink puppet who loves you for you and never kink shames, pals around with the enigmatically chill Robot Don and Gabe the attic-dwelling editor while presenting a slew of offbeat content that excels in embracing kindred weirdos.
The flagship show, Tuesdays with Ben Monster, streams on not-Tuesday nights as a chaotic talk show in the vein of Beyond Vaudeville and Let’s Paint TV. The showrunners don’t lack for loosely-planned, absurdist gags, but they cherish audience participation. The hosts constantly engage and riff with their chat, one often composed of fellow artists whose work they gladly showcase, while a call-in line provides unscripted surprises throughout the episodes. In a standout segment titled “Stranger Danger,” the gang bravely peruses randomized video chats, somehow managing not to violate their Twitch service agreement while making genuine connections. It’s not uncommon for a jaded (i.e., clothed) webcammer to be so charmed by their abrupt talk show appearance that they will join Ben Monster’s chat the same night. With a Pee-wee’s Playhouse via Williams Stream vibe, there’s always a sense that viewers are invited behind the curtain to revel in the foibles of Ben’s medium-tech wonderland.
The sincerity of BenMonsterTV permeates all their content; it’s an endeavor by friends who love creating art and making more friends who love to do the same. The hand up Ben Monster’s bottom studied at the School of Visual Arts, and his earlier pre-recorded segments and artwork, broadcasted on public television and VOD, were the nascence of the Twitch channel. In 2018, buddies Ben and Don began live streaming their original show from a basement on Long Island, NY, and in 2020 they welcomed Gabe’s experience in content creation after they met him online and simply clicked. In the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, the quirky basement talk show exploded into a multi-coastal, virtual project of horror movie reviews (ControlAltDeath), game streams (Monster League Gaming, ControlAltDeath Gaming), and other oddities like “Keef M.D.,” a tongue in cheek advice show spotlighting one of the numerous characters that the trio and their diehard fandom have spawned. If it sounds like a lot to follow, fret not, a wiki chronicles the channel’s many collaborators and expanding lore.
So maybe BenMonsterTV is a bit beyond your grandma’s public access… unless she’s a real freak, in which case she may already be a character in the BenMonsterverse. Whether Memaw gets down or not, she would certainly be welcomed with open, furry, fuchsia arms. You can join the shenanigans of BenMonsterTV on Twitch and YouTube. Just don’t say the p-word, that would be uncool.
About Ben Monster TV LLC: Lead by its 3 co-creators, Ben Ross, Donelly Bacchus, and Gabe Cesana, BenMonsterTV is an interactive live stream with a varied line up of talk shows, podcasts, and digital content. Their current stable of programming is streamed on twitch.tv and can be rewatched on youtube.com. You can learn more about the Ben Monster TV crew at benmonster.tv. Contact Donelly Bacchus.
Ben Monster LLC
PO Box 145
Brentwood, CA 94513
Release ID: 30462
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