By Ralphie Aversa

A comedian famous on YouTube for crashing cellphone calls is now paying, or rather, pranking it forward. The beneficiaries are about 50 homeless people who received a three-course dinner with all of the fixings.

We spoke with Greg Benson last week regarding his latest prank, a cellphone skit. In the video, he stands or sits next to someone speaking loudly on the phone and begins responding out loud to what they are saying. In December, Benson filmed this skit at Los Angeles International Airport. Last Wednesday, he took loud talkers at Disneyland by surprise.

“I never want to make anyone mad or unhappy,” Benson said via telephone of his pranks. “Actually the opposite; I like to have a good time, and I hope the people I’m pranking are having a good time too.”

The subjects of his latest stunt are definitely enjoying themselves. Benson and his crew went to the Ascencia Shelter in Glendale, Calif. With a full production team and a crew of chefs headed up by Jesse Brune, Benson transformed the shelter into a fancy restaurant. New decor, table settings and a string quartet brought a new vibe to the space. The homeless were then called in by party, seated and served a meal that included salad, filet mignon and desert.

“For some people, just getting something to eat is a struggle,” says Benson in his introduction to “Feeding the Homeless – Prank It FWD.” “We put a lot of work into this video, and it was an amazing experience.”

In addition to the wonderful dinner, each attendee left with a gift bag. Benson also gave the shelter’s executive director, Natalie Komuro, a check for $5,000.

The video is a collaboration between Benson’s Mediocre Films company and for the “Prank It FWD” series.

April 1, 2014

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