De Pasquale's Dozen With Guy Benson

Posted: Jun 09, 2015 12:01 AM

Townhall readers are so familiar with Guy Benson that he hardly needs an introduction. One little known fact is that today his book, coauthored with Mary Katherine Ham, End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun) comes out today.

In addition to coauthoring the likely bestseller, Benson is a contributor at Fox News, political editor at Townhall and host of the Guy Benson Show on AM 560 WIND in Chicago and AM 1260 WWRC in Washington, D.C.

The De Pasquale's Dozen asks political figures and free market-minded writers and entertainers to take a break from politics and talk about their pop culture obsessions.

1. What's your favorite movie line and who would you like to say it to?

"Oh, there's a f--ing surprise," delivered by Joe Pesci's character in My Cousin Vinny. Gratuitous profanity is often a comedic crutch, but this line absolutely slays me every time. The delivery is perfect. I'm occasionally tempted to use this quote when discussing the latest revelation of government incompetence or corruption on television, but I'd prefer to keep my job.

2. Tell me about your favorite teacher and how he or she influenced your life.

Brian Vanicky was a social studies and history teacher at my high school, under whom I studied for three years. He was an excellent teacher, a kind and fair person, and just a prince of a guy. We all loved and respected him. Very sadly, he passed away at a young age from cancer several years after I graduated, leaving behind a wife and two children. I think about him, and them, often. I try to emulate his decency and work ethic.

3. If you could be paid to do anything besides your current job, what would it be?

From the age of nine through the end of college, my career ambition was to be a sports broadcaster. Baseball play-by-play in particular. Sometimes I really miss it -- so that'd be my alternate universe career, if I could wave a wand, I think.

4. What canceled TV show would you put back on the air?

My answer to this question for years was Arrested Development, the funniest show ever made. But then Netflix resurrected it, with underwhelming results. Don't get me wrong, season four was still funnier than most of the awful shows that pass for comedy these days, but it wasn't vintage AD. As a super-fan, I have high hopes for season five, which is reportedly in production.

5. What's your current “guilty pleasure” TV show?

I really enjoy The Soup with Joel McHale, which is basically a fun weekly compendium of pop culture's worst excesses. It's on the E! network, which I generally don't admit to watching at all. I might put HGTV's Love It Or List It into this category as well. Team Hilary, obviously.

6. What’s the best present you ever received as a child?

When I was really little, I wanted to be a police officer or a detective, so my parents (I'm guessing my mom, mostly) painstakingly assembled an elaborate "scene of the crime kit." It wasn't a pre-fab product that they just bought at a store. It took a lot of time and thought to put together, and I loved it.

7. What’s the best present you ever gave?

I love being in on surprises, so perhaps I'm suffering from recency bias, but being able to help surprise my little sister with a totally unexpected trip to London in advance of her high school graduation this spring was pretty rewarding. It was just my siblings and me on the trip, which made for some really special memories.

8. What advice do you remember your mother or father giving you? Did you take it?

My dad is full of advice, most of it good. One thing I've always recalled him saying is to avoid all debt if possible -- with the exception of a mortgage, which one should pay off faithfully and quickly. Wise words in an age of living beyond one's means.

9. Who would be on the perfect "Red Eye" panel?

Despite having done the show several times (always a blast), I'm going to take myself out of the mix. Not nearly funny enough. I'd vote for Greg to return as the host -- though his new show is a riot -- with Andy and Joanne, plus my very funny co-author Mary Katharine Ham, and comedian Tom Shillue, who's a really nice guy and always cracks me up.

10. What books are on your summer reading list?

This summer, I basically have one book on my everything list: End of Discussion, available for pre-order today, and on sale everywhere June 9th. That said, I'll probably squeeze in Brad Thor's forthcoming thriller, and Hugh Hewitt's The Queen.

11. What would you like tomorrow's headline to say?

'End of Discussion' Shatters Sales Records! (Yep, I'm shameless).

12. Tell me about a moment you decided to enter the political arena.

It may sound like a cliche, but it's true: 9/11. That was a galvanizing moment in my life, living just outside New York City at the time. My father worked in lower Manhattan, and our town got hit pretty hard. That's when I realized that politics was far more consequential than a "Red Team vs. Blue Team" sport.