Ben Konstantin
Gig Seeker Pro

Ben Konstantin

Oak Park, Michigan, United States

Oak Park, Michigan, United States
Band Comedy


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Cover Story From The Detroit Jewish News"

Bill Carroll
| Special to the Jewish News

The economic downturn cost him
his job as senior art director at a
premier advertising agency, but
Ben Konstantin of Oak Park is getting the
last laugh.

Today, Konstantin, 44, is a full-time
comedian riding a wave of popularity
among comedy audiences nationwide.
Appearing at comedy clubs and festivals
locally and around the country, he is earning
a decent living in his second career.
Local audiences will get a chance to
check on Konstantin’s progress when he
stars in Ha!liday Laugh-A-Palooza, a mini
comedy festival featuring a mix of local
and national comedians, at the Palace of
Auburn Hills on Saturday, Dec. 19.
Performing along with Konstantin will
be nationally known comics Dan Grueter,
Bill Squire, Dwayne Gill (also a Michigan
State Police sergeant) and master of ceremonies
Joel Fragomeni.
“I’ll perform about 35 minutes in the
Laugh-A-Palooza, with about seven to
eight minutes on the Jewish perspective of
things,” says the tall, slender Konstantin,
sipping coffee after his daily workout at the
Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan
Detroit. “I do mostly observational humor
about people sweating the small stuff in
life, getting annoyed and angry about daily
“For example, when I was working in
an office, I got an e-mail feeler for a new
job opening and I answered it. Turns out,
the feeler came from my own company
— and they rejected me!”

Early Years
Growing up, Konstantin didn’t show an
inclination for standup comedy.
He was shy in public, although he was
a practical joker among his close friends
and, as a camp counselor — at Camp
Sequoia in Rock Hill, N.Y., and Camp
Tanuga in Kalkaska, Mich. — often entertained
his bunk kids.
A graduate of Oak Park High School,
he attended Michigan State University
and transferred to Wayne State
University in Detroit, where he
earned a degree in fine arts/
painting. Exhibiting a strong
talent as an illustrator and
desiring to build a portfolio for
future employment, Konstantin
went on to study at Detroit’s Center for
Creative Studies, specializing in commercial
graphics and illustrations and earning
a second bachelor’s degree in graphic
communications/commercial art.
“I guess my comedy emerged in my
cartoons and other humorous drawings in
my early years,” he recalls. “I would draw
comic strips and sell them to friends. I
would amuse them by basing the comic
strip characters on my classmates and
other people I knew. I still draw a lot in my
spare time now.”

His parents, Bill and Miriam Konstantin
of Oak Park, agree they didn’t foresee his
future as a comedian, other than a few
youthful appearances at Congregation
Shaarey Zedek of Oakland County, where
the family belongs. “Otherwise, he was
sort of quiet outside of the
family. But he was a very
talented illustrator who did
outstanding portraits,” they
“People who didn’t know
Ben well when he was
growing up are often surprised to find out
what he’s doing now,” says his sister, Lynne
Konstantin of West Bloomfield. “He came
off as reserved, and he wore glasses, so
everyone thought he was very studious.
“But he always had it in him — he just
took a while to get to the point of being
comfortable, then really letting go, on
stage. I think that’s part of what he loves
about doing it now, that many people
expect one thing of him, and surprise!
And, she adds, “he always was drawing
really funny caricatures and comic books
— even in elementary school. He still
does them for my kids.”
Konstantin hit a roadblock as a student
when he developed attention deficit disorder. “I had trouble learning and
processing information, and I just
didn’t understand the questions in
class and on tests at a time when there
wasn’t a lot of understanding and help
available,” he explains. “I experienced
a life-changing event at MSU when a
counselor at the learning resources
center there helped me deal with
the problem. I began to write down
everything I read and heard in order
to focus on my studies and soak up
the information. My learning process
improved immensely.”

After graduation, Konstantin
plunged himself into the world of
advertising, spending 13 years in
Detroit with two major national ad
agencies, working on the accounts for
Lincoln-Mercury and Mazda vehicles.
He often worked 60 hours per week,
writing and illustrating print ads and
television commercials and serving
as an art director. Again, his humor
emerged in the ads and he earned
kudos from his bosses.
“I loved the jobs, especially at the
second agency, and everything was
going fine,” he says, “or so I thought.
After working overtime on a weekend
in 2007 to finish a big ad campaign, I
came in on Monday and got laid off,
along with about 15 other people. The
poor economy in the nation was really
affecting the auto industry. Anyway,
that ended my ad agency career.”

New Direction
Konstantin says that’s when he really
got serious about comedy.
“I decided to switch
careers and become a
full-time comedian, and
I started watching and
listening to clips from my
favorite comedians,” many
of whom, like Konstantin,
are Jewish.
He mentions Lewis Black,
Woody Allen, Jackie Mason,
Don Rickles and Richard
Pryor as favorites, plus
Robert Klein and Demitri
Martin, with whom he has
worked. “I think Black is the
best,” says Konstantin, “and
I [once] opened for him at
a concert.”
With a nod to his heroes, Konstantin
has a unique voice, dry sense of
humor and an offbeat delivery, spicing
his observations with edgy rants.
He attended a comedy class at Mark
Ridley’s Comedy Castle in Royal Oak,
which taught him how to overcome
stage fright, not to be afraid of an
audience, to convert comic ideas into
actual stage material and other standup
staples. When he began to perform,
he realized his attention deficit disorder
no longer was an issue.
“Ha!” exclaims comedy impresario
Mark Ridley. “Having ADD is nothing
new in this business. Almost all of
the comedians who come through my
club, young or old, have or have had
ADD — or come from a dysfunctional
family. We don’t care what they are or
have, as long as they’re funny. Whether
they’re young, old, Jewish or not, funny
is funny.”
Ridley says he has seen Konstantin
perform many times, at the club and
in other venues around the Detroit
comedy circuit. “He’s starting to find
his own voice, to be comfortable on
stage and using his own style,” says
Ridley. “It takes a few years to really
get going in this business. You have to
crawl, walk then run, then hope you
hit the big time.”

On His Way
Konstantin feels he has passed
through the crawling and walking
stages, with the many stumbling
blocks that accompany them, and is
currently “running” on the comedy circuit, using several agents.
“I’ve appeared in the cold of Canada,
Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Toledo and
some college campuses in Indiana and
in the warmth of Los Angeles and 100-
plus degrees in Florida,” he says. “I did
a Jehovah’s Witness wedding at a golf
club, where I was very clean and softspoken,
and opened at some country
music festivals.
“I’ve been at Meadow Brook Music
Festival and DTE Energy Music
Theatre [both in Oakland County]
several times. I opened for a laser
light show at DTE to empty seats, with
people on the back lawn drinking
and getting high. I felt I had to yell to
them so they could hear me, and they
kept booing until I finished and got
off quickly. There are many ups and
downs in this business.”
One time, Konstantin performed in
a tavern during Monday night football,
trying to be funny with the TV sets
blaring. At another concert, the promoter
wanted to make sure the person
who introduced him pronounced his
name correctly [Kon-stan-teen]. He
did, but the program booklet referred
to him as “Bruce Constantin.”
“People feel I’m too tough on the
Detroit Lions, our habitual losing
team,” he said, “and I also razz the
Washington Redskins for having a
racist nickname. That’s like having
a team called the Brooklyn Heebs,
where they would wear yarmulkes
instead of helmets. By the way, the
Heebs would beat the Lions.
“I try to do some topical jokes at
each performance, but I stay away
from politics because that’s really not
my passion.”
Into The Future
Konstantin won a comedy contest
called “Robert Klein and Six Guys
From Detroit,” was named the “Best
of Fest” in the first-ever Detroit
International Comedy Festival, won
the (Detroit) DC Comedy Festival
competition and was a finalist in the
local “Comedy Idol” competition. He
has been featured in Heeb Magazine
and on Sirius Satellite Radio’s comedy
station and has made guest shots on
Detroit’s WDFN sports radio.
He auditioned and landed a small
role in The Lake Effect, an independent
movie filmed over the summer
in South Haven, Mich., and played a
delivery man in a commercial for a
pizza maker.
He also supplements his standup
career by doing freelance graphic
design work, designing Web sites and
doing voice-overs for commercials and
Comedienne Lynne Koplitz of New
York, who stars in Z Rock, a new Web
series on, met Konstantin five
years ago when they were both on the
road, booked into an Indiana college
concert. They have kept in touch ever
“Young comedians have to hit the
road to hone their material and get that
‘combat’ experience and know-how,”
Koplitz explains. “I see a lot of that in
Ben — character, perseverance, writing
ability, motivation, all the trademarks
of a comedian in this tough business.
He’s very reliable, and I always highly
recommend him to others.”
While on the road, Konstantin does
a great deal of sightseeing during the
day and works on his act, “but I’m up
practically all night, so I also have to
rest a lot to maintain my energy,” he
says. “It’s hard to do any serious dating
anywhere because I’m on the road so
much, but I would like to find a nice
Jewish woman and settle down.”
As for the future, over the next few
years, Konstantin hopes to build his
career to the point where he is a headliner
in clubs across the country as
well as doing some commercial acting
and voiceover work.
“My immediate goal,” he says, “is to
get on TV as a comic.” - The Detroit Jewish News


The winner of the comedy contest: “Robert Klein and six guys from Detroit,” He is also the winner of the (Detroit), DC comedy festival competition (where he appeared).
Konstantin has also performed in the Boston Comedy Festival, was a finalist in Michigan’s “Comedy Idol” and was named to the “Best of Fest” in the first ever Detroit International Comedy Festival. Konstantin was recently featured on WDFN sports radio, the fan, XM and Sirrius sattelite radio.
Ben also performs at clubs, colleges and theatres all across the U.S. and Canada where he has opened for Lewis Black, Demetri Martin and Alonzo Bodden.



Inspired by a range of comedy heroes like Richard Pryor, Woody Allen and Lewis Black, his dry wit, edgy rants, off-beat delivery and unique voice give Ben his own style.