Dell dude: Pot bust ended my ‘vicious downward spiral’

CurtisWe only just stumbled on this today: an interview with Ben Curtis, aka the Dell dude, published a few weeks ago on Playbill’s Web site. (It’s the second item down on the page.) Curtis has just wrapped a six-week run in a gay-themed off-Broadway play called Joy. In the interview, he reveals that his parents’ marriage fell apart after his father came out, and that he, like his character, has “experimented” with his sexuality. (“I appreciate men just as much as women,” he says, “but I lean toward the female side.”) He also describes his years as the Dell dude as a particularly dark time. “Suddenly everyone was recognizing me and yelling at me,” he says. “It was very traumatic. I had moved into Ground Zero before Sept. 11. I really needed to get help and therapy, but the Dell commercials exploded. It was too much, too soon. I got arrested for buying a small amount of marijuana, and it was horrible. I spent the night in jail and was handcuffed to a wheelchair in Bellevue. But it was great because it helped put a stop to a vicious downward spiral I was going through.”

—Posted by Tim Nudd

Photo: Gary Suson