Benny Drama Is Starring In Your Favorite New Super Bowl Commercial
The social media sensation talks to Bustle about makeup, comedy, and where Kooper the Gen Z intern should work next.
On Feb. 11, millions of people will be tuning into the Super Bowl — be it for the love of the game, the nostalgia-filled performance from Usher, or to see if there will be some prime Taylor Swift content. Regardless of your game-day vibe, one thing’s for certain: The commercials are sure to be crowd-pleasing.
Last year, e.l.f. Cosmetics debuted its first-ever Super Bowl spot, featuring none other than Jennifer Coolidge. For the upcoming game, the cult-beloved brand is doing it again, this time with a star-studded cast that includes Judge Judy, Meghan Trainor, Gina Torres, and Rick Hoffman. Also notably starring in the ad? Benito Skinner, aka Benny Drama — the social media sensation you may know from his viral caricatures of Kourtney Kardashian Barker or his character Jenni the TMI hairdresser.
Here, the comedian chats with Bustle about what it was like filming with e.l.f., his relationship with makeup, and how his true purpose in life is making people laugh.
What was it like being on set for this shoot?
It was so much fun. I got to be Kooper, my Gen Z intern, who I missed being. My family thinks it's so funny that this is for the Super Bowl, given just who I am and that I did play football, so this is really full circle.
What’s your relationship like with makeup?
I have a really special relationship with makeup — I feel like a lot of queer people feel that way. I love watching my mom and sisters do their makeup. I used to love going to the mall and seeing the makeup counter areas and going into the stores and stuff.
When I started making sketches, I was like, OK, if I'm going to do the Kardashians, I need to know how to use makeup to transform. I began watching so many YouTube videos, and I was going to CVS and just buying one lipstick. I started to find it to be really peaceful, and I love the process of getting ready for a video and having that time to myself and playing music — it helps me get into character.
When you’re not in character, what e.l.f. essentials do you reach for?
Since I wear so much makeup for my job, I like to keep it light. E.l.f. has a great Color Corrector for under my eyes, and then I’ll use a little blush, lip oil, and maybe a light bronzer. I love mixing the Halo Glow with a moisturizer.
But if I'm going out and I want to look cute and my boyfriend's got his camera, I'm putting on a beat.
How did you get into comedy?
I was obsessed with Robin Williams. He was my north star, and he’s also a fashion icon to me. Google “Robin Williams fashion.” My parents loved SNL, so I watched it with my parents every weekend.
At a certain point, it snowballed. The wigs happened, the makeup happened. It’s wild to think I have been making sketches for seven-ish years, which is a long time in internet years.
It's just been so fun, and I love making people feel happy and less lonely. I know what that feels like, and comedy can bring people together. People want community, and in a world that's really scary, consistently laughing for five minutes can do a lot of things.
Where would you want Kooper to intern next?
God, I think he'd love a day with Anna. Wouldn't she have so much fun with him at Vogue? She would love him.
I think e.l.f. was perfect for him. There's something really funny about brands having a sassy voice on the internet, and being so human and commenting kind of bat-sh*t things under regular people's posts — so I think he'd have a field day on the e.l.f. accounts.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.