About Benny Mailman
Benny Mailman was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin on January 8th, 1970. He weighed just over 3 pounds, having arrived a bit early. He jokes that he felt an urgency to spread Love. The truth is that, from the get go, he was forced into being a fighter and a survivor. Determination would underscore his every endeavor and he constantly pushed himself to be the best he could possibly be. Benny’s best was most often the middle of the pack, a place Benny found to be a great observational point for both the top and bottom of society.
Benny grew up in Milwaukee, attending Saint Alexanders Catholic School through grade 3. When pressed on his Milwaukee years, Benny brings up the day he set off a bank alarm, while his mother was applying for a loan. He says that he saw a white button, which was eye level for him. He thought it was for a light and pushed it a dozen times. All the doors locked, no one in, no one out. After the swat team checked everything out and found nothing, they asked Benny if he had pushed that button. “Yes, like 15 times but nothing happened.”
In 1979, Benny moved to Cataract, Wisconsin. Here, at age 9 he began a new and difficult life of living the farm life. Benny’s parents had chosen a sustainable living by building a log cabin and heating it with wood in the winter. That meant many hours listening to a loud chainsaw cut trees into smaller pieces. Benny and his siblings threw the wood in the truck. The next step was unloading the truck, splitting the wood, and stacking it. Benny was not a fan of this difficult work, but he did it. A massive garden was tended to by his brother Joe, sister Melanie, and himself. Benny was in charge of the potatoes. Benny often talks about how his brother was in charge of the tomatoes and had a cannon for an arm, and threw with deadly accuracy. Benny recalls having braces and being hit in the face with tomatoes, on the regular. He remembers picking tomato bits out from his braces… not a great feeling, according to his recollection. With a farm comes animals and a lot of shoveling poo. Benny laughs as he remembers that whoever behaved the worst of the siblings was forced to shovel out the poo from the chicken coop… the worst.
Benny was skinny and his front teeth stuck out like a rake. With the last name Mailman, it was hard for him to fit in, and often he got punched and pushed. So, in 5th grade he made the decision to win over everybody’s admiration through comedy and pure shenanigans. While a teacher was reading in class, Benny set off a firecracker in class… mission complete. In his senior year he would win the title of class clown, something he wears as a badge of honor to this day. Through determination to not be discarded, he had indeed found his place… the middle.