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Craig Benzine
Craig Benzine (7486834826).jpg
Benzine at VidCon in 2012.
Personal information
BornCraig Gene Benzine
(1980-10-05) October 5, 1980 (age 42)
Marshall, Wisconsin, United States[1]
Chyna Pate
(m. 2015)
YouTube information
Also known asWheezyWaiter
Years active2007–present
Subscribers1.1 million
Total views176.4 million
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg 1,000,000 subscribers

Last updated: October 31, 2022

Craig Gene Benzine (born October 5, 1980) is an American video producer, musician, and vlogger better known by his YouTube channel name of WheezyWaiter. On July 15, 2020, his channel hit 1 million subscribers and has over 155 million total video views.[2]

On January 23, 2015, Benzine became host of the Crash Course U.S. government and politics series.[3] On April 6, 2017, Benzine became the host of the Film History series.[4]



Benzine started out, together with his fellow Driftless Pony Club band members, on the channel "sambonejr", co-starring in several short comical video clips, of which the first 19 videos were uploaded in March 2006.[5] Together with his friends Zaid Maxwell and Amelia Styer, Benzine also created an album and a movie to the album under the name Ozark Cousins,[6] of which a sample is still commonly used in his WheezyWaiter videos as background music, playing when Craig moves his chair.[7]

After an unprofitable shift in 2007 at the restaurant in Chicago where he worked as a waiter, Benzine's boss told him not to come into work the next day because he doubted there would be enough customers. Benzine, as a result, was worried about how he was going to get money to pay his rent. On his day off, Benzine spent the entire day watching Ze Frank videos on YouTube, and was inspired to start his own vlogging channel.[8][9][10] The name "WheezyWaiter" referred to his waiter job at the time and the asthma that he has had since birth. Originally, the vlogs were centred around Benzine's frustrations surrounding his job, but quickly grew to incorporate song parodies, cultural commentaries, and documentation of Benzine's daily life[11] with fictionalized elements added, such as sharing his apartment with a never-ending parade of clones of himself, as well as a whale, David Hasselhoff, and Michael Phelps.

Eventually, Benzine was hired as the video editor for a web development company, and was able to quit his job as a waiter.[8][12] He continued to produce content for his YouTube channel, despite having a small audience, usually making videos in the morning before going to his office job. In 2013, he was featured in the documentary film Please Subscribe.[13]

Benzine now works professionally as a video editor and vlogger. He continues to upload new content to his main channel, WheezyWaiter's channel on YouTube, as well as to his more personal channel, WheezyNews, and others. On February 16, 2016, he started making videos in the format of daily vlogs instead of his old format.[14] On June 27, 2016, he stopped doing daily lifestyle vlogs and returned to making comedy videos.[15][16] Following a viral video about quitting sugar released on September 7, 2018, Craig began creating more life improvement content, including challenge videos where he changes something about his life for a month and discusses whether he felt like it was an improvement. His wife, Chyna, often participates in these challenges.[17]

Benzine performing at Vidcon 2012.
Benzine performing at Vidcon 2012.

Driftless Pony Club

Together with Matt Weber, Sam Grant and Nate Bartley, Craig is a member of the indie rock band Driftless Pony Club as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist.[18][19][20][21] Both the band and Benzine are signed to DFTBA Records.[22][23] Driftless Pony Club has six albums available: Janel, Cholera, Expert, Buckminster, Magnicifent, and Zastera.[24] Their song "House of 1982, Built Like a Ship" is the theme song to the webseries, MyMusic, which uses other songs in their library throughout the show.[25]

On May 12, 2016, the band posted a video on their YouTube channel discussing a Kickstarter project initiated to fund the band's vinyl-pressing of their upcoming album, Zastera, in addition to debuting a new song called "Chorus Complains," which appeared on the same album.[26]

On June 14, 2016, the band released their album Zastera digitally on Spotify, Google Play Music, and iTunes.


On July 27, 2016, Craig Benzine created the webseries AlgoRhythm with New Form Digital to air on Verizon's go90 app.[27] He based this series on "Fine Tuned", a short film he created in 2014 starring Brando Crawford.[28] AlgoRhythm is about a man who has to fix an algorithm that predicts how popular a song will be. He teams up with his neighbor, a drummer who recently got dumped and hasn't moved on from his ex. Together they discover different genres of music that they didn't take into account and attempt to reunite the drummer with his girlfriend.

The Platoon of Power Squadron

He is also a main cast member on The Platoon of Power Squadron, a sporadically-updated webseries on YouTube about superheroes. Benzine plays Donald, a man who can project lightning from his hands.[29]

The Good Stuff

The Good Stuff is a playlist-based webseries (originally referred to only as a "Secret Project") co-created by Craig Benzine and his friend and bandmate Matt Weber. In February 2013, the first video playlist was uploaded to a new YouTube channel of the same name, "The Good Stuff". The Good Stuff releases playlists of videos of various formats connected by a theme.[30] Themes so far have included "Miniature", "Rockstar Lifestyle", "Origins", "Airplanes", "Time", "Community", and "Geek Week"; the episodes have featured short films, interviews, documentaries and compilations of viewer-submitted content.

Big Questions

Since 2014, Benzine has hosted a regular feature on the Mental Floss YouTube channel called The Big Question,[31] where fan questions are answered, similar to its magazine counterpart. This feature was later renamed Big Questions.[32]

Charity work

Benzine has participated in and promoted various charity projects. In 2009 and 2010 he promoted Action Against Hunger as his contribution to the Project for Awesome. In 2012 he promoted the project On his fourth mission for the Ford Fiesta Movement he organized a poker game to raise money for the Prevent Cancer Foundation.[citation needed]

Personal life

On September 15, 2014, Benzine proposed to his girlfriend, Chyna Pate, in the 1000th episode of Wheezy Waiter, in an idiosyncratic way which involved stringing together the first letters of episode titles to read "Chyna Will You Marry Me?" [33][34] They married on October 11, 2015, at the Mars Gallery in Chicago. Their honeymoon was in Scotland.[35]

Benzine lived in Chicago for 13 years, but he moved to Austin, Texas, in August 2016.[36] In May 2017, he and Chyna announced they were expecting their first child, a girl named Ada; she was born in November 2017.[37] In March 2018, Craig and his family moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where they currently reside.[38]

See also


  1. ^ Benzine, Craig (March 6, 2013). "Origin of Me". WheezyWaiter. YouTube. Retrieved April 1, 2013.
  2. ^ "WheezyWaiter's YouTube Stats (Summary Profile) - Social Blade Stats". Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  3. ^ CrashCourse (January 23, 2015), Introduction: Crash Course U.S. Government and Politics, retrieved March 4, 2016
  4. ^ CrashCourse (April 6, 2017), Crash Course Film History Preview, retrieved April 25, 2018
  5. ^ "Driftless Pony Club channel uploads". Driftless Pony Club. YouTube. March 2006. Retrieved October 7, 2013.
  6. ^ "Origins of DPC and Ozark Cousins". WheezyWaiter. YouTube. October 30, 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2013.
  7. ^ "Making of Greetings". WheezyWaiter. YouTube. June 30, 2011. Retrieved October 7, 2013.
  8. ^ a b Benzine, Craig (December 7, 2012). "WheezyWaiter Goes on The Interview Show, a Show in Which He Is Interviewed". The Interview Show (Interview). Interviewed by Mark Bazer. Chicago. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
  9. ^ Benzine, Craig (May 28, 2008). "Nothing You Ever Wanted to Know About Wheezy Waiter". WheezyWaiter. YouTube. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
  10. ^ Pagliarini, Robert (August 2, 2010). "When Success Doesn't Come Fast Enough". CBS News Moneywatch. CBS News. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  11. ^ Eakin, Marah (January 21, 2011). "Craig Benzine of Wheezy Waiter". A.V. Club. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
  12. ^ Benzine, Craig (2012). "About WheezyWaiter". WheezyWaiter. Archived from the original on March 28, 2013. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
  13. ^ Hanks, Henry (October 21, 2013). "YouTubers' 'Please Subscribe' can earn them fame, money". CNN. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  14. ^ WheezyWaiter (February 16, 2016), It's Time for a Change Up, retrieved June 14, 2016
  15. ^ WheezyWaiter (June 27, 2016), Why Do I Keep Making Things?, retrieved August 14, 2016
  16. ^ WheezyWaiter (August 9, 2016), Why I'm Not Doing The Daily Vlog Anymore, retrieved August 14, 2016
  17. ^ WheezyWaiter (September 7, 2018), We Quit Sugar For A Month, Here's What Happened, retrieved December 19, 2019
  18. ^ "Driftless Pony Club". Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  19. ^ Milson, Tom (February 13, 2011). "thinking is terrible – Driftless Pony Club – Buckminster". Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  20. ^ "Driftless Pony Club". Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  21. ^ "Driftless Pony Club". Sputnik Music. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  22. ^ "DFTBA Records :: Driftless Pony Club". DFTBA Records. Archived from the original on April 4, 2013. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  23. ^ "DFTBA Records :: WheezyWaiter". DFTBA Records. Archived from the original on February 8, 2013. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  24. ^ Houk, Sierra (March 19, 2012). "Nerd Band of the Week: Driftless Pony Club". Almost Nerdy. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  25. ^ Kotenko, Jam (August 21, 2013). "Here's Why You Need to be Watching the YouTube Breakout Hit Series 'MyMusic'". Digital Trends. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  26. ^ Driftless Pony (May 12, 2016). "GET OUR NEW ALBUM NOW!" – via YouTube.
  27. ^ "In New Go90 Series, Craig "WheezyWaiter" Benzine Searches For The Perfect Pop Song - Tubefilter". July 27, 2016.
  28. ^ WheezyWaiter (October 16, 2014). "FINE TUNED - Full Short Film" – via YouTube.
  29. ^ "Contact Support".
  30. ^ Gutele, Sam (June 10, 2013). "Wheezy Waiter Explores The Good Stuff In Show Based Around Playlists". Tubefilter. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  31. ^ "Wheezy Waiter Answers Questions in New Series on Mental Floss Channel". Tubefilter. September 2, 2014. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  32. ^ "Big Questions – YouTube". Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  33. ^ Benzine, Craig (September 15, 2014). "? – (1000th Video!)". WheezyWaiter.
  34. ^ "YouTuber celebrates 1,000th video in the sweetest way". September 16, 2014. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  35. ^ "Craig and Chyna Honeymoon Part 1". YouTube. July 11, 2016. Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  36. ^ WheezyWaiter (April 3, 2016), And The City We're Moving to Is..., retrieved May 4, 2016
  37. ^ "We Have Some Exciting News!". YouTube. May 1, 2017. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  38. ^ "We're Moving Again". YouTube. March 10, 2018. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
This page was last edited on 2 January 2023, at 23:22
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