"Dude, you're getting a Dell!"
--The Dell Stoner
Ben Curtis, also known as The Dell Stoner, The Dell Dude, and "Steven" in the ads, has been a marketing success for the large computer manufacturer.
Since the first "Dell Dude" ad aired in 2001, Dell computer sales have steadily increased. In fact, "Steven" has been such a success for Dell, that he has developed a cult following. Fan sites are everywhere on the internet (of which many teenage girls are quoted as reffering to Ben as "sexy" and looking like "a great lover"). 'Discussion boards buzz with a frenzy whenver a new "Dell Dude" commercial airs. Even Saturday Night Live has spoofed the Dell Dude character.
Curtis, born in 1982 and graduating from McCallie High School in Tennessee, was a struggling drama student from New York, until he struck the kind deal with Dell. For the famed part of "Steve," Ben beat out over 100 other actors for the chance to star in the Dell campaign.
In the commercial, he plays a stoner/surfer type character who hounds his parents, his friends, his friends parents, and random people in his dorm hall to buy a Dell computer. Ben is a perfect salesman, stressing lots of accessories and the great bargain.
So famous is Ben Curtis, that he has been quoted as "Gen X's answer to Where's the Beef?," by the Wall Street Journal and "lovable" by USA Today. I personally know people who are practically religious about taking a 'hit' in honor of the "Dell Dude" whenever one of the commercials air!
Dell has recently toned down their use of the "Dell Dude" in their advertising campeigns, but assure Ben Curtis' fans, that he will be back, better than before.