In a story almost too sad to be true, the answer to the “Whatever happened to that annoying Dell Dude?” question is answered.
The daily routine for Benjamin Curtis is a mundane one. Wake up at noon, talk to his invisible friend Charlie, shout obscenities at passersby, ask those same passersby for loose change or a hot meal, check his MySpace for comments, and repeat. However, life was not always this way for Curtis.
From 2000 to 2003, Curtis was the spokesman for Dell Computers. He played the fictional character Steven, a chipper and super-annoying teenager who went around informing prospective buyers of all the perks of owning a Dell. His catchphrase, “Dude, you’re gettin’ a Dell!” annoyed consumers world wide.
“Boy, people hated that character,” Curtis acknowledged as he swatted away vampire bats only he could see.
“Whenever I went outside, people would throw things at me. Shoes, rocks, sticks, whatever was handy.”
In spite of the public’s animosity towards Curtis’ character, sales of Dell Computers skyrocketed. The success was unexpected.
“The entire ‘Steven’ ad campaign was an inside joke,” admitted Michael Dell, founder and chairman of Dell Computers. “We couldn’t believe it worked. Once we saw all the money coming in, we thought, ‘what the heck…let’s make it so that people cannot take two steps without hearing Steven’s voice.'”
That decision ultimately led to Benjamin Curtis’ downfall. Cops, lawyers, and media members banded together in an effort to rid society of “Steven.” On February 9, 2003, Curtis was arrested for attempting to buy a small bag of marijuana.
“I was in my apartment taking a nap when some cops knocked down my front door, threw a bag of weed at me and shouted, ‘no we will not sell you marijuana!'”
Added Curtis, as he rummaged through a nearby garbage can: “I was framed.”
“It’s true,” responded arresting officer Frank Stallone. “We framed that boy good.”
After the arrest, Dell dropped Curtis as its spokesman. Life quickly went downhill after that. His girlfriend, dog, and cat all left him in a span of a few weeks. His goldfish left soon thereafter. New acting gigs were impossible to come by. Curtis took work wherever he could find it, including a forgetful three weeks as Rosie O’Donnell’s personal assistant.
“That,” Curtis deadpanned, “was when I hit rock bottom.”
Now homeless and unable to even get work in Old Navy commercials, Curtis remains upbeat.
“I don’t let things get me down. The other day, when that guy threw a rock at me and shouted, ‘dude, you’re getting pummeled with rocks,’ I just laughed it off. When those cops framed me and my lawyer grabbed my hand and started smacking me in the head with it, I ignored his ‘dude, stop hitting yourself’ taunts.”
“But as God is my witness, if these bats don’t get away from me I’m going to burn this city down.”
The above story is fake. Any truth contained within is completely coincidental (and sad).