Though many of us know Ben Stein as the dynamic economics teacher in Ferris Bueller's Day Off or as the host of Comedy Central's Win Ben Stein's Money, he began his career in a very different public arena. Well, not that different, says the former speechwriter for Richard Nixon.
"Well, I only had one year working for Nixon before he unfortunately had to leave," Stein tells the TV Guide Channel. "It was a very interesting, challenging time. [But] there was a certain tragic nature to the end of Nixon's tenure in office. I must've cried for six weeks straight every day after he left..."
But the multi-talented Stein, whose interview show, Turn Ben Stein On, is starting its new season on Comedy Central this week, notes there isn't much difference between politics and entertainment. "They each involve a lot of putting yourself out there and being judged by the people who are looking at you. Another big similarity is that [politics and entertainment are] so screwy, and so unpredictable, you must have a great sense of humor."
Would he ever consider getting into politics again? Something officiallydealing with other people's money? "I wouldn't be a good Secretary of the Treasury because I don't like working those hours," he replies in his trademark deadpan. "You have to get in real early, stay real late, and you can't take naps during the day."
Even so, Stein, who also worked as a lawyer and economist, has a bit of advice for the new president. "[George W. Bush] should surround himself with very smart people. [Like] his mother. [Barbara Bush] is a genius; he should listen to his mother."