Benji Greensberg, a resident of Yonkers, has been a cab driver for 17 years. But since he was a child, Greensberg has a passion for doing impressions. After a lucky shot at Jimmy Kimmel’s show in 2004, where he had a minute of time to show the best of his skills as an impressionist, Greensberg’s career in the entertainment never took off.
Undeterred by the difficulties of entering the show business, Greensberg keeps practicing his impressions, occasionally entertaining the customers he picks up on the taxi.
Character: Greensberg is a rather lonely man. After nearly two decades of driving cabs, he is hoping his passion for impressions and costumes will turn into a job. But although he dreams of success, Greensberg seems to be aware of his mediocre skills as an impressionist.
Story: Greensberg takes us with him on a cab ride with a passenger. His impressions entertain the rider. In the second scene, Greensberg performs at New York Comic Con, where he interacts with the people and hopes to gain some attention.
He is not drawn by the desire of becoming rich, he said, but just by the will of having a good time, while, of course, being able to give up his job as a cab driver.
“To me it’s not about money. It’s about performing, making people laugh,” Greensberg said. Yet he admits getting into show business would give bring him a good life.
Asked what he would do with a lot of money, Greensberg said he would just relax in his living room, “like everybody else,” and eat often at restaurants.
The New York Comic Con is a great event for Greensberg. He usually goes there to get exposed to people in the entertainment industry, giving a business card to virtually every person he interacts with. “You never know who you might find there,” he said.
His skills as an impressionist might not be top-notch, but Greensberg clearly believes he can make it to a job in cinema or TV.
GREENSBERG: When you’re six years old, everybody has an all-American look. Just about every kid.
You hair is not messed up. I mean, no acne.
Everything is like… you have no worries.
Everybody is a good happy all-American kid. I guess i was one of them.
GREENSBERG: [speaking into the radio] Go ahead.
[from the radio] 22 Mine Rd. Going up please.
[speaking into the radio] Check.
The social media didn’t really exist, I don’t think, in 2004 when I did Jimmy Kimmel.
[from archival footage of Greensberg’s appearance at Jimmy Kimmel Live!] From Rye, NY. Please Welcome the many voices of Benji Greenberg to tonight’s Future Talent Showcase.
[Greensberg performing various accents]
I like performing. It’s like entertaining people, making them laugh, having a good time
[performing The Beatles] This is John Lennon. Thank you very much. This is Paul McCartney, you know. I never drive a taxi but I write five million songs. George Harrison, lead guitar you know. Ringo Starr, at the drums.
PASSENGER: That’s excellent. You should quit your day job.
GREENSBERG: Yeah, quit my night job.
PASSENGER: Quit your night job.
GREENSBERG: It’s $6.50.
GREENSBERG: No charge for entertainment.
PASSENGER: Thank you very much.
GREENSBERG: Thank you. Have a good.. Have a good evening
PASSENGER: You too. Have fun tomorrow
[Greensberg at his home trying on a Donald Trump wig]
GREENSBERG: [performing Donald Trump] I’m the Donald, I want your vote. I want your vote. This is Donald Trump. I want your vote, Ok? You got it? Ok? Don’t vote for Hillary.
GREENSBERG: Very good, very good.
WOMAN DRESSED LIKE SHIRA: Thanks. Thanks for a better America.
GREENSBERG: Who are you supposed to be?
WOMAN DRESSED LIKE SHIRA: Shira.
WOMAN DRESSED LIKE SHIRA: Yeah.
GREENSBERG: Oh really?
GREENSBERG: To me it’s not about money. It’s about other things. It’s about performing, making people laugh. Have some kind of enjoyment, satisfaction. That’s the fun on it
GREENSBERG: [performing The Penguin]
GREENSBERG: [performing Dr. Feel] Hi, this is Dr. Feel from Dr. Feel Show. How you all doing? Just tell me how you feel.
[performing Russian accent] I have to be Russian boy here for me to go to… We got to be…
[performing unintelligible accent] …How you doing?
Contact: Marco Poggio