Ben Rosenfeld was born in the city formerly known as Leningrad, but came to Connecticut as a toddler with his parents as the Soviet Union began to break apart. His comedy reflects his upbringing as a Russian Jewish immigrant in America. A graduate of Rutgers University, Ben entered a Ph.D. program in neuroeconomics at CalTech before realizing that his career path was meant for comedy instead. His TV credits include Laughs on FOX, as well as The Nick Cannon Show, and he has released multiple comedy albums since 2012: “Neuro Comedy,” “The Russian Optimist,” “The United States of Russia” and “Don’t Shake Your Miracle.” Ben also has published an illustrated coffee table book, “Russian Optimism: Dark Nursery Rhymes To Cheer You Right Up.” That optimism seemed needed more in 2022 than even in 2016, ever since Russia invaded the Ukraine. Ben has tried to find jokes in that, too, producing daily TikTok videos to his more than 270,000 followers. He joined me over Zoom to talk about his comedy career, his Russian heritage, and how he has had to adapt to audiences as the geopolitics have changed.
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