Heard on Campus: Ben Stein at Eisenhower Auditorium

February 04, 2010

"John Hughes said 'You have just the right note in your voice for a teacher.' It got a very nice response on the set set and I prayed it would stay in. When the movie came out it turned out to be a very successful scene... It was pure luck, but if there's a lesson from that, it's that you have to be at the table in the first place."

-- Actor, economist, educator and former presidential speechwriter Ben Stein, speaking Wednesday (Feb. 3) at Eisenhower Auditorium on Penn State's University Park campus, on his now iconic scene in the 1986 comedy "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." Stein had moved to California to become a screenwriter after his career in economics, education and politics, and struck up a relationship with director John Hughes, who so liked Stein's delivery he showcased Stein in two mostly improvised scenes that launched his career as an actor and television personality. Stein spoke as part of the 2009-10 Distinguished Speaker Series, which next features author Maya Angelou on March 23.

  • Ben Stein answers reporters during a press conference prior to his Distinguished Speaker Series lecture Feb. 3 at Eisenhower Auditorium.

    IMAGE: Andy Colwell
Last Updated November 18, 2010