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No laughing matter: Comedian visits 63 airports in a month

Courtesy of Owen Benjamin

Comedian Owen Benjamin visited 63 airports in one month and managed to do stand-up for fellow passengers along the way.

Talk about a frequent flier.

During the past month, actor and comedian Owen Benjamin has been crisscrossing the country – taking up to five flights a day – in an attempt to break the world’s record for the most airports visited in a month.

Benjamin has been documenting his adventure on Twitter, YouTube and on a website called Funny on the Fly, and is finishing the campaign with an ear infection, a temporary moratorium on eating those little bags of peanuts and close to an hour’s worth of new material for his stand-up comedy act.

His final flight is today – from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to North Carolina’s Raleigh Durham International Airport (with a connection at BWI in Baltimore) and when he touches down he’ll have visited 63 different airports this month. With repeat airport visits for connections, the total is more than 90.

According to officials at RecordSetter, those 63 unique airport visits beats the previous unofficial record of 30 different airports visited in one month.

Overhead Bin caught up with Benjamin in New York as he was getting ready to head out on the last leg of his trip.

Q: These days, and especially this time of year, most people hate flying. Why would you agree to fly to so many airports in one month?

A: I thought it would be fun and cool to have the world record for anything, let alone something I can brag about to my other friends who also travel a lot.

Q: You fly a lot to get to colleges and clubs for your stand-up comedy work. How was this flying different?

A: Normally I’d be taking a couple of flights to get to Miami to do a show. For this the whole purpose was just to travel. I could do five flights in a day and end up in some random city just to get some sleep. That was a little mentally intense for 30 days in a row. But it was fun.

Q: With visits to so many airports, how did you tell them apart?

A: A lot of them are pretty similar. Some have local flavor to them. Boston has rocking chairs and Baltimore has a lot of places to eat crabs. But other than that they’re all very, very similar: a lot of moving walkways.

Q: As you finish up, what tips do you have to help other travelers stay sane on the road?

A: It’s a good idea to always have a good book with you that you’re excited to read because at any point there can be a delay. Also, drink tons of water. It sounds simple, but it is really important. You’re exposed to thousands of strangers and different temperatures throughout the day and it’s really easy to get sick.

Q: Did your dog, Benny, go with you?

A: Benny was with me for 30 flights and then went to stay with my mom. He had a great time and he’s marked a wide territory –perhaps wider than any other dog – by peeing outside the airport in 20 different cities.

Q: Can you share some of your memorable moments from the past month?

A: I had fun doing stand-up on some of the flights and giving prizes to passengers who stood up to share their best jokes on the public address system. But some of the most memorable things are extremely mundane. For example, I was traveling with just a carry-on suitcase and an up escalator being broken was a heartbreaking experience for me.

Q: Now that this record-breaking month of flying is over, are you going to stay on the ground for a while?

A: No. As soon as this is over, I’m flying to Richmond, Va., and Louisville, Ky., for gigs and I close out January in Hartford, Conn., and then go to Denver. It never ends. I just keep going.

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Find more by Harriet Baskas on StuckatTheAirport.com and follow her on Twitter.