Bits and Pieces: Ben Feldman’s “‘Toothpick Guy’ vs. ‘Dental Floss Guy’”

Over the course of a comedian’s life he or she will experience thousands of jokes – some of them, they might even like. In the spirit of comics loving comedy, we present a short form journal of the Bay’s best comedians talking shop and throwing shine on their favorite jokes/bits/stories heard over and over and over again in cafes, clubs, and anywhere else with a microphone. 

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Ben Feldman is a pronounced professional. Dry, acerbic absurdism over a classic, syrupy cadence, the wine-wielding comic comes with a slew of smartassery. One of the best examples of Feldman’s brand of wit and poise is his joke about being asked about if he was a “toothpick guy” or a “dental floss” guy.

Essentially, the joke is a gentle, yet firm nudge against the idiocy of playing devil’s advocate for such trivial inquiries. All the classic mechanics of a great, sarcastic send-up are present: intrusion and instance leading to conflict, a hyperbolic leap of logic, an illustrative act-out. Feldman doesn’t go overboard, doesn’t overstate his case, doesn’t try to be “cool”. The joke — and by extension the jokester — is relaxed, direct and congruent to the body of a class act. 

[Words by OJ Patterson. Photo by Shawn Robbins]