A.J. Benza photo

A.J. Benza

Birth name:
Alfred Joseph Benza
Date of Birth:
2 June 1962 Brooklyn, New York, USA
Benza was born June 2, 1962 in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. His father, Al, and his mother, Lillian, moved Benza and his two sisters, Rosalie and Lorraine, to West Islip, New York (Long Island) shortly after his birth. Benza graduated from West Islip High School in 1980 and attended C.W. Post College in Brookville, New York where he became a journalism major and showed an affinity for horticulture.During his college days, he spent most of his time studying and pursuing dramatic theatre. Being a huge Hall and Oates fan, In 1983 he started a rock band with three childhood friends, Whitey, Chico and Fred; they called the band: "Fred can wait." Benza, a harmonica wizard, dazzled many college crowds with his lightning lipwork and crashing crescendos.Benza left the band for a part-time job at Newsday, a newspaper on Long Island. He wrote high school sports and freelanced as a bouncer on the weekends at a club called Illusions in Mahwah, New Jersey. He quickly quit the club and was hired full-time to write gossip for the Daily News.Benza wrote through the early 90s, then was scooped away to L.A. to host "Mysteries and Scandals" on the E! channel.A.J. has been the co-host with fellow poker commentator Gabe Kaplan on High Stakes Poker since 2004.Now he writes freelance, performs the harmonica at open mics and still makes appearances in films and television. He currently lives in Los Angeles.
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