Ben Lee Likens '3 Minute Talk Show' Bandleader Gig to 'Being a Busboy'
Following in the footsteps of the Roots, Kevin Eubanks and Paul Shaffer, Australian musician Ben Lee has become the bandleader for a new Internet talk show, albeit an extremely abbreviated one.
Fredric Reshew for Spinner
Lee and 'The Greatest Band in the World Wide Web' are currently providing music for the '3 Minute Talk Show With Barry Sobel.' Sobel, a New York-based comedy writer and comedian who coached Tom Hanks for his stand-up film 'Punchline,' hosts the Hanks-produced program that debuted last week with actor Fred Willard as his sidekick.
"I didn't actually believe it was happening until the day he showed up," Lee tells Spinner. "God bless Barry, but he's got your classic creative and chaotic imagination. So I was thinking how he was going to pull this off, and lo and behold he did. I was in total shock that we were doing this thing."
The connection between Lee and Sobel dates back over a decade when Sobel appeared at a Virgin Records in-store performance Lee was doing on Los Angeles' Sunset Boulevard. The two kept in touch through Facebook over the years before Sobel approached Lee -- who previously worked with comedian Margaret Cho -- about the project.
"[Sobel] was looking for someone who could be a bit of a comedic foil to him," Lee says. "To me, comedy and music are just partners, so they go well hand in hand. He got the idea that I could be someone he could use for that.
"He said, 'I want you to be my Paul Shaffer.' I was like, 'I don't really play keyboard so how about I play guitar.' He said, 'No, guitar doesn't look right, it has to be on the keyboard or piano.' So it was one of those