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Thea Vidale
Born November 20, 1956 (1956-11-20) (age 53)
Washington, D.C.
Occupation comedian, actress

Thea Vidale (born November 20, 1956, in Washington, D.C.), is an American stand-up comedian and actress. She began her career doing stand-up comedy in comic clubs in Washington, D.C., New York City, and Los Angeles. As an actress, she has made numerous guest appearances on sitcoms, including Ellen, The Wayans Bros., The Drew Carey Show, and My Wife and Kids. She may be best known for her portrayal of "Thea" on the short-lived sitcom Thea for which she was nominated for a People's Choice Award as Favorite Female in a New Series. She has also starred in Master P's comedy movie Repo's.

In 1999, promoted by Scott Sherman of Atlantic Entertainment Group, Vidale appeared at the Philadelphia GLBT Pride Fest, her first GLBT event, with comic Etta May. Both were honored by the city's mayor, who officially named the day simultaneously "Thea Vidale Day" & "Etta May Day".


World Wrestling Entertainment career

Thea Vidale made her debut on World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in January of 2006. She appeared as the mother to wrestler Shelton Benjamin, who had been going through difficulties in the preceding weeks. Her first appearance was on the January 2 episode of Raw,[1] where she surprised Benjamin by showing up and yelled at him that he wasn't acting the way Benjamins act. Over the next several weeks, "Momma Benjamin", as she came to be known, was involved in several backstage skits resulting in her challenging wrestlers to matches in Shelton's behalf. Unlike in his streak before her arrival, however, Shelton won the majority of these matches.[2][3][4]

On the February 6, episode of RAW Momma Benjamin attempted to interfere in Shelton's match with the Big Show, only to have the Big Show turn to her and scream in her face. After he turned back to finish the match (which he won), Momma Benjamin fainted to the ground, prompting EMTs to rush to her side and wheel her backstage.[5] The official WWE website later announced that she was resting at home after suffering from a heart arrhythmia, which was what caused her to pass out. Momma Benjamin returned to Raw the next week,[6] but with an oxygen tank attached to her wheelchair that started being used as a weapon, especially on the February 20 episode when she led Shelton to the WWE Intercontinental Championship.[7] Momma Benjamin was mentioned for the final time on WWE television on March 13, with Shelton announcing to the crowd that she was having heart surgery, and had no plans to return to WWE.[8]

Back on TV

In 2007 Thea Vidale made a guest appearance on the television series Ugly Betty playing a hairdresser in the episode "Queens for a Day". That same year, she played the part of Helen's grandmother on the Drake & Josh episode "Really Big Shrimp".

Later in 2007 she tried out for the reality television show Last Comic Standing, making it to the second round.[9]

Vidale was announced as co-host for the 2009 AVN Awards, with Belladonna and Jenna Haze, on Saturday, Jan. 10 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

Vidale is reported to have performed as a replacement voice for the Mammy Two Shoes character in Tom and Jerry cartoons running on Boomerang, to provide a less racially stereotyped voice for the character.


On March 26, 2009, Vidale was a guest on The Howard Stern Show on Sirius XM channel Howard 100, where she made the startling revelation that she has been with both men and women sexually.


  1. ^ "RAW results - January 2, 2006". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-06-21.  
  2. ^ "RAW results - January 9, 2006". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-06-21.  
  3. ^ "RAW results - January 16, 2006". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-06-21.  
  4. ^ PWI Staff (May 2006). "Pro Wrestling Illustrated, May 2006". Arena Reports (Kappa Publishing): p. 130. "Shelton Benjamin pinned Goldust"  
  5. ^ "RAW results - February 6, 2006". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-06-21.  
  6. ^ "RAW results - February 13, 2006". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-06-21.  
  7. ^ "RAW results - February 20, 2006". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-06-21.  
  8. ^ "RAW results - March 13, 2006". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-06-21.  
  9. ^ "Last Comic Standing: 32 minutes in". Punchline Magazine blog. Retrieved 2007-06-21. "And the LA winners are: Thea Vidale," Thea Vidale, Flo Rida Announced as Co-Host, Musical Guest for 2009 AVN Awards

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