Howard mentioned this week it was the anniversary of Benjy's first appearance on the show. Here's the original rundown from Marksfriggin: Benjy The Intern's Close Encounter With Howard. 1/20/98. 8:05am One of Howard's newest interns had an interesting story to tell on the air this morning. Benji, who's a big fan of Howard's, was sitting in the office one day before he'd met Howard in person. He said that he'd prepared himself for meeting Howard and thought that he wouldn't be nervous. Howard came into the office and Benjy said he just smiled nervously. He said that Howard looked at him with ''loving eyes'' or something like that. At one point Howard walked past Benjy and as he walked past him he touched his shoulder and squeezed it softly. Benjy said he felt a jolt of electricity go through him. He claims that before Howard touched him he couldn't move his shoulder for some reason. Now he says that he's cured. He also claimed that he saw the Virgin Mary after Howard touched him. He said she was pretty hot looking. Howard said that he was going to lock the studio door after Benjy left. What Howard didn't mention was that the whole thing was scripted and rehearsed. I heard Benjy discuss it (probably on the WUS - don't remember for sure) several years ago. He said he told Gary about the idea for this bit and was told to submit it in writing. Gary read it and forwarded it to Howard, who approved and suggested a few changes. Benjy said Howard even called him on the phone and rehearsed with him to make sure he could sound convincing. Obviously no one listening at the time believed it was really a true story, but it seemed like a spontaneous moment and Howard sounded like he was hearing it for the first time. Made me wonder how many of what we thought were genuine random events and conversations were really planned in advance. Maybe that's why we get so few of those moments now - Howard is too lazy to prepare them.