Over the years the Benny family has shown us several looks and styles that reflected the life and culture of the time they lived and performed in. Starting in the late 60's, as the first mascot to ever roam the side lines of an NBA game, Benny's great grandfather enjoyed many freedoms NBA mascots don't have today. Arguing calls, sitting on the baskets and jumping through hoops of fire are a thing of the past. However, back when Great Grandpa Benny was working the fans in old Chicago Stadium, the only rule was just don't bite anyone.
As years past and the family business was handed down from Benny to Benny to Benny, the art of entertaining sports fans evolved into a league wide phenomenon. Nearly every team had a wild animal of some sort keeping fans engaged during time outs, halftimes and city events. From stunts, to comedy acts, dance routines, pictures, autographs, merchandise and world travel... the NBA mascot was here to stay.
In 2004 the torch (trampoline) was passed to the current Benny we know and love today. The Bulls felt it was a good idea to keep Benny slim and in good shape because we want Benny to be a role model for kids and adults to be active, eat well and be healthy. Thus, Benny looks a little different than his predecessor from the 1990s (above center).
The modern day Benny has performed all over the world and nearly every state in the union. He performs and appears at over 150 events every year, on top of every Bulls home game. His list of favorite activities includes:
- Dunking with his team "Benny and the Elevators"
- Spilling popcorn on people
- Stealing children's shoes
- Rappelling from the rafters in the United Center
- Flirting with the Luvabulls
- Cruising around Chicago in 'Benny's Bull Ride™'
- Going to schools to remind kids the importance of studying hard
- Combing his tail
- Throwing cakes on people
- Falling down
"Biggie" as his friends call him, was reunited with Benny in 2002 after a failed stint at blimp college. Benny's big brother can be seen at most home games and occasionally appears at outside events; if Benny needs him to cover his schedule so he can play some golf. Benny and Big Ben have the classic big brother/little brother relationship so you will often see them picking on each other and getting into small scuffles on the court. The important thing is they always make up with a hug and a dance. It's the Benny family way.
No one is really sure where he came from, but he just kept showing up at the arena, so the Bulls adopted him as a team pet in 2007. He kind of looks like a member of Benny's family so he fits in well. Benji doesn't come out and play much compared to the rest of the family, but when he does, he's usually a crowd favorite. Fun fact, he has a 62" vertical.