What ever happened to that Dell dude?

New York magazine has the low-down in its "Ask a Waiter" column, because, well, the Dell dude - known in real life as Ben Curtis and made famous by the phrase, "Dude, you're getting a Dell" - waits tables at a place called Tortilla Flats.

Everyone who's shocked raise your hand. ... Higher people, higher, I can't see them.

Here's a bite of the Q&A session with Curtis:

What's the most extreme reaction you've gotten (to being recognized)?

There was a group of women in their early forties, one of whom was bawling. I walk over and they said, "Our friend just passed away. We thought you might be able to cheer [us] up, we know who you are and you're an incredible human and you've been through a lot and you're an incredible actor. We're all DEA agents, and we think you should smoke as much pot as you want to. And we love you."

The pot crack was a reference to Curtis being arrested in 2003. From The Smoking Gun's account of that bust (including the court document, naturally):

Hey, dude, you're getting a cell! Benjamin Curtis, the 22-year-old actor who portrays "Steven," the Dell Guy, in those bothersome computer commercials, was arrested late last night (2/9) on a marijuana possession charge, The Smoking Gun has learned. According to police, Curtis was nabbed after cops spotted him buying a "small bag of marijuana" from a dealer on Manhattan's Lower East Side (at Ludlow and Rivington for you Gothamites).

As for the adjudication of those charges? We turn to Wikipedia:

Since the bag Curtis possessed contained a very small amount of marijuana, the judge in his case was lenient. The case was adjourned in contemplation of dismissal, meaning it would be dismissed and Curtis's record expunged if he stayed out of trouble for the next year. Despite the incident, Dell spokesman Venancio Figueroa maintained that Curtis' relationship with the company was "still in place." However, Dell, Inc. fired Curtis as a result of his arrest due to company policy. It ended Curtis's relationship with them. [2] However, it is believed that Curtis was already in the process of being phased-out in favor of a new pitch for Dell. In early 2003, the Dude ad campaign was dropped in favor of a new set of commercials about three Dell interns.

There you go. Now you'll be ready next time someone asks, "Hey, what do you figure that Dell dude's doing these days?"

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