Wipeout‘s John Henson Prepares For Fatherhood

03/04/2011 at 04:00 PM ET

Contestants face many obstacles on ABC’s Wipeout, from Big Balls to the final Wipeout Zone, to earn their $50,000 prize. For co-host John Henson and his wife, comedienne Jill Benjamin, learning about the pending birth of their first child was a reward unto itself.

“I lost my mother five weeks before the wedding [in June] after a very prolonged illness,” Henson tells PEOPLE. “We were planning on having a honeymoon baby and after we lost my mom, it was one of those moments where my wife and I talked and said, ‘Gee, life is short and you’re not promised tomorrow, and what different does five weeks make?'”

So the couple started trying and “Sure enough, first time out of the box, we got pregnant,” Henson, 42, says, “and I would really like to think my mom had a hand in that.”

Henson and Benjamin are expecting a son to arrive this month. “We are so excited,” he says.

Josh Meyers


Even more fortunate, Henson and Benjamin first found out the good news on the eve of their honeymoon trip. “My wife said, ‘Geez, maybe we should take a test just to be safe because we are going to be celebrating and having some cocktails,'” Henson explains. “She got out of the bathroom and went, ‘Umm.’ This was about four hours before we were to leave.”

Henson adds, “As I like to say, you know you are having a good day when going to Bora Bora is the second best thing that day!”

Now, in between filming Wipeout, Henson has been preparing the nursery with Benjamin with as much attention to detail as their circus-themed wedding reception, where they handcrafted the decorations.

“This is what happens when comedians breed,” Henson jokes of his and Benjamin’s colorful room with a tux and top hat over the crib, contributed by friends. “When you give two people in comedy the budget to do a nursery, it’s not going to come out normal.”

But, Henson says, “We thought, ‘Let’s get the kid going early, because while other kids watch Baby Einstein, our kid is going to be watching old Nichols and May routines and work on his timing!”

— Cynthia Wang

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , Expecting , Maternity , News

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Showing 28 comments

ForeverMoore on

I love John Henson! All the back from his Talk Soup days! I’m so happy for them especially after the heartbreak…can’t wait to see this baby and hear the name!

J on

They totally ripped that nursery design off of “Sarah’s House”! LOL

georgiaonmymind on

Love John Henson and love Wipeout! He will be a wonderful father! Congrats to them both!

Vanessa Sellers on

What a wonderful story. I wish them all the best.

shalay on

I loved that story! And I loved how he put it, that going to Bora Bora was the second best thing to happen to him that day. So great!

Kay on

Other than the alphabet letters along the top of the walls, I don’t see any similarity at all. And believe me, Sarah’s House is not the first to use that decorating element. I don’t think anyone ‘ripped off’ a nursery design.

Dr. B on

I was brought here when I saw a quote that said,”Sure enough, first time out of the box, we got pregnant,” Henson, 42, says, “and I would really like to think my mom had a hand in that.” I just had to read about how his mom had a “hand in that”.

lizneighbors on

Congratulations to you both—hope everything works out fine!

Mark on

Congratulations to both!!! Wipe out is the BEST show ever. I know know where John got his sense of humor…..a comedian wife….life couldn’t be better than that.

Marla on

Congrats! I loved him on Talk Soup. What a sweet story. Congrats to him and his wife.

Josie on

Absolutely Love Wipeout…
I know this is TMI…I always make sure to use the restroom before the show starts because I laugh so hard, I start to leak!! I cannot hold it!

Congrats on the new addition!

J on


Seriously sweetie, are you stalking me? Please get a life, I can make whatever the h3ll comments I want. You do not need to respond to every single one. Stop being obsessed with me.

eternalcanadian on

I love Wipeout! Big balls! 😛 Congratulations and good luck to the new parents!

Tony on

I wonder if Ballsy will be performing the delivery…

fuzibuni on

hahah dr. b i thought the same thing! 🙂

Sarah S. on

Congrats to John and Jill! I’ve been a fan of John’s for several years now. Also watched him on the Rachael Ray recently–hilarious as always! He said his wife is also a comedian. I’m sure they’ll have lots of fun with the new baby and all. I didn’t know about John’s mother passing…so sad.

Kay on

Seriously J,
I don’t remember ever responding to one of your comments before. And I can make whatever comment I would like, as well. Paranoid much? Ha.

B.J. on

Congrats to John Henson and his lovely wife! Wipeout is one of my favorite shows. I know several people who have auditioned for the show, and one who made it into the final round! (didn’t win though.. sorry “Fruitcake!”)

stephen on

Mr. Henson—Congratulations!….and, Big Balls.

Marilyn Miller on

I can’t wait for the phone call tomorrow night about baby Henson. So much exciting happening with the new baby and “grandma and grandpa” Benjamin’s new house. I think tomorrow Baby Henson will totally take center stage even over Wipeout and comedienne Jill.

Love ya both, Marilyn

BubbleT on

Dr. B and fuzibuni…I was wondering the same thing!

Rosemary on

Congrats, John and Jill! I agree – your mom was watching down from Heaven. I know your baby is a boy but it would be nice if you could somehow add your mom’s name to his. A friend of mine had a son and his middle name is Douglas — kind of a masculinization of Doris, which was her mother’s name. Just a thought, guys! Seriously, GOOD LUCK and GOD BLESS (I know you’ve move up and on, John, but I miss your “Talk Soup” days).

Becky P. on

Congrats to them..

TJ on

Congrats! Maybe they could name the little boy “Wright” after his grandmother’s maiden name since they got it “right” after their first try 😉

Tricia on

Hooray!! Love John Henson, used to write him fan letters when he was on Talk Soup. Congratulations, enjoy this wonderful time!!

Tricia on

Congratulations!!! I’m a forever fan of John Henson, used to write him fan letters all the time when he was on Talk Soup… Enjoy this wonderful time!!!!!

Keri on

AHH! They look like brother and sister.

ava on

i am so happy for you