Ben Hartranft reflects on his appearance on The Ellen Show


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Ben Hartranft hugs Ellen DeGeneres. Ben appeared on her show back in October of 2018.

For over three years, North Penn’s Ben Hartranft has dreamed of going on The Ellen Show. On October 18th, Ben’s dream came true as he shared his personality and passion for autism to the world.

Flashback about 6 weeks, when Ben got a call to do an interview for Ellen , with no guarantee that he would ever be on. Hartranft had to keep this interview a secret, and if you know Ben, you know he loves to talk.

“Nobody at North Penn knew. I had to keep it a secret, it was so hard.” remembered Hartranft,

After six weeks of waiting, the Hartranfts got the call on October 12th to fly to LA the following Wednesday. Ben and his dad, Glenn Hartranft, went to LA under the impression they were filming a video for ellentube.

“I didn’t even think I was going to meet Ellen,” said Ben.

When they arrived at the studio the day of, producers practiced questions and answers with Ben, and Ben and his dad waited in a dressing room.

“We waited in a room for about two hours, and 30 minutes before the show they pulled me aside and explained that he was going to be surprised by Ellen and Jon Dorenbos. I obviously couldn’t tell Ben, and I couldn’t even call my wife and tell her. I think I was more nervous than he was,” said Glenn Hartranft.

When Ben was taken to the room to film the video, he was first surprised by Jon Dorenbos, and then Ellen appeared on the screen to surprise him too. He was then led onto the stage and sat next to Ellen herself to be interviewed.

“It was unreal. I actually got to sit on the white couch. I tried for 3 years to get on her show and I did it,” said Ben.

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Ben Hartranft receives $10,000 for his Eagles Autism Challenge.

Talking to Ellen, Hartranft shared details of his daily life, his jobs, and his passion for autism awareness. The interview was following by a magic trick by Jon Dorenbos which included gifts for Ben. He received tickets to Universal Studios, and an Eagles gift basket, including a signed Super Bowl helmet, field access tickets to any game, and much more. The biggest surprise was Shutterfly gifting Ben with $10,000 for his Eagles Autism Challenge.

“It was amazing to get the money to reach my goal. My next goal is $25,000!” shared Hartranft.

I’m still pinching myself, I’m still on cloud 9.”

— Ben Hartranft

According the Ben, being on the Ellen show was absolutely life changing, and he is still in shock.

“I’m still pinching myself, I’m still on cloud 9. It was so crazy seeing myself on TV.” he shared.

You can watch Ben’s appearance on the Ellen show here:

Ben is still accepting donations for his Eagles Autism Challenge, and would love your help! The funds go towards autism research. You can donate here: