North Penn’s Ben Hartranft to appear on Ellen Show

Advocating for Autism awareness has become a life mission for the Ben Hartranft, while taking his message to Ellen has been a life goal.


Submitted photo

Ben Big Time! North Penn’s Ben Hartranft and his dad Glenn get ready to enter the Ellen Show studios. At right, Ben plays the role of star as he makes himself look sharp for his Oct 22 Ellen Show appearance .

TOWAMENCIN – If you are at all familiar with the people in the pods of North Penn High School over the last four years, you surely must know of a tall, kind of loud, and certainly energetic young man by the name of Ben.

Ben Hartranft, now a post-12 student at North Penn, did not speak when he was a little kid, but now not only is he speaking, his voice is about to be heard all over the world as he continues his advocacy for autism awareness with an appearance on The Ellen Show, on Monday, October 22 at 3:00pm EST.  Ben will appear with former Philadelphia Eagle and former America’s Got Talent contestant Jon Dorenbos.

For Ben, appearing on the hit afternoon talk show caps off an incredible run that has seen him carry the Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl trophy, spend a day at Dorney Park with Eagles center Jason Kelce, and appear in the Eagles gameday magazine. But Ellen… well, Ellen! This is what Ben has been eyeing up for a long time.

Finally, on September 10th he received a call on his cell from Burbank ”

— Glenn Hartranft - father of Ben

“Many people had joined Ben with #getbentoellen and inundated Ellen with requests to have Ben on the show over the past 3 years.  Finally, on September 10th he received a call on his cell from Burbank and knew right away that is where Ellen is filmed.  They arranged a Skype interview and were very clear that the interview did not mean he would be invited to the show and we were also not allowed to tell anyone about the contact,” explained Glenn Hartranft, Ben’s dad.

Ben… not tell anyone… what!? Yes, that was no easy task for the “Mayor of North Penn,” but keep it quiet he did. Four weeks of phone calls and doorbells that Ben hoped were someone from Ellen went by before finally on a call on October 12th invited Ben and his parents to fly to Los Angeles to record a video for Ellentube and to be in the audience for a taping of the show. With Ben’s mom laid up following a knee surgery on October 10th, the westward trip turned into a father/son adventure for the ages.

Ellen posted this preview of the show on her Instagram account Sunday night.


Over the years, Ben has become a leading advocate for Autism awareness, dating back to his first soft pretzel fundraiser at North Penn in 2016, an appearance on the NPTV Morning show, and throwing out the first pitch at the NP Baseball autism awareness day for the first time in 2015, before passing the torch to his friend Tyler Coyne this past spring. Since then, Ben’s platform has expanded as he has become heavily involved with the Eagles Autism Challenge.

Cindy Manero- File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Ben Hartranft throws out the first pitch at the North Penn Baseball Autism Awareness Day in April 2015.

In December of 2017, Ben appeared on NBC10, sharing the story of his daily life with autism. This summer Ben had a guest for an entire day at Dorney Park, where he works part time. Super Bowl champion center Jason Kelce rode roller coasters with Ben for the day, and from this Ben also garnered more publicity for Autism awareness in the Eagles gameday magazine. In September, Ben appeared on Fox29 alongside WIP’s Howard Eskin as they talked about the Eagles Autism Challenge.

Yes, it’s been quite a year for the former NPHS homecoming King. And if Ben has it his way, quite a year for the fight for Autism awareness as well.