Bert Kreischer is real, and that realness never stops, because he can’t turn it off.
He was putting gas into his car for a trip down the freeway when he was called for an interview.
“Jesus Christ that did not turn out the way I thought it would,” Kreischer said. “You ever get in the car and you’re literally like, who the (expletive) drove this car last? Why is there no gas in it? And then you realize it’s you and you already (expletive) your wife out in your head and you’re like ….”
Kreischer’s rising popularity as a standup comedian is based on his authenticity in everything he does professionally. He has an ability to convey exactly what he’s thinking from one moment to the next on stage, in videos, live appearances and in one of his many podcast projects.
Realistically, it’s also what gets him in trouble. But he’s always been that guy and in being himself, he’s found a great deal of success.
Kreischer first hit the public spotlight while he was attending Florida State University (for seven years) in 1997, a school that had recently been named the top party school in the country by the Princeton Review.
Rolling Stone then came along and named Kreischer the number one college party student in the country. As the legend goes, Kreischer was the inspiration for National Lampoon’s Van Wilder movies.
“I haven’t been back since I graduated,” Kreischer said when asked what his relationship is with the school now. “I went back for one game when I was living in New York, I think. For me, it seemed like reliving college and I was like, I think I moved on. Comedy kind of overwhelmed me so much, like really overwhelmed my life, that there was no room for extracurriculars like going back to Florida State. That sounds weird, but like, you know, I was obsessed with college. I loved college. I had a blast. And the second I got into comedy I was like, ‘Oh, this is my next thing.’ Like I’m good. This is what I’m going to be obsessed with.”
Once leaving Florida State, he ventured into the worlds of standup comedy, acting and hosting television shows “The X Show,” “Hurt Bert,” “Bert the Conqueror, and “Trip Flip.”
He did his first comedy special, “Bert Kreischer: Comfortably Dumb” on Comedy Central in 2009 and it took him 8 more years to get another special, “Bert Kreischer: The Machine” was released on Showtime in 2016.
That’s when things took off.
As a storytelling comedian, Kreischer’s most viral story — which he swears is 100% true — is about how he earned the nickname “The Machine” while partying and inadvertently helping the Russian mafia rob a train while on a college trip in Russia.
“Bert Kreischer: Secret Time” was released in 2018 by the comedian who typically enters the stage, takes a swig from a beer and takes his shirt off to start his performance.
He currently hosts “The Bertcast” podcast weekly and cohosts the “2 Bears, One Cave” podcast with his best friend, comedian Tom Segura. He also periodically hosts “Bert Kreischer: Something’s Burning,” an online series featuring himself and comedians cooking poorly in the kitchen.
And he’s not slowing down. He recently completed his “Body Shots World Tour” and is bringing is “Berty Boy” tour to Pechanga Resort Casino on Sunday, Dec. 29.
Kreischer’s tour stops have sold out all over the country, partly because he’s becoming one of the best self-promoters in the business. His hip hop dance video on his Instagram account has garnered almost 1 million views and serves as a vehicle for announcing his tour dates.
“When I was in college, I think the natural angle for me to get into creatively would have been probably marketing had I known what marketing was,” he said. “I really was so not going to classes and I didn’t know what a marketing class was.”
To announce his “Berty Boy” tour, he hired a marching band to come to his house. In the video, of course he was shirtless, this time rocking a Speedo bathing suit.
“A lot of my videos are turn the camera on first and then we’ll figure it out once we get shooting,” Kreischer said. “I hired a marching band first. I didn’t know what I was going to do with them. I said just have him come to my house and we’ll figure it out. It’s like one of the things you can’t really see it until it’s there. I was like, ‘Oh, there’s a lot of (expletive) dudes, like what are we going to do? And so we, we just shot it, you know, shot the way we shot it.”
He said it takes a lot of hard work, even if people don’t believe it.
“A lot of people get frustrated with me,” Kreischer said. “I’ve had it my whole life where friends or people I work with that literally project that they work really hard. Like, that’s their thing. People get mad at me and frustrated with me because they assume I don’t do anything. They assume I’m drunk 24 hours a day. They assume I’m like (expletive) just not thinking and just sleeping.
“I like to drink, I like to party, I like to have a good time, but I am also really obsessive about work and so my brain is going nonstop about whatever project I’m on or whatever I’m doing. I think also I’m obsessive about getting people to come see me do standup. My favorite thing in the world is standup and I want people to see me do standup.”
Now that he’s married with a tween and teenage daughter, his comedy has shifted from the crazy party boy life he led in the past to more storytelling about the things that he experiences as a dad and comedian.
“The prototype for comedy was Adam Sandler when I started,” Kreischer said. “It was like young, appeal to young guys, young guys buy tickets, young guys like Dane Cook, Nick Swardson, young guys don’t talk about grownup (expletive). Fun, party boy stuff like that. It’s fun to do.
“And I thought as soon as that tethers itself to America, people will go, ‘Oh, this is the party guy, this is the funnest guy in the (expletive) room! Crazy guy ripped his shirt off. Take your pants off, slide down the slide.’
“And then I had kids and I was like, well (expletive), this is my life. I mean, this is what I’m experiencing, so this is what I’m gonna talk about. But I didn’t change and I embraced adulthood.
“A lot of my friends were hesitant to even have kids or start a real life,” he said. “And now you look at guys like Bill Burr and Joe Rogan and Tom Segura and — well I won’t name other people, but there’s a lot of other comics that are pregnant now. They’re all having kids and my kids are almost going to college, you know?
“I think I just embraced what was happening in my life and then matched to who I was and this whole party guy kind of energy and I think it really kind of made me stand out a tad bit.”
Kreischer thinks in the next few years, comedy is going to take off to new heights, because of the authenticity of the people delivering it.
“We were all fans of Sandler and Rogan when we were single and smoking weed and drinking beer,” he said. “Guess what? We all now have kids too and we’re still single or we’re still smoking weed and drinking beer. But we have kids and we want to talk to the guys that are doing it and I think that’s going to be in comedy in five years. It’s going to be (expletive) insane.”
Kreischer wants to run with those guys and keep pace.
“Oh dude, I’m obsessed right now,” he said. “My joke book with me at every (expletive) second, I’m getting on stage every single night. I think most people see me in the crowd thinking, ‘Oh, he’s just boozing now.’ I said to the audience the other night, ‘I didn’t come here to get drunk and tell you jokes that work. I came here to tell you (expletive) that I don’t know if it works and get drunk.’”
Kreischer, who is always full of energy, is extremely grateful for finding the career that’s embraced him, considering the uncertainty in that regard during his college career.
“I’m the luckiest guy in the world,” he said. “I have the greatest job in the world. All I have to do is think of something goofy and fun and then shoot it and show it to people. And then people like it and then I succeeded for the day.”
He’s also pumped about coming to Temecula and Pechanga for the first time.
“I’m super, super (expletive) excited,” Kreischer said. “Obviously you’re living in California, you know Pechanga 100%, you know Pechanga. Having never been there, I’m like, dude, I can’t wait to hit this place up. Give it like the full run around and then have a place that me and my wife can go and bounce down, do a little gambling, see a show, get liquored up, have a nice dinner, and then drive home, be home for Sunday. You know what I mean?”
And he can’t wait to get on stage.
“They should expect a bunch of new material,” Kreischer said. “I’ve been writing like crazy because I start this tour and so I’ll do some of the stuff from my special that they haven’t seen. But for the most part, I’ll be banging out some new ones and then, of course, I’ll tell The (expletive) Machine or whatever story they want to hear.”
Bert Kreischer performs at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 29 at Pechanga Resort Casino’s Pechanga Theater, 45000 Pechanga Parkway in Temecula.
Tickets start at $59 and are available by calling the box office at 888-810-8871 or pechanga.com.
Jeff Pack can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.