“I like taking big swings, I like big gulps, I like living large, and I am vulnerable.”
“If you know nothing about me— I can’t let anybody down.”
Our new podcast sharing select archival episodes of Ron Bennington’s epic interview series Unmasked, and this week we chose an episode from late 2016 with Bert Kreischer.
The Unmasked series which began in 2008 with a brilliant hour with Patrice O’Neal has taped nearly 200 episodes, documenting the careers of the most interesting comedy writers, directors, filmmakers, actors, screenwriters, satirists, political comedians, comedic musicians and of course, stand up comedians in the business. It is a veritable archive of the greatest comedy of our time. Past Unmasked guests have included Joan Rivers, Bob Newhart, Amy Schumer, Dan Aykroyd, Simon Pegg, Tracy Morgan, Paul Feig, Jim Jefferies, Gilbert Gottfried, Bobcat Goldthwait, Louis C.K., David Brenner, Brian Regan and over 150 more comedy greats.
Bert is a legend, a wild man, a party animal, a sweetheart, a confident, nervous, anxious, funny, brilliant storyteller and comic– and he is “The Machine” in more ways than one. His fans adore him and he has a lot of fans. He first became nationally known as the inspiration for Van Wilder, a non stop party guy, the stuff of legend. Soon after, he was written up as the top partier in the U.S. while in his sixth year of college, he began a career in comedy that has taken off and led to a television career as well (he spent seven years as The Travel Channel’s Bert the Conqueror!).
Ron Bennington and Bert Kreischer sat down in front of as many people as they could squeeze into the Fishbowl studio at SiriusXM to tape this episode last fall. Bert was about to release his new hour special, The Machine and spent the hour talking about that special, being raised in Florida, being a fan first, and how he is “a man of impulse.” The stories he tells are amazing- even his stories about telling other stories are so engaging, you will listen to them twice.
It’s a particularly sweet episode, because as Bert reveals, it has long been his dream to tape an Unmasked with Bennington, because he’s been a fan of Bennington for decades. “This is my dream come true- hanging out with you…and talking about me! Come on!”
Bert is clearly a dude full of dichotomies- incredible confidence and yet, anxiety and self-doubt. He’s a hardcore partier, and in many ways, fearless, but you’ve never known anyone sweeter, and more willing to do anything for a fan. Throughout the hour you will hear Bert talk about crying and praying in the shower, (“I could name easily, five times I’ve been in a shower on my knees praying to God, crying, saying why can’t I just be a regular person?”), drinking with fans, being a fan of others, and a killer story about what made him take a break from his television career, to focus more on comedy. You’ll also hear Bert talk about the fight that ended his long time friendship with Jay Mohr, and his epic “The Machine” story that closes out his new hour special.
If you’re a fan of Bert’s and you haven’t heard this hour, you’re already downloading because Bert fans can’t get enough Bert. If you’re not a fan yet, give yourself an hour and you will be. We can’t recommend this episode enough. It’s so funny, and so goddamn sweet- which is everything that is also true about Bert Kreischer.
Recorded on October 25, 2016 in SiriusXM’s infamous Fishbowl studio, this is Unmasked, from the Archives, with Bert Kreischer and Ron Bennington.