Poffy The Cucumber

Bert Ballet: graceful as a bloated swan.

Not wearing big boy pants.

He’s fat, half naked and not that funny.

In his 3rd standup Special, BERT KREISCHER: HEY BIG BOY, Bert gives away his best in the trailer. Literally, the joke sequence that opens the trailer – about his wife catching him watching porn – is the funniest bit. The marketers have put this in the trailer, leaving you to suffer through the whole Special to re-live that bit. Thankfully, it’s early in the set.

Filmed at the Agora Theater in Cleveland, Ohio, November 2019, the set is filled with Bert telling us how funny he is, through a story about a Starbucks barista who recognizes him and tells him he’s funny (not the best move if you actually want to appear funny), his kids being stupid (a bit that works better in the context of short interviews) and his relationship with his gun and wife (one he loves, the other he craves sexually – you work out which).

By the time of his 2nd Special on Showtime (BERT KREISCHER: THE MACHINE, 2016), pulling his shirt off and performing bare-torso had become Bert’s trademark, so when he de-shirts at the start of this routine, to reveal his still-fat, hairy belly, it’s funny for 3 seconds, then the effect wears off, and the comedy has to speak for itself. When we find ourselves still focusing on belly 10 minutes in, Bert has lost the battle with his gunt.

Bert is excellent in interviews, quick and canny, because they are forums where a shirtless bear answering questions with left-turn answers are still a novelty. Also, they are a quick bang-bang punch and he’s outa there. He doesn’t have to extend the bits. When (usually mundane) interviewers ask about his daughters on a morning show and he snaps back, “My daughters are so stupid—“ it’s hilarious, because that is the exact opposite of what most guests do; however, in the context of a full set where he establishes early what a callous father he is, that exact same line doesn’t make a dent.

It’s also a little creepy when the line, “Hey, big boy…” is actually attributed to his daughters, as they call him out on doing stunts or various other father-daughter activities.

Bert’s life has apparently been one long hella party, wrestling bears, skydiving and robbing trains with the Russian mafia. Reportedly, a 1997 article about him in Rolling Stone prompted the movie NATIONAL LAMPOON’S VAN WILDER. He’s also a raging KISS fan, who might have gone AWOL on the Army after Gene Simmons snubbed him as an interviewer in lieu of a beautiful woman. (Hmm, I wonder why…)

Bert’s a progressive, but his lowbrow humor is for rednecks and red-hats, in a dull set (directed by Jeff Tomsic, TAG, 2018) that starts to ramble after the early punch of the wife-porn bit… For the demographic who enjoy doughy white guy comedy, save yourself from lowering your intellect, and pull up Louie CK on YouTube… in anything.



Director: Jeff Tomsic.
Writer: Bert Kreischer.
Starring: Bert Kreischer.
Word Count: 470     No. 1,510
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