Bert Kreischer is a throwback of a comic, who names names, can be politically incorrect and has a heart. The married father of two preteen daughters has made a name for himself as such a party guy that he inspired the National Lampoon flick “Van Wilder.”
Kreischer, 46, who will bring his Body Shots tour to the Carolina Theatre in Durham, talked to The News & Observer from his Los Angeles home to talk about what it’s like to hang with such party people as David Lee Roth, Andrew W.K. and why his family is so important to him.
1. How did Kreischer graduate from playing clubs to selling out theaters?
“I noticed that other guys like me, like Tom Segura, were doing it and I just thought that I could do it too. It’s worked out well. I’m a club comic, who plays these cool theaters.”
2. Rolling Stone anointed Kreischer as the top partier in the country in 1997.
The distinction came during his eventful six-year run as an undergraduate at Florida State University.
“The Rolling Stone article was something that came out of nowhere,” Kreischer says. “You don’t go to a school and major in partying. Things just happened with Rolling Stone and that was a huge benefit for me. It put me on the map.”
3. But Kreischer’s success as a comic had to do with hard work.
“When I moved to Los Angeles (in 2001), it was all about putting the time in being a comic,” Kreischer says. “If I was just some sloppy drunk, this wouldn’t have worked out. The reality is that you have go the extra yard and you have to be funny.”
4. Andrew W.K., who has written and recorded a number of party anthems, isn’t a partier like you’d think, Kreischer said.
“When I met him, I thought he was going to be outrageous but he isn’t this wild guy. I offered him a drink and he told me he doesn’t like to drink. His party image is just a marketing tool. That’s fine but I like to have a drink. I like to have a good time.”
5. David Lee Roth, who was the prototype of the party guy a generation ago, sought out Kreischer at a bar in New York around the turn of the century.
“I met David during my first night in New York,” Kreischer recalls. “I was at an after-hours club hanging out and he comes up and says. ‘You’re the party animal. I just read about you.’ He offered to buy me a drink. It doesn’t get much cooler than that.”
6. Kreischer had a blast hosting such travel shows as “Trip Flip” and “Bert the Conquerer.”
“Working on those shows was as much fun as it looked,” Kreischer says. “It’s good to step out of what you normally do if it’s the right project.”
7. But stand-up is Kreischer’s primary outlet.
“There is nothing that I’m more compelled to do than get up in front of a crowd and make people laugh,” Kreischer says. “That’s just the way it is for comedians. We all pretty much have that same desire. There’s nothing like making a crowd laugh. For me that’s the ultimate high.”
8. It’s not surprising. Kreischer is a huge fan of punk-funk act The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
“Yes, they’re cool,” Kreischer says. “They’ve always had a great time performing but it’s about the music. They have great songs. It’s kind of like if you’re a comic and you party, you have to have the material.”
9. Kreischer engages the audience.
“It’s not just me up there,” Kreischer says. “It’s me and the crowd and I have fun with them.”
10. But it’s family first with Kreischer.
“My favorite thing to do is just hang out at home and watch a movie with my wife and my two daughters,” Kreischer says. “There’s nothing outrageous about that but it’s the best thing I can do.”
Who: Bert Kreischer
When: 7 and 9:30 p.m. Feb. 7
Where: Carolina Theatre, 309 W. Morgan St., Durham
Info: 919-560-3030 or carolinatheatre.org