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Bert Kreischer bringing his standup tour to Cedar Rapids
Comedian graduates from partying in college to partying in arenas
The spaces where Bert Kreischer in now playing finally live up to what the comedian projects when he performs.
The inspiration for National Lampoon’s “Van Wilder” films is playing massive venues these days, including the Alliant Energy PowerHouse in Cedar Rapids, where he performs Feb. 23, 2023. Arenas match up with his larger-than-life persona.
If you go
What: Bert Kreischer: Tops off the World tour
Where: Alliant Energy PowerHouse, 370 First Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids
When: 7 p.m. Feb. 23, 2023
Tickets: $39.75 to 99.75, creventslive.com/events/2023/bert-kreischer-tops-off-world-tour
Artist’s website: bertbertbert.com/
Kreischer, 50, is the comedic version of Van Halen, performing with a wink and a smile. That and his entertaining stories and quick wit have propelled Kreischer to breathing rarefied comedic air, which is the status of headlining arenas around the country.
Kreischer is among comedy icons like Chris Rock and Bill Burr, in terms of popularity. Kreischer is a star but there’s an appealing everyman quality about him and his material. It also helps that it seems as if a party is about to start wherever Kreischer goes.
“I believe life should be devoured,” Kreischer said while calling from his Los Angeles home. “It’s about having a good time all of the time.”
It’s no surprise that the party guy who inspired the raucous film “Van Wilder” would graduate from playing theaters to airplane hangars.
“I noticed that other guys like me, like Tom Segura, were doing it, and I just thought I could do it, too. It worked out well,” he said.
Kreischer’s tales are entertaining if he is goofing about the present or waxing about his unusual past. While attending the party mecca Florida State University, Rolling Stone anointed Kreischer as the top partyer in the country during his eventful six-year run as an undergraduate.
“It was a pretty crazy time to say the least,” Kreischer said. “Like any college kid, I was living the life and having a blast. Maybe I went a little further but I have no regrets,” he said. “The Rolling Stone article came out of nowhere. 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."
After college Kreischer decided to become a comedian. However, his life changed dramatically. There was no time for partying. Kreischer had to focus and work hard. "It was an adjustment for me," Kreischer said.
“When I moved to Los Angeles (in 2001), it was all about putting the time in being a comic. If I was just some sloppy drunk, this wouldn’t have worked out. The reality is that you have to go the extra yard and you have to be funny. It’s worked out for me. I have had an amazing career. I could go on and on just talking abut the incredible people I’ve met.
Van Halen connection
Iconic Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth, who was the prototype of the party guy just over a generation ago, once sought out Kreischer at a bar in New York about 20 years ago.
“I met David during my first night in New York,” Kreischer said. “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.”
Fast-forward, and Kreischer has dialed down the partying so he can focus on his career and family.
“I’m not as wild as I was and that’s all right,” Kreischer said. “I still have a good time, but it’s got to be about my work. There is nothing that I’m more compelled to do than get up in front of a crowd and make people laugh. That’s just the way it is for comedians. We all pretty much have the same desire. There’s nothing like making a crowd laugh. For me that’s the ultimate high.”