The aroma that circulated throughout Count Basie Theater was of crisp alcohol as audience members weaved in and out of the aisles, beer in tow and toppling over the brims of their plastic solo cups as they fumbled trying to get to their seats.
Enter the opener for stand-up comedian Bert Kreischer. While unknown to most, he maintained the laughter among audience members for a brief 15 minutes before the man of the literal hour made his way on stage.
On Friday, March 15 in Red Bank, New Jersey, Kreischer was so popular in the area that he was able to put on two shows at the venue for his “Body Shots” world tour – one at 7:30 p.m. and the other immediately following at 9:30 p.m.
Famous for being “The Machine,” Kreischer ends all of his performances with a bit about a trip he took to Russia while in college where he got involved with the Russian mafia. For most comedians, overdoing a joke would completely kill their act. However, for Kreischer, his legendary story is just the icing on the cake.
Kreischer walked to center stage with strobe lights that you might find in your bedroom during your EDM phase illuminating the wall behind him. Clapping and cheering filled the room as Kreischer strips himself of his T-shirt, a signature and expected move of his to show off his dad bod and began the show.
As a husband and father of two children, Kreischer bases a lot of his jokes on his family members but still leaves room for his millennial fans with his comedic rendezvous at a coffee shop and his experiences with marijuana.
Kreischer had perfect timing and a sense of humor that many can relate to but often made seemingly crude remarks that some may take offense to. However, Kreischer had no malicious intent with any of his bits, which were long at times but not long enough to lose anyone’s interest. The comedian is a pro at timing his jokes and relays most of his stories as if he is having a conversation with a close friend over pretzels and beer cheese at the brewery.
Charlie Weissman, a sophomore filmmaking major, is currently employed at Count Basie. Once everyone was seated, Weissman was able to catch some of the show.
“He is a class act and had people in stitches at both shows,” Weissman said. “He was hilarious on and off stage.”
Weissman said that Kreischer’s quick wit and hilarious outlook on life ensured that both shows were a great experience for all of his fans.
Not only is Kreischer an outstanding comedian, but he is also kind to his fans. The comedian raffled off meet-and-greets and told the audience they could catch him at one of the local bars, Jamians, after the show if anybody wanted to grab a drink and have a good time alongside him.
Once the show was over, the murmurs began, and I could catch quick phrases exchanged among friends, lovers and family members who attended the show.
“I was pissing myself,” said a delighted audience member.
The audience continued to enjoy Kreischer’s jokes and commented on the humor.
“This guy is hilarious,” cheered another.
Kreischer endearingly belted out a few haughty laughs and burped through his stand-up routine, leaving audience members satisfied that the man they see on Netflix is just as charming in person as he is on TV.