Famed US comedian Bert Kreischer is returning to our shores as part of his worldwide Body Shots tour and he’s ready to go hard, so get ready to go with him. SIAN CHOYCE spoke to Kreischer ahead of his touchdown at the Astor Theatre next Wednesday, June 26.

The Body Shots tour is absolutely massive, is it the biggest tour you’ve done to date?

Oh yeah. It’s funny ’cause I used to see comics say they were going on tour and I couldn’t wrap my head around it, I’d be like, “Oh you just do the road every weekend you can, I don’t get it.” Then I did this tour and I was like “Ohhh, I get it, this is overwhelming!” It’s a completely different thing.

Do you get to drop in back home between any of the dates or is it just country to country, place to place the whole time?

I get like a month off in between tours. So, I’m doing the North American leg of the tour at the end of the year, just did Europe and now I’m on my month off before we come to Australia.

At least you get a little downtime…

Well… I mean, I would rather stay on the road. It kinda stinks because you get into a rhythm then all of a sudden you’ve got a month off and you’re just doing spots at the comedy clubs in L.A. so you get out of rhythm. You have to find some time. I’m going to Vegas to do an hour to get ready for Australia.

Sounds like the perfect place to get ready for Australia. Have you gotten any survival tips from those comics you mentioned who’ve done these big tours before?

You know what the problem is? And, I don’t mean to speak about myself in the third person, but no one really goes as hard as I do when it comes to touring, you know? I like to party. So, everyone else is like “Oh, make sure you get home early and get a good night’s sleep” and I’m there like “No, no, no, no, no…” I’m telling everyone what bar I’m going to and we’re gonna party till 2am. The only advice I got was from Tom Segura and he said “Get a tour bus.” That changed my fucking life. Tour bus was the best thing I ever did.

Any tour bus in Australia?

No, it doesn’t work that way in Australia. I would love, LOVE to do a tour bus in Australia but it’s so spread out. Plus, my kids are coming with me for the first part of the tour so the schedule wouldn’t really work out.

Are they excited to come to Australia?

When I went to Australia last year they were so jealous. They insisted on going to Australia. So, I spread out my tour so I could be with them, have a few days off between dates and do stuff. Then they found out Bali was close to Australia and they were like “Oh dad, let’s do six days in Bali and maybe four in Australia.” I was like, wait… now I’ve got all this time off. So, I’m basically forcing them to be in Australia with me. They’re gonna be on tour for about a month.

Do they get to go to Bali or are they just going to be on tour with you? Because going to Bali is almost considered part of the Australian experience.

No, we’re going to Bali first. Then I fly out. They didn’t want to go to New Zealand. So, they were like “We’ll stay here and meet you in Sydney.” These kids have it rough, huh?

Do you think the show will get longer as the tour goes on, just with all the potential crazy road stories you could add? 

Places like Australia I tend to put everything into the show because I feel like I’m only gonna get there once a year, so I have to. Last year I was doing an hour and a half show because I just kept thinking I wasn’t going to be back for another year. I mean, it’s the same with Philadelphia, I’ve been going there my whole career, you guys know me. But, Australia feels like “I’ve only got one shot at this” so I tend to cram everything in.

That’s great, everyone down here knows they’re getting bang for their buck. Sometimes it feels like we have comics come over and use us as a testing ground for newer material because we’re far away…

Oh no, no, no, no… not at all. As an American comedian, there’s something about Australian audiences that really makes you want to put your all into it. You have some of the best comedic sensibility.

I’m sure Australian audiences will be happy to know that’s how they come across. You have a tonne of Bertcast fans down here in Australia. Do you think the rise in the popularity of podcasts has changed the dynamic between you and your audiences at live shows? 

Yeah, 100%. Podcast fans know about us so intimately that sometimes they’ll yell stuff from the audience that you’re like “Wait, how could you possibly know that?” They’re like “You said it one time talking to Ari (Shaffir) on the podcast when you guys were drunk!” And you’re like “Shut the fuck up!” Podcast fans are obviously good listeners, so they’re good comedy fans. They know comedy, they appreciate comedy. They say stuff like “Hey, I loved your new material!” That was NEVER said 10 years ago. And now it’s like “Dude, I love the new stuff you’re working on!” If I came back to Australia and did the same show I did last time, I guarantee they’d be pissed. They know that you’re coming in with a brand new hour and they expect it. They’re legit comedy fans.

Do you think they respond differently now? Do they want to interact with you more than a crowd 10 years ago, as though they want a moment in conversation with you?

You get a little bit of that, people want to shout stuff out which is normally fine. But usually they want to hear what you’ve been working on and how you’ve worked it. Ten years ago, people didn’t give a fuck for what we were doing. Literally, you’d just go in and people were like “Yeah, don’t know you, never heard of you, impress me.” Now, in a weird way they’re like “Oh, I’ve heard of you, I know who this guy is, I can’t wait to hear his stuff.” It’s something that never really happened in comedy.

Did you prefer the way things were when fans didn’t know as much about your offstage life? Or are you happy sharing it all?

Yeah, I like sharing it all. I’m an over-sharer, everyone knows that about me. I love no secrets, I love just putting it all out there. I’m definitely into that. Even as a fan of comedy, I love when people over-share. I live to know intimate details. The first time I ever did (Joe) Rogan’s podcast I was like “Dude, I have to meet your dog. I’ve heard so much about the dog.” He’s like “What? I’ve never mentioned the dog.” “Yeah, you did. I listen to the podcast.” He didn’t even realise he’d mentioned it.

So, you did to him what fans sometimes do to you at shows and mentioned things he didn’t realise he’d ever spoken about?

Oh yeah. I’ve had people say to me “I actually know where you live. You’ve talked about it, things around your house where I can actually work it out.”

Eww, is that a bit creepy?

It is, yeah, it is (laughs). A guy came up to my door about three months ago and knocked on it and LeAnn answered and he goes “LeAnn!” and she’s like “Hey” and he’s like “I can’t believe you guys live here, I have a letter for Bert.” She’s like “Who are you?” and he’s like “Oh, just a fan.” and he gave her the letter. So, yeah, we’ve definitely thought about moving. We just have to make more money first.

So, a lot of your friends have extremely highly rated podcasts, do you have a favourite to be a guest on and listen to? 

I love when I do (Joe) Rogan with me, Ari (Shaffir) and Tom (Segura). Those are my favourite, I think. I love doing Fighter and the Kid. I love doing WTF with Mark Maron. I’m a huge fan of podcasts I would never be on, like How I Built This. It’s a great podcast, but I don’t think I’d ever be on it. But, Rogan is normally the most fun to do, especially when we do it with Tom and Ari. We’re doing it this week and those are the laughers. We get high, we get drunk and we just talk shit to each other.

Do you think that’s where the fans’ sense of familiarity comes from?

Yeah, and I think they can see themselves as one of us. They’ve got friends like that and they can go, “Yeah, I’m like Bert. I talk shit, I drink, I think I can do anything, I always fail.” or “I’m like Tom. I’m like a sniper lunatic who’s off in the corner thinking deep, disturbing thoughts” or “I’m like Ari. Super anti-establishment, always wants to screw everything up.”

I have one final question, I ran it by someone to make sure it was OK to ask. It’s a multiple choice question, so it shouldn’t be too hard. The three answers are: candy, alcohol or just general sadness. The question is: Why do you think you’re still fat?

(Laughs/almost chokes) Alcohol, definitely alcohol.

Are you ok?

Yeah, that just caught me off-guard.

I did say I ran it by someone, I should tell you that someone was Ari (Shaffir)…

(Laughs) That motherfucker…

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