Bert Kreischer just wants to giggle. The larger-than-life Florida State graduate, partly known for the infamous Rolling Stone profile piece and the epic origin story of The Machine, is a go big or go home comedian. He’s a fitting host for a show called the Go-Big Show, which is a new talent show on TBS.
With a shirt on and all, Kresicher hangs with Snoop Dogg, Rosario Dawson, and other judges while contestants display a variety of bizarre talents. Kreischer hosted shows in the past, including Bert the Conqueror on the travel channel, but the experience left him uninterested in more hosting gigs.
Hanging out with Snoop Dogg, though, is an offer hard to refuse.
You once hosted a travel show, now you’re hosting The Go-Big Show. Is hosting on TV a job you usually lookout for?
No, not at all, actually. I have no interest in television at all. I used to. When I was younger, I did. When I did Travel Channel, I did it for nine years, I think. I fell off a waterfall one day and I posted a picture on Instagram. I was in the ambulance, going to the hospital. I was looking at the comments on Instagram and some guy goes, “Hey man, just so you know, we don’t watch the crappy television show. We only listen to podcasts and watch your stand up. No one likes you on television.” It affected me. I thought I broke my back. I was in an ambulance thinking I was dying, and I was like, “So my fans aren’t watching the show.”
Then I thought, “That’s it, I’m done with television.” I stopped doing television. That must have been five years ago. I got tons of offers to do other hosted stuff. I just wouldn’t do it. I leaned into podcasting, leaned into stand up. I did two more specials, three more specials, I think. Obviously, 2 Bears 1 Cave, Bill Bert, my podcast and doing all my friends’ podcasts, that really was what the business was for me. I was like, “I don’t need television. I make way more money doing a podcast out of my backyard than I would ever make on television.”
I got a text from my manager saying, “There’s a TV show called the Go-Big Show. They want you to host it. It’s a game show. I know you probably aren’t going to be interested, but you should see the sizzle wheel they put together.” He sent me the sizzle reel of the talent they’d scouted, and I watched it with my daughters just as a lark. Both my daughters were like, “Oh my God, are you doing that show?” “No, probably not.”
They’re like, ‘Dad, that would be a fun show to watch.” And I was like, “Shit, it would be a fun show. Screw it. I’ll take the meeting.” Took the meeting with the company, and that was before COVID. I had signed on to do it before COVID started, but then COVID kicked in. Then I was like, “Well, there’s no way they’re going to do it now.”
It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I had a blast. I would do 20 more seasons. The judges were amazing. When you know that you’re waking up to go see some of the funnest, freshest, most bizarre, uniquely interesting set of talent skills that Americans have to offer. It was out of this world.
But yeah, my short answer is I thought I was done with television.
With the Go-Big Show, do you feel pretty comfortable being The Machine on camera?
Yeah. The only note was that I had to wear a shirt. Obviously, I don’t mind wearing shirts. There were no notes. I mean, the bar is set when they hire Snoop Dogg. Snoop gets no notes from anyone, and if he does get them, I’m certainly not hearing them, because working with that guy… he really does show up high. I’ve never seen someone come high to work ever in my entire career. We get high doing my podcast every now and then, and that’s fine, but I’ve never seen someone’s show up high to a television shoot. Snoop was toasted some mornings. Mornings, like 8:00 AM. Toasted. The funnest, most chill guy to work with.
Had you two never crossed paths before?
Never. I had a talk show when I first moved out to Hollywood. I got a television show called The X Show and he was a guest on it, but I never got to meet him. He was on the show in and out. I’ve been a huge fan of his for as long as anyone’s known of Snoop Dogg, since we first heard The Chronic. It was so cool to be able to share all of that with him. To be like, “Dude, the first time I ever heard you rap, I was playing The Chronic album. We were smoking a joint. I didn’t realize that indo was indica.’ He goes, “Smoking on Indo? Yeah. I like indica. I don’t like sativa.” And I’m like, “You don’t smoke sativa? I only smoke sativa. I can’t smoke indica.”
Why only sativa?
When I started smoking weed again as an adult, I just wanted to giggle. If you were going on Joe Rogan‘s podcast, I just wanted to giggle and have a good time and come up with weird thoughts and be energetic. One time Tom Segura and I went to a Cavalier-Golden State Warriors game and he smokes indica because he likes to sleep because he’s overweight.
We had front row seats. I don’t remember any of the game. I just sat there with my mouth open. I was like, “Is this indica? I just disappeared for a while. If we were strands of weed, I would definitely be sativa.
Working with people like Tom or Snoop Dogg, do you know pretty quickly when you meet someone whether you’ll work well together?
Yeah. It’s funny, I think I might’ve said it on an episode 2 Bears 1 Cave, but I was very nervous about working with Snoop Dogg because I’m such a fan. I said to Tom, “I want him to like me. I really want to make sure that how I meet him, that he’s going to like me.” Tom goes, “Don’t overthink it. Be who you are and he will like you. Trust me, who you are people like. When you overthink it and try to calculate it, that’s when he’s not going to like you.”
So, we all went to dinner. We all socially distanced. I made a statement about Katt Williams. A lot of my friends are friends with Katt Williams. I made a comment about what I liked about Katt Williams. Then I mentioned this guy Red Grant, and all of a sudden, Snoop just FaceTimed Red Grant and pointed the phone to me. And he’s like, “Do you know him?” And Red’s laughing, like, “You’re going to see him naked by the end of that shoot. He’s got his shirt on?” Me and Snoop, I would say, hit it off. I’m a ride or die for the mother fucker.
Do you have a favorite day in particular working with Snoop Dogg?
Snoop one day, he kept promising we’d drink. He’d always give me bottles of wine in my trailer so that I had his wine. One night we wrap, I rip my shirt off and I’m walking to my trailer. He goes, “Hey Bert.” He’s getting in his trailer and I’m getting in mine. I go, “Yeah, what’s up?” He goes, “Hey, you want to take a shower?” I was like, “What?” He’s like, “You want to take a shower? Come on over, take a shower.”
By the way, I had wanted to hang out with him, like hang out. So I was like, “Okay. Maybe that’s code for something…” So I walk over to his trailer shirtless, and his two bodyguards are out there. I was like, “Snoop wanted me to come in and take a shower.” And they were like, “Okay.” So they let me in.
Snoop’s in his trailer in the kitchen area. He’s like, “What’s up?” I was like, “Nothing.” He’s like, “You in?” And I was like, “Yeah, I guess.” And he’s like, “So what you want?” And I was like, “I don’t know, I’ve never done it before.” And he was like, “No, what do you want to drink?” I said, “What?” And he goes, “What do you want a shot of?” I said, “I thought we were taking a shower.” He’s like, “What?” I said, “You said, do you want to take a shower?” He said, “I said do you want to take a shot.” And I went, “Oh. Oh, I’d much rather take a shot.” And then he looks at me and goes, “You came over here thinking we were going to shower together?” I was like, “Isn’t that what you said?”
He was like, “No, I didn’t invite you to take a shower, but you came over anyway?” I was like, “Big fan, man, what can I say?” [Laughs]
[Laughs] Do you think he’d join you on an episode of The Cabin?
Oh yeah, he would. He definitely would. We’ve texted a little bit. And he sent over a few presents. He’s very generous too. He sent over some presents at different times and he’s just the best. He offers a lot. His time is very valuable. He is the busiest fucking dude I know, and I know some busy dudes.
You’re a busy guy, too, with a bunch of podcasts and usually a lot of touring. Are you a comic who thinks far down the line, like a five-year plan?
I do have a five-year plan. I think the five-year plans get shorter and shorter the older you get. You start going like, “What are we getting done tomorrow?” It’s funny, man, COVID made you realize planning was silly because I had made plans for 2020 that shifted. And I ended up doing drive-in movie theaters, which was planned by the day.
I’ll plan out a year maybe around the beginning of the year with a few tent poles going, “All right, I want to do a movie. I would like to do another TV show.” I also set up my goals every November 3rd on my birthday. I set up a list of things I want to get done that I’d like to achieve, like, “I want to start a tour. I would love to do another episode of The Cabin. I’d love to do another episode of the Go-Big show.”
I’ll put those on the map, and then you almost fill in the blanks in between. You got podcasts every week. So me, I have three podcasts a week I have to do. And then all of a sudden, it’s funny, you start the beginning of the year with your calendar saying, “May, you go to Prague. June, you start a tour. September, you do a shoot. December, you do another shoot.” And then all of a sudden, you got a sober October in there. And then you’re like, “Wow, this fucking year’s blowing up.”
It just starts building and building and building. Then you get phone calls, they’re like, “Hey, they want to move this to that.” It’s crazy. A year looks empty when you start it. And then all of a sudden, it is just slam-packed. I went through a calendar cleaning out my man-cave. I went through a calendar of 2017. It is when I fucking thought I was at the end of my career and it was still slam-packed beginning to end.
Looking at the calendar, there was “go to fucking Omaha.” I got high with Chris Porter in the Omaha Funny Bone bathroom. I still remember the conversation we had. But yeah, they fill up quickly unless things happen, like Tom Segura, you break your arm and your leg and all of a sudden, you’re like, “My year’s fucked. Let’s start from scratch.” You go in with probably four tent poles throughout the year and you’d be shocked how quick shit fills up in between them.
How were the drive-in shows you did? Was there a lot of adjustment involved in performing for people in their cars?
The first few ones we did, there was an adjustment. Then it becomes your new norm. It becomes what you’re comfortable with. One of the last ones we did was me and Tom at the Hollywood Rose Bowl. He looked at me and was like, “Man, you have gotten really comfortable with these drive-ins.”
I was like, “Yeah, it’s crazy. It becomes your new normal.” It’s almost like swimming in overalls. You don’t realize you’re swimming in overalls. This is just how I swim. And then I did one in Colorado that was at an amphitheater where it was socially distanced pods outdoors. It was inside an amphitheater. Bro, it was murder. I was like, “Oh fuck, I forgot how fun intimacy is.”
Honestly, I can’t wait to get back into the Comedy Store or clubs in general because when you’re in those drive-ins, a lot of what works is less nuance. Because the nuance you can’t hear, so you figure it as failure. Then when you get into an intimate thing, you’re like, “Oh shit, I can move my feet a little bit. I can gab and I don’t need to be swinging for the fence on every fucking joke.”
Not less pressure, but more finding the art of it. More finding the passion. It’s like jazz music. Jazz music sometimes is best when it’s you by yourself in your car, as opposed to playing it in front of friends and you’re like, “Do you get it? You get it?” That intimacy is what you get at The Comedy Store and in clubs. I mean, I can’t wait to go to a club again. I did one at the Funny Bone. It was half capacity, but it was so much fucking fun.
I really enjoyed Hey Big Boy. I think that’s your best special so far.
Dude. Thank you.
Talking about career plans, what are your creative plans for the future? What are some ideas you want to try when you hit the stage again?
The hardest thing, and this is why I have such respect for anyone like Chappelle or Amy Schumer, anyone who took their ideas in comedy and put them on screen. The hardest thing to do is that. I mean, for me to speak my words to a group, I figured out how to do that. Figuring out how to do it is hard, but I can do it and I want to do it.
I would like me and Tom to make some movies that we really enjoy that are for our fans. We’re doing these live stream events. We keep talking about taking the money we’re earning from that and making a movie that we think is funny. No notes. What we think is funny, because when you make each other laugh and you don’t know if other people are laughing and then you find that other people are laughing, it’s such a rewarding feeling.
The first time you play the movie for a friend and you guys both laugh together and you’re like, “So I’m not crazy. This is funny, right?” I think I would like to do some of that. I had a period, like I said, where I was just like, “Stay in my lane. Podcasts, stand up. That’s it.” I would like to try new things. I don’t want to be shoved down people’s throats. I don’t want to be the guy that you’re like, “Jesus Christ, enough of this guy.” I want to keep doing the things I find interesting, but find ways to do them in my lane.
This Go-Big Show was fun as fuck. No one’s ever going to fault you for wanting to work with Snoop, Cody [Rhodes], Rosario [Dawson], and Jennifer [Nettles]. They are four of the coolest fucking people in the world. It’s the funniest show, and I want to find stuff like that and get out of my comfort zone.
I would love to do a multi-cam sitcom, because I think no one’s doing them. Or if they are, I don’t think they’re doing them right. I would love to do it. But like I said, in that sense of humor that Tom and I share where it’s a little irreverent, a little different and not entirely recognizable to the people who loved multi-cams. If that makes sense.
It’s so cool when you make something and someone likes it, you’re so in the dark. That was the weird thing about… not to over answer your question.
But when I did Hey Big Boy, it aired the day the stay-at-home orders came out. Normally, I’d be in New York. You’d be walking around New York, and people are stopping you in the street, like, “Bro, great special.” And you’re like, “Fuck.” You find the reward in that. You find the return in that investment of all this hard work you put into a special.
I did Hey Big Boy. It aired. I was sitting at home for three months just with my family, so I didn’t know if anyone liked it. You’d see stuff online, but you’re like, “Yeah, I hope people like it.” You really find out by touring. So to make something that you think is good and to have other people like it, it’s so fucking rewarding.
So when you say to me, “Hey man, I think Hey Big Boy is your best special yet,” that means so much to a person like me. So if I could do more of that in other capacities where people are like, “Hey man, you and Tom had me crying when you were talking about Kool-Aid, or when you found out on Bill Bert that Burr has never seen The Mandalorian, and he’s been in fucking three seasons…” Things like that mean so much to just a guy like me, who doesn’t have a ton of skills, but can just giggle his ass off.