Albert “Bert” “The Machine” Kreischer is an American stand-up comedian, actor, and reality television host. In 1997, as a member of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity, he was featured in Rolling Stone as “the top partier” at Florida State University, the “top party school in the US”, while he was in his sixth year of college. The Rolling Stone article was the inspiration for the 2002 movie Van Wilder. From 2000 to 2001, he was the co-host of the FX Network variety show The X Show. A segment that aired on the show, “Ass Wax”, where Kreischer had his hair removed with hot wax, led Kreischer to gain his own show on the FX Network, titled Hurt Bert, in 2004. In the same year, he had a role in an episode of the police drama The Shield.
Kreischer claims that on a college field trip to Russia, he drank with the Russian mob (after accidentally introducing himself with the phrase “Я машина”) and even participated in a robbery while intoxicated. He talked about these exploits on June 5, 2006 on Loveline; on January 14, 2011, on DC101’s Elliot in the Morning; April 5, 2011, on the Joe Rogan Experiencepodcast #95; Opie and Anthony on June 28, 2011; WTF with Marc Maron on January 9, 2012; WMMR’s Preston and SteveShow on January 12, 2012; on The Todd and Tyler Radio Empire on August 2, 2012; on WIYY/98 Rock’s Morning Show Mickey, Amelia, and Spiegel; and on Conan on January 24, 2017.
Parts of Kreischer’s stand-up routine were used in Comedy Central’s animated series Shorties Watchin’ Shorties, which aired in 2004 and is now on DVD. In 2008, he participated in the Comedy Central reality show Reality Bites Back, where comedians competed in a variety of contests that were parodies of different reality shows. In 2009, he was given a one-hour comedy special on Comedy Central titled Bert Kreischer: Comfortably Dumb. Kreischer was formerly known as the fifth member of the The Cowhead Show in Tampa, Florida.
In 2010, he became the host of the Travel Channel reality show Bert the Conqueror. In the show, he is an “everyday guy” who travels across the United States to amusement parks and other entertainment venues to experience and promote various roller coasters, water rides, and unusual sports.
On January 19, 2011, Kreischer appeared as a guest on the Joe Rogan Experience and revealed that the story of National Lampoon’s Van Wilder was loosely based on his own life. After the Rolling Stone article was written about Kreischer’s “party” lifestyle full of food and booze, he had gotten the attention of Oliver Stone, who had wished to develop a film based on his life. Upon receiving numerous script submissions, the deal had apparently fallen apart and all the writers had retained the intellectual rights to their work. One of these writers had supposedly changed Kreischer’s name on their script and sold it to National Lampoon, which eventually became the basis for Van Wilder. He also said former friend Jay Mohr amicably took a Tracy Morgan story from him and used it in his act. He also revealed this two years earlier on the Jay Thomas Show on Sirius Satellite Radio.
Bert has always been a big activist to permit un-athletic children to play sports. When he performed in Atlanta, he was quoted as saying: “My goal is for each of them to be either a shirt or a skin regardless of their background in chess club or larping.”
Kreischer’s book Life of the Party: Stories of a Perpetual Man-Child was published by St. Martin’s Press in May 2014.
Kreischer currently hosts Bertcast, a weekly comedy podcast on the All Things Comedy network.