Bert Kreischer on creating Fully Loaded fest, coming soon to Macon, Savannah

Comic, 51 and still shirtless, jokes that he’s partaking of more pot, less alcohol.
Bert Kreischer, the comic, in a publicity photo in 2024. TODD ROSENBERG



Bert Kreischer, the comic, in a publicity photo in 2024. TODD ROSENBERG

Stand-up comic Bert Kreischer grew up going to music festivals like Lollapalooza, the H.O.R.D.E. Tour, even Lilith Fair.

“I loved that energy,” he said in a recent Zoom interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. So when he launched the Fully Loaded Comedy festivals in 2022, he wanted to capture that craziness in the form of stand-up comedy.

The Florida native was also inspired in part by the Funny or Die Oddball festivals, which ran from 2013 to 2015 and featured headliners such as Dave Chappelle, Amy Schumer and Sarah Silverman.

His Fully Loaded’s lineup isn’t quite that A list, but the festivals in Macon on Wednesday, June 12, and Savannah on Friday, June 14, will feature a variety of his favorite comic friends such as Big Jay Oakerson, Chad Daniels, Dan Soder and Dave Attell. Bobby Lee will be in Savannah. (Tickets are available at Ticketmaster with lawn seats for $25 at Atrium Health Amphitheatre in Macon and tickets starting at $31 at Enmarket Arena in Savannah.)

“During the pandemic, I created a type of touring at drive-in movie theaters,” he said. “We did 30 cities, had a blast. People were tailgating and partying. The sun was setting. It was [expletive] magic. As touring picked up again, I didn’t want to lose that momentum.”

Now in his third year, he hopes for another fun June in 13 different cities. “It’s a treat for me to hang out with my favorite comics,” he said. “It’s a three-week traveling summer camp.”

Kreischer purposely chose smaller markets such as Macon and Savannah because many Fully Loaded comics don’t normally play them. “Atlanta gets big stuff all the time,” he said. “If I go outside the big cities, those smaller towns get excited. And for a lot of the comics, it doesn’t mess up their booking schedule.”

Kreischer, whose college partying ways in the 1990s inspired the film “National Lampoon’s Van Wilder,” has entered his fifth decade, still shirtless and goofy but not quite as crazy.

“I’ve definitely outgrown the cocaine binges,” he said, before adding, “Cocaine binges were always one night of playing darts. And talking about buying boats.”

He then noted he once did buy a boat but dispensed with it quickly: “It’s like dating a stripper. It’s a bad idea.”

Kreischer said he tries his best to ensure that the road-tripping comics enjoy themselves as much as the audience in seven tour buses. “We plan it really well,” Kreischer said. “We have activities every day. We travel with a personal trainer. We have a polar plunge and a sauna. We really pamper them. They get these extracurriculars, enjoy the show, hang out with their friends. We smoke weed and stay up late. The next morning, we work out and we’re healthy.”

Wise guys: Bert Kreischer (left) with Todd Segura at the roast of Tom Brady in Inglewood, California, in May. Kreischer brings his Fully Loaded comedy festival to Macon on Wednesday, June 12, and Savannah on Friday, June 14.

Credit: Associated Press

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Credit: Associated Press

Kreischer said he has made a commitment to be healthier, losing 45 pounds over the past year. “I’m the strongest I’ve been,” he said. “Least alcohol I’ve ever drunk. Most pot I’ve ever smoked.”

And while there is the adage that you lose your funny when you lose the weight, he is willing to take the risk: “I’d rather be healthy, happy and live to see my daughters get married than fat and dead.”

As the lead guy whose name is in lights, Kreischer finishes each show. “Nobody wants to follow the guy who takes his shirt off,” he said. “I tell stories, screw around, bring other comics on the stage and make it real interactive.”

Occasionally a surprise guest will pop in like Nate Bargatze: “My buddy Jelly Roll texted me last year in Huntsville, Alabama. ‘Do you mind if I come down with my daughter?’ I said, ‘Why don’t you sing the national anthem with me?’ Done!”

He is also prepping for a Netflix special. “I’ll be running different chunks of it through the tour,” he said. “And I have the best comics in the world to watch me and give me notes. I’m selfish!”

His film producer wife LeeAnn will also critique his work. ”She’s brutally honest,” he said.

Kreischer, who has taped three previous specials for Netflix, puts a lot of thought into designing each comedy hour. He said each special needs to start strong or people won’t stick around. Then at the 22-minute mark, he dives into his best “closer” story because Netflix told him that’s when viewers often stop watching.

For this round, he said he recently finalized the spacing and structure. “Once you do that, you can relax and work on the material inside of it,” he said. “I feel really good about it. I can fine tune it.”

Kreischer doesn’t write his jokes down. Rather, he “writes” on stage.

“We record every show,” he said. “I can find lazy writing really quickly. I can sometimes find it while I’m on stage.”


Bert Kreischer’s Fully Loaded Comedy Festival

7 p.m. Wednesday, June 12, $39.75-$228, Atrium Health Amphitheater, 3657 Eisenhower Parkway, Macon,

7 p.m. Friday, June 14, $31-$94.75, Enmarket Arena, 620 Stiles Ave., Savannah,