Though he was born and raised in Illinois, comedian Kyle Kinane has nothing but admiration for Wisconsin. In fact, he uses this episode of the Cripescast to reminisce about vacationing in the Dells, closing Wolski’s, and Spring breaking in Milwaukee. From starting out in the Chicago open mic scene in the early 2000s, to having multiple stand up specials and touring the country today, Kyle explains that his key to staying grounded has been his Midwest upbringing. He and Charlie bond over their love for watching thunderstorms from the porch, the pains of mountain biking as you get older, and growing up as guilty Catholics.
Episode 170 - Berens Brothers
After great anticipation, Charlie is joined by his brothers Andy, Bill, and John for the final installment of the Berens sibling podcast episodes. In this quasi-family therapy session, the brothers unpack childhood trauma, air out some dirty laundry, and commiserate about growing up with 8 sisters. Coming prepared with heartfelt apologies, each brother says sorry to one another, with some apologies ending in resolution and others reopening some old wounds. Find us on all platforms @cripescast, for tour dates, merch, and all podcast information at cripescast.com. For behind the scenes footage and exclusive content, go to Patreon.com/charlieberens.
Episode 169 - Joe Gatto
Comedian Joe Gatto lives to make people laugh. You may recognize him from the hit TV show Impractical Jokers, starring him and his three best friends in a hidden camera comedy series. He shares stories from their humble beginnings in his parents’ basement, his favorite moments from the show, and the best punishment he came up with for his castmate Sal Vulcano. Today he’s touring the country doing stand up, hosting a weekly podcast with Steve Byrne called “Two Cool Moms”, and rescuing animals through his charity Gatto Pups and Friends. Being the youngest child of a big Italian family, Joe knows a thing or two about practical jokes, and he attributes his sense of humor to his parents. Be sure to stick around for the end to hear his recipe for the perfect practical joke. Follow Joe on all platforms @joe_gatto and @GattoPupsAndFriends. Check out his shows at joegattoofficial.com to see him live in a town near you! Find us on all platforms @cripescast and for more information about the show, Charlie's tour dates, merch and more, head to cripescast.com.
Episode 168 - Cripescast Live from the Terrace
Live from the iconic Memorial Union Terrace in Madison, Wisconsin, Charlie interviews a panel of environmental experts about the phosphorus levels in our lakes. The panel includes director of UW-Madison’s Center for Limnology, Jake Vander Zanden, professor of Grassland Ecology from the Department of Agronomy, Randy Jackson, and return Cripescast guest and author, Dan Egan. They answer questions from the crowd while having an open discussion about key sources of phosphorus, its implications on everyday life, and what we can do to help clean our lakes. To get involved, head to cleanwisconsin.org or grasslandag.org and check out the Wisconsin Idea wisc.edu/wisconsin-idea/. Also be sure to pick up a copy of Dan’s latest book “The Devil’s Element: Phosphorus and a World out of Balance” anywhere you get your books. Find us on all platforms @cripescast and @charlieberens and at cripescast.com. Check out our behind the scenes footage at Patreon.com/charlieberens.
Episode 167 - Charlie Q&A
On a special episode of the Cripescast this week, Charlie answers fan questions about birding, tour, the Midwest and more of his favorite things.
Episode 166 - Ed the Diver
Ed Bieber, A.K.A. Ed the Diver, is cleaning up bodies of water across the Midwest one dive at a time. You may recognize him from his videos online, where he dives into lakes and rivers and retrieves anything from sunglasses, to car batteries, to engagement rings. He and Charlie bond over their love for fishing and their disdain for losing tackle when it gets caught on something in the water. Ed explains how he started his underwater recovery business, some of the craziest items he’s found along the way, and he shows Charlie his museum of lost items.
Episode 165 - TrueMan McGee
Entrepreneur and founder of Funky Fresh Spring Rolls, TrueMan McGee, is always looking for the silver lining in life by turning obstacles into opportunity. In this episode of the Cripescast, he explains his motto of “collecting pennies” as the process of picking up big and small lessons throughout life, and why failure is necessary for success. From starting his business with money from his son’s piggy bank, to having his spring rolls available in 150 stores across the state today, TrueMan stresses the importance of believing in yourself and visualizing your goals. He and Charlie talk about the art of airfrying, they workshop TrueMan’s stand up material, and brainstorm ideas for a future joint business venture of bloody mary flavored spring rolls.
Episode 164 - Major General Baker
Major General Baker signed up for the military at just 17 years old after his father, who also served, recommended that he join. Now, after many years, a variety of positions, and numerous awards and decorations, he joins Charlie on the Cripescast to discuss the Army Reserve and what they do. Major General Baker touches on the recruiting issues that the US military is experiencing, and emphasizes the wide range of educational and career based opportunities available within the Army Reserve and National Guard. They also discuss mental health issues that ex-soldiers face and what the military is doing to help lower veteran suicide rates. Since it wouldn’t be an episode of the Cripescast without Charlie mentioning artificial intelligence, the two discuss how the military is using AI to its advantage and how cutting edge technology will change the military jobs of the future. Visit www.usar.army.mil for more information on the Army Reserve. https://open.spotify.com/episode/0Y82LfX5f8CFWUevc6Ogdb?si=3bd96800883449a6
Episode 163 - Tracy Hames
Executive Director for the Wisconsin Wetlands Association, Tracy Hames, has a wealth of knowledge about Wisconsin’s water supply and ecosystem. On this episode of the Cripescast, he and Charlie discuss wetland preservation from environmental and economic perspectives, and its impact on the average Wisconsinite. “We don’t try to get people to like ducks and frogs and pretty flowers if they don’t already like those things,” Hames explains. “Instead, we get them to care for wetlands because wetlands are important to maintaining the things they already care about.” He explains that hunting, fishing, and clean water are just a few of the many areas of our day to day life that are dependent on wetlands and urges the listeners to get out in the mud and start exploring. For more information on what you can do in your community, visit wisconsinwetlands.org and get in the mud.
Episode 162 - Andrew Roffe
For his triumphant return, stand up comedian Andrew Roffe joins the Cripescast this week to share his best and worst memories from life on the road opening for Charlie. Like an old married couple, the two air their grievances, express their pet peeves, and Andrew suggests they go to couples counseling. They discuss some of their favorite video collabs, the stand up comedy scene today, and Charlie’s environmentalist habits that drive Andrew nuts. Stick around for the end of the episode where they play a “Honeymooners Game for Comedy Partners” where all secrets get revealed.
Episode 161 - Rory Scovel
Against better judgment, Charlie plays therapist for comedian Rory Scovel on this episode of the Cripescast. Together they unpack the trauma of being former altar boys, their time in local news, and growing up in large families. From his first try at doing stand up at a poetry open mic in Spartanburg, South Carolina to becoming a regular comic on Conan, Rory’s struck success throughout his comedy career. Rory attributes his ability to endure criticism on stage to him failing the 10th grade and his love for making people laugh, whether it’s with him or at him. – Find Rory on all platforms @roryscovel and find tickets to his shows near you at roryscovel.com. Find us on all platforms @cripescast @charlieberens @manitowocminute and on Patreon at patreon.com/charlieberens.
Episode 160 - Cheryl Nenn
Milwaukee Riverkeeper Cheryl Nenn is advocating for the Milwaukee, Menomonee and Kinnickinnic rivers on this episode of the Cripescast. Cheryl explains how the key issues she deals with day to day in Wisconsin are a microcosm for the rest of the world’s water supply. Charlie, a self-proclaimed environmentalist, picks her brain about clean water issues and the implications on public health, fishing, and more. Stick around for the end of the episode where Cheryl gives tips on how to get involved with both the Milwaukee Riverkeepers and within your own community. For more information on Cheryl’s work, head to milwaukeeriverkeeper.org or find them on social media @mkeriverkeeper.
Episode 159 - Rosebud Baker
Shortly after being in a hit and run accident, comedian and writer Rosebud Baker hops on a call with Charlie for this week’s episode of the Cripescast. With her first child on the way, Rosebud speculates whether motherhood will change her perspective on life and is excited for all the potential bits it’ll bring to her act. After being encouraged by her friends to try stand up, it only took trying open mic once for her to get hooked on comedy. Since then, she’s written on shows like That Damn Michael Che, she’s put out her comedy special “Whiskey Fits” on Comedy Central, and is currently a writer on Saturday Night Live. She and Charlie share their disdain for crowdwork clips, upsetting their families with their material, and debate whether “Saved by the Bell” or “Full House” was a better show growing up. Want to see Rosebud Baker at @improvmilwaukee July 13-15th? Use code CRIPES at improv.com/milwaukee/ for $5 tickets.
Episode 158 - Mary Jo Wheeler Schueller
Mary Jo Wheeler-Schueller is a trailblazer in the Wisconsin automotive industry. As President of the Wheeler Family Auto Group, she is passionate about making electric vehicles (EV) accessible to everyone in Wisconsin. She outlines the process of building EV chargers into the state's existing infrastructure, as well as the roadblocks she’s faced in trying to do so. Eager to shake things up, she explained how she became GM’s first US dealer to implement EV chargers by saying “nobody remembers who got second in the Super Bowl”. She and Charlie talk about EV’s impact on climate change, the common concerns from consumers, and the future of the automotive industry. To contact Mary Jo, email her at email@example.com or follow her on socials @maryjowheeler or for more information, head to https://www.wheelersgm.com/. Find us on all social media @cripescast, tour dates at cripescast.com/tour, and our merch at cripescast.com. For behind the scenes, extended cuts and deleted scenes go to patreon.com/charlieberens.
Episode 157 - Chad Daniels
Chad Daniels made history as the first and only skateboard paperboy known to man. With his six comedy albums reaching over a billion streams, he’s had a successful stand-up career, all while staying in the land of 10,000 lakes. Growing up in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, Chad talks about the small-town rumor mill and how he proudly holds his bad-boy reputation, even though it’s not true. He and Charlie partake in the classic Minnesota vs. Wisconsin debates like casserole vs. hotdish, soda vs. pop, and which state has more lakes. Chad also explains his tube-pulling philosophy, which is to knock his kids off as soon as he can.
Episode 156 - Damian Buchman
Damian Buchman has defied one in a million odds not once but twice in his life. Diagnosed with a rare bone cancer at 13 years old and having endured 28 knee surgeries since, he embodies what it means to have grit and tenacity. Knowing what it feels like to have to sit out because of a disability, Damian’s life work has been dedicated to creating spaces that are accessible to all. He and Charlie talk about his work with the Ability Center in Milwaukee, including the plans for a multi-million dollar Universal Park to be built in Wauwatosa. Damian explains that “people aren’t used to following their dreams, mostly because we’re stomped down by someone who lost theirs,” and encourages everyone to block out the doubters and follow their dreams. For more information about Damian’s story, check out his website at damianbuchman.com and follow him on all platforms @damianbspeaks. Check out the Ability Center at tacwi.org. https://open.spotify.com/episode/70YYV2VRY1A7hmeBD0FsLF?si=9a95eef2507948ec
Episode 155 - Hannah Berner
Having dated not just one, but two Bucky Badgers during her time at UW-Madison, Hannah Berner begrudgingly identifies herself as a furry chaser on this episode of the Cripescast. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, she talks about the culture shock she experienced when coming to Wisconsin, including being introduced to cheese curds and duck hunting. She shares stories from her time as a D1 athlete, how she used to sneak into the KK through the kitchen, and the time she was hit by a car on the way to tennis practice. Going down a rabbit hole of technology conspiracy theories, she explains that while she doesn’t trust AirPods she’s okay with the government watching her through her computer camera. Charlie has Hannah play a game where she compares the Midwest and the East Coast with topics including bagels, beer, manners and men.
Episode 154 - Joe Thomas
Former offensive tackle for the Cleveland Browns, Joe Thomas, leaves his mark on the Cripescast this week by being the first guest to sign the studio wall. Being inducted into the Hall of Fame this year, Joe shares stories from his career and explains how Browns and Packers fans are pretty similar. From finding out he was being drafted while fishing with his dad to hearing the news that he was inducted into the Hall of Fame from his son, Joe says his football career wouldn’t be possible without his family. Like true Wisconsinites, Charlie and Joe discuss important Midwest topics including fishing, hunting, and whether or not it’s sacrilegious to poke a brat while grilling.
Episode 153 - Nate Bargatze
Ready your pens and grab your notebooks folks, class is now in session. Comedian Nate Bargatze offers a crash course on stand up comedy in this episode of the Cripescast. With his Netflix specials “The Tennessee Kid,” “Greatest Average American,” “The Stand-Ups,” and his latest special “Hello World!” on Amazon Prime, Nate knows a thing or two about producing a stand up special. He and Charlie deep dive into all things comedy including joke writing, their comedic role models, open mic stories, and going through their notes app joke ideas. Nate explains that his slow Southern drawl was an advantage when he was first starting out because it kept him from making the common mistake made by young comics of rushing through their jokes.
Episode 152 - Gilbert Brown
Former Green Bay Packers’ nose tackle, Gilbert Brown, toys with the idea of trying stand-up comedy on this episode of the Cripescast. Nicknamed after his infamous tackle celebration “The Gravedigger,” Gilbert shares the dance’s origin, how he got into football, and his favorite Packer memory with Reggie White. As a self-proclaimed “devout momma’s boy,” Gilbert explains how rewarding it was to fulfill the promise he made to his mom by making it into the NFL and buying her a house. He and Charlie talk about their first cars, Marvel and DC comics, fishing, and the work Gilbert gets to do with the Gilbert Brown Foundation. Having endured the trade of Brett Favre to the Jets in 2008, Gilbert offers advice to Packers fans and encourages them to “get on the Jordan Love train and let Rodgers go.” Follow us on all platforms @cripescast, follow Gilbert @gilbertbrown on Twitter and @gilbertbrownfoundation on Instagram. For more information on the Gilbert Brown Foundation go to gilbertbrownfoundation.org. Check out our Patreon at patreon.com/charlieberens for exclusive behind the scenes content for life at Cripes Inc.
Episode 151 - Get the Lead Out
After hearing Charlie talk about lead head jigs on the Bellied Up podcast, folks from Get the Lead Out messaged Charlie about the impact of using lead fishing tackle on the Loon population. Get the Lead Out (GTLO) is a program within the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency that works to reduce the use of lead fishing tackle and minimize its toxic impact on wildlife, including their state bird the Common Loon. Two members from the GTLO team, Kelly Amoth and Stephen Yang, came onto the Cripescast to talk about their work and share why the Loon population is important to the ecosystem, where to find lead-free alternatives, and provide tips on cleaning your tackle box. Of course with Kelly and Stephen being from Minnesota, Charlie couldn’t resist bringing up the classic border war topics of who has more lakes and whether it’s “casserole” or “hot dish”.
Episode 150 - Grandma Sue, Aunt Mary and Grandma's Friend Lois
Live from a car ride to Ho Chunk Casino, Charlie chats with his Grandma Sue, his Aunt Mary, and Grandma Sue’s friend Lois Bentley. As a returning guest of the Cripescast, Grandma Sue shows the girls how it’s done as they trade funny stories including the time Mary got her bra caught on a ceiling fan at the local bar. Growing up together, Lois and Sue share stories about their late husbands Bob Bentley and Bob Berens, finding their children’s stashes of weed, and Grandpa Bob’s impression of Elvis. Being the first female prison guard at the Waupun prison, Lois recounts the time she found some risque items in the mail that were sent to the inmates. Just as they arrive in Baraboo, everyone offers up a piece of life advice to the audience and wishes each other well at the slot machines. Follow us on all platforms @cripescast and @charlieberens. For more bonus content from Charlie's trip to the casino, head to patreon.com/charlieberens.
Episode 149 - Laura Clery
Just when Laura Clery thought she was doing it all as a comedian, writer, and content creator, she discovered her potential as an inspirational speaker on this episode of the Cripescast. Moving from Illinois to Los Angeles at 18 years old to now having nearly 30 million followers across the internet, Laura is living the life that many dream of. Nicknamed “Cuffs” as a teen, she talks about being a troublemaker growing up and shares stories from her days as a shoplifter. Now reformed and sober 11 years, she explains how her children changed her outlook on life. She and Charlie share their thoughts on the price of nut butters, social media, and mental health, which leads Laura into playing therapist for Charlie halfway through the episode.
Episode 149 - Will Burkart
For having never taken a Chemistry class, comedian Will Burkart flexes his immense knowledge about the periodic table of elements on this week’s episode of the Cripescast. He and Charlie also discuss the rise of pickleball, Will’s burlesque expertise, and they trash talk Microsoft Office’s assistant Clippy. With videos of his stand up and crowd work taking off on social media, Will is now doing his first headlining tour across the country. Be sure to catch Will at the Milwaukee Improv Thursday, April 13th or at the Comedy Cabin in Janesville on April 14-15. For more information for dates near you, check out thewillburkart.com.
Episode 147 - David Gborie and Langston Kerman
Comedians Langston Kerman and David Gborie met in the most hopeless place: the LA open mic scene. As hosts of the “My Momma Told Me” podcast, a show under Will Ferrell’s and iHeartMedia’s Big Money Players Network, they dive deep into the most exciting, groundbreaking, and sometimes controversial Black conspiracy theories. In this episode they share their individual paths to comedy, break down their favorite conspiracy theories, and follow Charlie down a rabbit hole about ChatGPT. Check out their podcast “My Momma Told Me” wherever you get your podcasts and follow Langston @langstonkerman and David @coolguyjokes87.