Comedian Charlie Berens on La Crosse: “Prolly one of the most unique shows I’ve ever done”
Charlie Berens said his first show in La Crosse was one to remember.
“Prolly one of the most unique shows I’ve ever done,” Berens said.
Crowd members bringing him drinks, Berens selling off those drinks, the mayor giving him the key to the city and it all culminated in the comedian having nowhere to put crowd-funded cheese curds.
“First of all I got the key to the city — very unexpected,” Berens said after the first show. “And then on top of that, at some point, someone decided to keep bringing beers up to me. I’m overloaded with beers and cocktails on the stage. And then someone decides to come up and start purchasing them. Then I was selling them, and obviously all the money is going to the veterans.”
Reminded that about four beers, an old fashioned and a mixed drink weren’t the only things the crowd brought up.
“(They) brought up cheese curds, I know!” Berrens recalled, dipping his head in disbelief. “And they were very good cheese curds. But I had nowhere to set them, so I ended up setting them on the key to the city, which is very symbolic if you think about it.”
It was a a late afternoon show, but it appeared everyone got an early start, ‘doncha know.’ Berens had the crowd laughing. He engaged — perhaps to a fault — with people who brought him up drinks.
He did a Manitowoc Minute, which is what first made the Midwestern comic famous.
He interacted even more with the crowd in a bit that included a La Crosse Craigslist post — someone selling a cow piggy bank (cowy bank?) for $10 to get “beer money.”
The post was flashed on the screen and, as the audience laughed, someone walked out with the item. Berens announced they would be auctioning off the item and donating that money to a veterans charity.
What the comedian, perhaps, didn’t expect, was how much it would go for.
First it was a couple hundred bucks, as Berens walked down the middle aisle of the La Crosse Center. Then it was $1,000. And finally, a guest announced he’d purchase it for $1,500.
As that was happening, crowd members were now bringing Berens money to BUY the multiple drinks he had resting on his stool, as the comedian stuck the money into the piggy bank.
The show ended in Kumbaya fashion with the crowd singing and then giving Berens a standing ovation.
Two comedians went on before Berens came to the stage. After Berens performed a comical number with Adam Greuel, playing the guitar, the guests were surprised by a visit and gift from La Crosse Mayor Mitch Reynolds.