Oh my gosh! Charlie Berens is coming to the Pabst Theater in support of the Christian Yelich Home Plate Charity Concert on July 25. A man of many talents, the comedian, Emmy Award-winner, “Top Chef” taster, proud Midwesterner and former promising little league prospect is set to bring the laughs throughout the evening with his unique brand of Midwest nice humor. Berens will perform alongside award-winning country artist Scotty McCreery and New York-based rock outfit Nicotine Dolls at the one-of-a-kind event is sure to be a great time for a good cause.


Since the launch of the viral sensation “Manitowoc Minute” in 2017, Charlie has become the unofficially official Champagne of Comedians (Really! Just check “Top Chef”). He has sold out Milwaukee venues and, earlier this year, released his standup special, “Midwest Goodbye,” filmed at the Riverside Theater. You can find Berens in sidesplitting skits across social media and YouTube deciphering Midwestern dialects, pouring drinks as a small-town bartender and grillin’ brats with Christian Yelich.

A few weeks ago, we had a chance to catch up with Charlie to chat about his upcoming show at the Christian Yelich Home Plate Charity Concert, some of his favorite local venues, and the story behind his Topps baseball card.

Charlie Berens First Pitch
You'll be at the Pabst Theater on July 25 for the Christian Yelich charity concert, which we'll get into in a minute. First, how's your baseball game?


Oh, my baseball game is...I left it off on a high note...in the little leagues. I figured it was time to sort of retire and move on to football. And then I started peewee football, and sometimes I look back and wonder, "What if?" But that's just part of life, you know? You gotta live with regrets. I had a really great swing. They said I had potential.


And by the way, when I say they, I mean my buddy's dad's uncle, who was there once in a while and said, "Hey, nice catch."


There weren't many glimmers, admittedly, for me in baseball, but that's okay. I will say, in the Little League World Series, and I want to say it was '98/'99, I had two outs in the ninth inning and helped lead our team to victory.


Then, I threw out the opening pitch. And I was very concerned that I would screw the pooch. And I got it over the plate. However, Christian had to stretch quite a bit in order to catch it.


So you're ready to step into the Brewers lineup then?


Yeah, if they want to just give up on the season. Put me in, coach. That's where it happens right there.


Well, with the season they're having, you may not get that call. But speaking of the Brewers, when you go to a game, what's your game day routine?


I'm going there, usually, with my family or friends. But we'll go to the park, we'll tailgate. It's a grill situation with bags and maybe giant Jenga.


A few years ago, I made a giant Jenga set. Just some old two-by-fours in my dad's garage, and it's nice. It's got a little bit of a harder dynamic because you have to watch out for splinters as well. I didn't sand them down. They do not look pretty. There's a nail in one of the boards.


It’s an added sense of danger.


Yeah, and if you can get the board with the nail out of there, that's usually the one that ends the game. But sometimes, sometimes, if it's butted up against one that's got the warp, which also screws with the whole situation. A little bit of a warp. Just a little warp can go a long way in giant Jenga, nails too, anyways. But those two pair together, you can kind of make them work together. It's an expert-level giant Jenga game.

Charlie Berens & Christian Yelich

So it was during your shoot for Leinenkugel's that you and Christian first met. Can you tell us some more about how that relationship has flourished over the last few years, including your support for Christian's charity efforts?


So, me and Yelich met at a Leinenkugel's shoot. We met at the dugout of the field in front of American Family Field.


Super fun shoot. I mean, he's just a nice, down-to-earth dude. You would have no idea that he is who he is when he kind of walks in and is just a super nice, confident, great dude. And that makes for a fun kind of straight man-crazy man in the acting sense.


Because he can kind of just treat me like an idiot. And he does a really good job of that. I don't know if he's a great actor or if I'm just an idiot.


But I will say, actually, Topps ended up making a card from that shoot. It's both him and me on a baseball card, which is probably one of the coolest things that's really happened to me. I always wanted to be on a baseball card as a kid, and then you wind up on one, and it's nice because my career got cut short.


Charlie Berens Topps Card

Well, in addition to comedy, you've also had some music success. We have two amazing acts set for the charity concert as well. Do you have any collabs planned for the Nicotine dolls or Scotty McCreery?


Yeah, that's a really great question. I don't, but that could be a fun thing to do for sure because those are some really talented folks right there. I mean, I think anything's really possible there. I like to improvise quite a bit, so you never know. There'll be something fun that we're going to do. It's going to be a blast.


Charlie Berens Riverside Marquee

What are your favorite Milwaukee venues to play and why?


Oh my gosh, Turner Hall, the first place I played, a lot of great memories there, and actually, I made a guitar holder out of the floorboards from the old stage.


My brother pulled out the floorboards from the dumpster behind Turner Hall when they got rid of them, and I made a guitar holder out of it in my place. I sanded it down, and it looks all right. Turner Hall has that sentimental thing, and obviously Pabst and Riverside for inside stages are incredible. I mean, I shot my special at the Riverside. The green room in Pabst is pretty awesome. They got Pac-Man down there, and they got a record player. It's great.


And the people, I mean, Milwaukee has so many cool venues. It's definitely not a horrible city. In fact, it's a great city. It's the least horrible city I know.


But I will say that the Wisconsin State Fair, I got to throw that in there, that energy of having so many people outside, and kind of bond in that way. So, I realize I just listed off all the places I've played in Milwaukee, but I didn't want any to be left out. I also just really love them. It's just such a great, great city with great venues. It's definitely not horrible.


While you're on the road, if you could pick any Milwaukee brand or flavor to add to your rider to have in every green room, what would you choose?


Uh, Harley. Yeah, I want a whole ass motorcycle in every green room. I think that would be great.


Milwaukee also hosted "Top Chef" this past season. Do you have what it takes to be a Top Chef chef?


No. I was actually in "Top Chef" in one of the episodes as a guest judge. And I watched what they did, and I could not do that. I would need a lot of practice, and these guys spend their lives doing it. I admire it, but I don't have the skill set at this point, certainly.


Milwaukee and Wisconsin are kind of undergoing a sports renaissance. Can you give your thoughts on what it means to be a Wisconsin sports fan right now?


I love being a Wisconsin sports fan. I think Wisconsin is home of the attitude that you don't need all the money to have all the stuff in sports. You don't you don't need to have the biggest market. You just need people who care and who love their community and the place that they're from, and support the team through good times and bad times.


And I think that is what we have in Wisconsin, you know, and I think it comes from the fact that you love the place you live through good seasons and bad seasons. You know, you love it in snow, you love it in spring, winter, fall. You don't always like it, but you're gonna support. And the Packers are cool; it's community-supported. But I think that support for the Packers, that local ownership, kind of translates to these other teams, even though they have a different model.

Charlie Berens Standup

Do you have any kind of parting curds of wisdom to pass along to the readers?


I like what you did there. No, just show up. It's for a bunch of great causes, and it's just going to be fun, so come on out to the event.


Get your tickets to the Christian Yelich Home Plate Charity Concert today! Tell your folks we says hi.