Comedian Bert Kreischer got more than he bargained for as host of Netflix’s first-ever live sports event, the Netflix Cup, when a female protester ran onto the scene at the Wynn Golf Course in Las Vegas and he instinctively sprang into action, tackling her on camera.
In an exclusive interview with Deadline, Kreischer explains that the events of Tuesday afternoon transpired so quickly, he barely recalled what happened in the aftermath. “When we got done, someone at Netflix came up to me and they’re like, ‘Hey, you’re going viral’ and I was like, ‘For what?’ And they’re like, ‘The protestor,’” Kreischer says. “I literally, honestly didn’t even think about it. I really don’t have a recollection of it, other than being in production mode and being like, ‘Hey, you can’t get in the shot.’”
Kreischer’s instinctual fear when he first saw protesters run out onto the golf course, given that their energy was “so f***ing crazy,” was that something really bad, like a mass shooting, was about to happen. “It was such an interesting thing because they had all these celebrities in the pit lane, is what they called it, and I was supposed to do interviews with everyone,” says the comic. “When those people came running out, this is going to sound really crazy, I kept thinking to myself when I was sitting there, ‘Man, this is where that [Vegas] shooting was. This is crazy. If you’re going to do a shooting, you could kill a ton of celebrities right now.’”
While looking to protect those participating in Netflix’s event, Kreischer hoped to minimize contact with the protester, to the extent he could. “I thought it was just like I was moving one of my daughters. I was just like, ‘Here we go,’” Kreischer says. “I wasn’t going to touch her body, so I was kind of trying to grab her arms and move her away — and man, that snapshot looks totally different. It looks like I f***ing leveled her.”
In the wake of the debacle, former NFL running back and Netflix Cup co-host Marshawn Lynch asked Kreischer if he put the prostester on the ground, telling him that he needs “to learn how to f***ing tackle” when he explained that he hadn’t. In another interaction on scene with Mark Wahlberg, Kreischer reveals with a laugh that the actor told him, “Yo, you don’t have to fight anyone, you’re talent.”
Putting the cherry on top of a bizarre situation for Kreischer was his realization later on of why the prostesters were at the Cup. Their mission, it turns out, was to protest Formula One owner Liberty Media’s alleged sponsorship of the Iditarod dogsled race. The event was taken as an opportunity to do so, given the participation of F1 drivers from Netflix’s hugely popular series Formula 1: Drive to Survive. When Kreischer found this all out, he couldn’t believe it. “All I remember saying is like, ‘Were they protesting the Iditarod?’ Then, I was like, ‘Wow, that’s crazy. Did I really just put my foot in the political ring regarding the Iditarod?’” the comedian laughs. “Like, I have no feelings about the Iditarod, ever, and all of a sudden I’m like, ‘F**k that! The Iditarod is a mainstay of North America. Not on my watch, baby.’”
Co-hosted by PGA Tour player Joel Dahmen and sports host Kay Adams, as well as the aforementioned Lynch, the Netflix Cup was an eight-hole golf match pitting race car drivers opposite golfers from the streamer’s recent show Full Swing. Blake Griffin, Steve Aoki and Collin Morikawa were also among those in attendance, with KC Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes Zooming into the broadcast.
One of the busiest and highest grossing comedians working today, Kreischer released his latest special, the Golden Globes contender Razzle Dazzle, earlier this year. Upcoming dates for his current Tops Off World Tour are available now.
Video of the tackling, clipped from the YouTube broadcast by a fan, can be found below.