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Saturday, June 15, 2024

'I fucked Bucky’: Hannah Berner returns to Madison

Former Badger Hannah Berner returned to Comedy on State to perform two sold-out shows on Oct. 13 and 14.

We’ve all spent long nights thinking about sleeping with Bucky the Badger — or is it just Hannah Berner? The female comedian began her show laughing about one of her many claims to fame — actually sleeping with the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s very own Bucky. 

For most fans, it was not their first time hearing Berner's story about Bucky. In July 2020, the comedian guest-starred on an episode of hit podcast “Call Her Daddy” titled “I Fucked the Mascot.” On the podcast, she told the world about her nights with Bucky and shared other hilarious stories from her time in Madison. 

The former Badger hails from Brooklyn and grew up playing tennis until her ultimate recruitment by the University of Wisconsin-Madison women’s tennis team. Berner played for the team freshman through senior year, and after college amassed a following of 1.2 million across social media platforms.

After finding out Berner’s 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. shows were sold out, I wasn’t sure what the audience would look like. A quick glance around showed me that the crowd was mainly composed of UW-Madison’s female Greek Life members, for there were hardly any men around. I have a feeling that a lot of the audience discovered Hannah Berner from her “Call Her Daddy” cameo and were waiting for an opportunity to see the comedian in real life. Other audience members may have discovered Berner from her days on Bravo’s “Summer House” or as a cohost on Bravo’s “Chat Room.” 

Berner had an array of openers warm the Comedy Club up. Among these was Jared Goldstein, my personal favorite. Donning a cute skirt and holding a drink in his hand, he had the room entranced throughout his set, cracking jokes centered around partying and the queer experience. 

The audience laughed particularly hard when they were personally targeted — Goldstein had show goers cackling after telling them “some of you are going to puke tonight.” He ultimately pronounced the audience “party girls,” stating they were laughing a little too hard at his jokes. Goldstein and the rest of the openers had the audience dying of laughter, anticipating Berner’s arrival. 

Berner took the stage about an hour after the show began. If I am being honest, I didn’t find Berner’s set remarkably funny. I laughed a few times, but I think there was missed potential to be funnier. Berner had an unprecedented opportunity to relate to an audience filled with college-aged women who live very similar lives to the one she once led. Berner did connect with the audience a few times — throwing in keywords all Badgers could understand like Chasers and Whiskey Jack’s — but I think she could've done a much better job.

However, I must say that my negative opinion was not mirrored by the group I was with. My friends loved the show, and continue to rave about Berner.

We each have our own subjective taste in comedy and art, and you should form your own opinion on the former Badger turned comedian. To get your own opinion of Hannah Berner, you can hear from her hit podcasts “Giggly Squad” and “Berning in Hell,” which both have over 20 million downloads.

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