Charlie Berens to be UW-Madison’s winter commencement speaker

MADISON, Wis. — “Oh my gosh!” Comedian Charlie Berens will be the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s winter commencement speaker this year, the university announced Wednesday.

Berens, a 2009 UW graduate and native of suburban Milwaukee, will speak during commencement at the Kohl Center on Dec. 18.

He rose to fame in 2017 with his “Manitowoc Minute” videos and is also a New York Times best-selling author, a podcast host and an Emmy-winning journalist.

“Charlie Berens is a Wisconsin cultural ambassador for all corners of the state,” senior class president Liam McLean said in a news release. “It is fitting to have him speak to our winter commencement graduates as his reach and our university grow in scope and status.”

In a video on the university’s YouTube page, Berens thanked his alma mater for inviting him to be the speaker.

“I’m bringing jerky and brandy for everyone!” he quipped before an on-screen message dashed the hopes of soon-to-be graduates by telling them it was a joke.