Purdue Super Fans Featuring Comedian Joey Mulinaro

Episode Thumbnail
This is a podcast episode titled, Purdue Super Fans Featuring Comedian Joey Mulinaro. The summary for this episode is: <p>In this episode of This Is Purdue, we’re highlighting Purdue super fans including comedian Joey&nbsp;Mulinaro, two young sisters who are aspiring to be part of Purdue’s All-American Twirling team one day, and even a Golden Retriever who is the canine embodiment of what it means to be a Boilermaker.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><br></p><p>Plus, you’ll hear how our podcast team helped pull off a surprise proposal at the Bell Tower during Purdue’s Homecoming.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><br></p><p>You don’t want to miss this spirited episode!&nbsp;</p>

Jeff Brohm: This is Jeff Brohm, and you're listening to, This Is Purdue.

Kate Young: Hi, I'm Kate Young and you are listening to, This Is Purdue, the official podcast for Purdue University. As a Purdue alum and Indiana native, I know first hand about the family of students and professors who are in it together, persistently pursuing and relentlessly rethinking. Who are the next game changers difference makers, ceiling breakers, innovators? Who are these Boilermakers? Join me as we feature students, faculty, and alumni taking small steps toward their giant leaps and inspiring others to do the same.

Speaker 3: It means the world because I'm an Indianapolis kid. I went to a small D- II school. I didn't have the big college experience, the big college community. The fact that a university as great as Purdue would adopt me, take me in, allow me to be a fan, I mean, it just means the world and makes me and my wife so happy. Very thankful.

Kate Young: It's a theme we hear on This Is Purdue again and again and again. You are wearing a Purdue sweatshirt at the grocery store in Indianapolis. You are wearing a Purdue hat on the beach in California. You're wearing a Purdue tank top, while running the New York City Marathon and you hear a" Boiler up," or a," What year did you graduate from Purdue? I went to Purdue too." The Boilermaker spirit and community thrives, whether you're on campus in West Lafayette or halfway across the country. In this episode of This Is Purdue, we're featuring Boilermakers from all different backgrounds, with all different stories, but the one common tie that these super fans have, they bleed black and gold. For two young Purdue fans, the glitz and glamor of the band's all American twirling team, made an impact on them since their very first football game.

Emily: I want to be The Golden Girl.

Mary: I want to be a Golden Girl and also a sibling twirler for Emily.

Kate Young: Meet sisters, Emily and Mary Inniger. When Emily was around two years old, her mom Trisha brought her to a Purdue football game that would change the family's trajectory. Trisha and her husband Brian explain their love for Purdue.

Trisha: Really for us, Purdue is family.

Brian: One of the things I did when I was young, is see the marching band go by on the street. I remember my mom loving the drum line and dancing along. When we had kids, we wanted them to have the same experience.

Trisha: The band started to get to know our girls and they started to get to know their names and as they would pass, as they would march by on game day, they'd be," Hi, Emily. Hi, Mary," and that really got the baton to be in their hands too.

Kate Young: Trisha says she bought Emily a kid size baton after her first football game. When Mary was born a few years later, she started to share her sister's love for twirling as well. It wasn't long before the Purdue twirlers noticed the girls and their batons at every home game. Then they began encouraging them, teaching them tricks and cheering. Now the girls take twirling lessons from current Golden Girl, Amanda Coy.

Trisha: The ultimate position that you can get as a twirler, would be The Golden Girl at Purdue University. I've seen Purdue say in the past, we've been the cradle for quarterbacks, but we're also the cradle for twirlers, because I mean, Purdue's known for their twirlers. When the band marches in, the twirlers are first, The Golden Girl is first, then the girl in black, and then it's the twirlers.

Kate Young: One of Emily's favorite twirler tricks is when The Golden Girl is performing on top of the world's largest drum, but she admits it would also be nerve- wracking to be up there.

Emily: It'd be really scary, actually twirling on the... What if your baton, you drop the baton?

Kate Young: Trisha says her grandparents tailgated on Slater Hill, when her dad went to Purdue in the late 60s, and this tradition continues on to today. One of the family's favorite activities on game day, is when the twirlers get to take a quick break before the football game and come see Emily and Mary.

Trisha: They chose to stop what they're doing, stop interacting with their families and interact with my girls. That's the reason my girls love Purdue. That's the reason that they're twirlers today. That's really special that they would take time away from their extremely busy day and interact with two girls they don't even know. That goes a long way. That says a lot about the university as well. The leadership that trickles down through the twirlers, Purdue is family and just the whole environment and the atmosphere there is just, it's something you don't find at other schools. It's really cool.

Emily: I love the band because they always interact with me and the twirlers always teach me new tricks.

Trisha: I really want to be a Silver Twin of Emily, because it seems so fun. Matching outfits, matching tricks. So fun.

Kate Young: Trisha and Brian definitely classify themselves as Boilermaker super fans. They're raising two super fans as well. Here's Emily.

Emily: I'm a Boilermaker super fan, because I grew up visiting the campus. I love seeing all the twirlers and it just makes me want to keep coming back and seeing more.

Kate Young: I can't wait to go to a Purdue football game in a decade or so and see Emily and Mary on Purdue's All American Twirling Team.

Emily: Boiler up, hammer down.

Mary: Boiler up, hammer down.

Kate Young: So far, we've focused on human Purdue super fans. It makes sense, but what if a canine embodied the Boilermaker spirit? Delta is a one year old golden retriever pub living in the Alpha Gamma row fraternity house. She's become a bit of a celebrity around campus. Her owner Jayden says you can usually find Delta on the front lawn, playing with the guys or getting a bath.

Jayden: Just to see her bring a smile to someone's face and just add value to them or just cheer their day up. I mean, you don't know what day someone's having, just to see that just makes me happy. I mean, it just, I think that really embodies the Boilermaker spirit.

Kate Young: On a hot day, you may see her participating in this Purdue tradition.

Jayden: We did our first fountain run.

Speaker 9: She did her first fountain run.

Jayden: First fountain run. That was fun. She wants to do more of those.

Speaker 9: Yeah.

Kate Young: Delta especially loves the fraternities cook, Jackie who gives her pieces of chicken. Delta even has her own Instagram account, created by Jayden's girlfriend, Ella, where she shows off special Purdue bandanas handmade by Ella. I had the chance to meet Delta at the homecoming tailgate and she is the most friendly, well behaved dog. She may not know exactly what or who she is cheering for, but her persistent wagging tail and the puppy smile that she has, it just really makes people's days. While we're on the topic of homecoming, I have to share one of my favorite This Is Purdue podcast memories to date. It all started with a forwarded email chain. A Purdue alumnus mom emailed the university saying that her daughter's boyfriend was proposing at homecoming. The couple met at Purdue and both graduated into 2018. Could we somehow help with this surprise proposal? Yes. Yes, we sure can. I immediately reached out and started the planning process. I eventually called Ryan DiSalvio, the future groom, to form a plan. What if our podcast team posed at the bell tower and pretended like we were interviewing people for a special homecoming episode? Ryan agreed and loved the idea. The plan was for Ryan, his future fiance, Claire Wilson, and her family to walk by the bell tower around 9: 00 AM, the morning of homecoming. Then I would randomly pick Claire and Ryan to participate in a Boilermaker trivia game. Okay. Both of you need to turn.

Ryan: All right.

Kate Young: With your back to each other.

Claire: Oh, that's inaudible.

Ryan: All right.

Kate Young: Okay. Is this a good shot? We got it? Let the game begin. Oh, and by the way, Ryan was of course really nervous. That's understandable. But I was also extremely nervous. I wanted this moment for them to be perfect. All right. Purdue's football team is known for the cradle of blank.

Claire: Yes.

Ryan: Quarterbacks.

Kate Young: All right.

Speaker 13: Point for Purdue.

Kate Young: Point for Ryan.

Ryan: Yes.

Kate Young: Okay. Blank is where you get a Den Pop.

Claire: The inaudible Den.

Kate Young: Yes. All right. One to one. Okay. Purdue's official mascot is blank.

Ryan: Purdue Pete.

Claire: No, the Boilermaker special.

Kate Young: Yeah.

Speaker 14: Claire.

Ryan: Oh my gosh.

Speaker 15: Wait, is that on Instagram?

Kate Young: Okay. Everyone knows that you shouldn't walk under the bell tower before graduation, but what's the other tradition at the bell tower?

Claire: You kiss underneath it, you'll get engaged, right?

Kate Young: Yes. Claire knew the answer to that question, but still suspected nothing until she turned around to see Ryan down on one knee.

Ryan: Claire, would you marry me?

Claire: Yes.

Kate Young: Yay.

Audience: Yay. Yay. Yay.

Kate Young: Claire was so genuinely shocked, and to have their family and friends there to witness it all was just the cherry on top of all of this. Congrats to Claire and Ryan, we were absolutely honored to be part of your special day. Oh, and we will be expecting a wedding invite. After the proposal of these two Boilermaker super fans dreams, the podcast crew Bailey, Ted and I headed to meet Joey Mulinaro. Joey is an Indianapolis native, who is a self- proclaimed Purdue super fan. You may recognize his name, as he's a comedian and Barstool Sports personality known for his incredible impressions of Nick Saban, Colin Cowherd, and Cris Collinsworth. Although Joey didn't attend Purdue, his wife Riley was a cheerleader here at Purdue. They discussed the unique way they met.

Joey Mulinaro: We met at an internship with Pat McAfee in Indianapolis, summer 2017. Right?

Riley: Yeah. I actually did my application video for that internship in the middle of Mackey. You had to do something to stand out. I was like," Oh, I have access to Mackey. I'll go in there and do it, but we met the first day of interviews and then it was a pretty long interview process. Then after that, we just found ways to work on things together and would meet up before we had to go to work, and edit videos together.

Joey Mulinaro: I had the opportunity to pick videographers and I always picked Riley obviously.

Kate Young: The Mulinaros have a special place in their hearts for Purdue. In fact, Joey proposed to Riley here.

Joey Mulinaro: First thing I loved about Purdue the most is that I met my wife basically through here. We got engaged here.

Kate Young: Did you?

Joey Mulinaro: Outside of Ross Ade Stadium.

Kate Young: Oh, awesome.

Joey Mulinaro: Yeah. I did not graduate from Purdue, but because of her, I am an honorary Boiler and very fond of this place.

Riley: I had a unique experience with Purdue and just from cheering and being a part of every home game, every, not every, but a lot of home basketball games. I just had a perspective on this place that it just meant more to me I think. Purdue means a lot to a lot of people, but I think for me, it was just, I got to see a lot of the behind the scenes stuff that made this place so special. It just holds the deepest place in my heart.

Kate Young: This fall Purdue's football team invited Joey to a practice. He tells us about the experience with coach Jeff Brohm and the players. Tell us about when you were recently with the football team, that looked like a fun time.

Joey Mulinaro: Oh wow. What a great group of dudes. The coaches were awesome. They were very accommodating. Had me out, they had me, they tested me. They were like," We're going to have you catch a fake or catch a punt." I was like," No, you're not." Practice ends, they were like," Where's Joey, where's Joey?" I was like," Oh my gosh, they're doing it." They sent me out of there in front of the whole team. Luckily I was able to secure it.

Kate Young: I saw you caught it. Thank God.

Joey Mulinaro: Caught it.

Kate Young: What would you have done if you didn't catch it?

Joey Mulinaro: I would just been very disappointed and embarrassed for my wife.

Kate Young: Delete the tapes, delete the tapes.

Joey Mulinaro: Delete the tapes. She would have had to disown me, but I brought it in and we had a big celebration with the team. Then coach Brohm actually made me do a Saban in front of the whole team. It was a pressure packed out... I blacked out. I don't really remember.

Kate Young: We had the chance to interview Joey on the field at Ross Ade, just minutes before the homecoming game kickoff. It was an experience I'll never forget. Joey shares his passion for making people laugh, his persistent pursuit of following his dreams of becoming a comedian and his love for this Boilermaker community. How do you feel being on the field?

Joey Mulinaro: Incredible. It's like we were telling you guys before. Me and my wife got engaged just about 50 yards that way. I love Ross Ade. I think it's an underrated stadium and it's awesome being out here. I love it. Thank you for having me.

Kate Young: Of course. We're lucky to have you.

Joey Mulinaro: Thank you.

Kate Young: We've talked about it a little bit, but why are you a Purdue Boilermaker fan?

Joey Mulinaro: Growing up in Indiana, especially as a Catholic school kid, it was like you're either a Notre Dame fan or you're not. I rolled with them for a little bit, but then I grew out of it and then I met my wife, today and she was a Purdue cheerleader. I was up here for every game. I went on the road, I was at Purdue all the time. Ross Ade was like my second home. From that point on, I just fell in love with the campus. I fell in love with the people. I fell in love with the team and I'm rocking black and gold forever.

Kate Young: You visited the Purdue football team earlier this season, but what is all this Boilermaker spirit in this family? We've adopted you as a Boilermaker. What does that mean to you?

Joey Mulinaro: Man, it means the world because I'm an Indianapolis kid and I went to a small D- II school. I didn't have the big college experience, the big college community. The fact that a university as great as Purdue would adopt me, take me in, allow me to be a fan. I mean, it just means the world and it makes me and my wife so happy. Very thankful.

Kate Young: You're a media person yourself.

Joey Mulinaro: Uh-huh(affirmative).

Kate Young: How did you get on this track to your career now?

Joey Mulinaro: Yeah, I worked in local media for a while after college and in college being in Indianapolis. Then on the side, I just kept... Was like I want to be funny, I want to make people laugh. Me and my buddy Ben Pulitzi, who you saw at Chipotle the other day, we just decided that we were going to do some comedy sketches together and pursue that on the side. We did that for about three years. It was a small following, but then I started doing impressions and stuff too. That really popped off and gave me my following. Me and Ben still work together. Thank God. Every day the goal is still just to make people laugh. That's what we're doing. If that makes people happy, then I'll keep doing it.

Kate Young: What was it like when you got that call from Barstool?

Joey Mulinaro: Surreal. I mean, I'm talking to Dave Portnoy and I've been following and watching them forever and him forever and all of a sudden he's like," Yeah, come out to New York, we got a spot for you." I'm like,"I just could come out there? It's that easy?" Yeah, it was pretty much that easy. Once he saw me and called me and wanted me, then I said yes. We've been on that journey ever since. It's just a dream come true.

Kate Young: What would you say your personal favorite impression that you do is?

Joey Mulinaro: I try to add to the arsenal a lot. I've really enjoyed doing Owen Wilson lately. I added him. Jimmy Fallon is a personal favorite of mine. Everybody loves like Nick Saban, Colin Cowherd, all that. Cris Collinsworth, people like that. I have fun doing all of them. I really do. I mean, when I can get paid to just be a goofball on camera, it doesn't get much better than that. I have fun. Yeah.

Kate Young: My personal favorite is Colin Cowherd.

Joey Mulinaro: Oh, thank you.

Kate Young: What would you say after all your fans and stuff, what's their number one thing that they gravitate towards?

Joey Mulinaro: I would say either Saban or Collinsworth, people really have gravitated towards Collinsworth a lot. They really, really request that a lot. They take to it for some reason. I don't know if it's the slide in that I do, on camera or what, but they really seem to like that one. Either him or Saban. Yeah. I always have a soft spot in my heart for Coach O.

Kate Young: Oh yeah. You just went out to visit them too.

Joey Mulinaro: I did. Yeah. We got the rip a," Go inaudible," together and that was great. Have soft spot for him. Yeah.

Kate Young: What do you think of all these coaches and people that you impersonate? They all have fun with it too. What does that mean to you, that they actually enjoy it?

Joey Mulinaro: Well, that's the thing, is that I always say the reason that I can impersonate them, like I can, is because I'm a fan. I respect them because so much. I watch them so much and listen to them, that makes it to where I'm able to pick up on them more. It's never out of a bad place or disrespect. It's all out of good fun and out of respect. I've been really lucky that pretty much everybody has enjoyed it, that I've impersonated. I've been lucky.

Kate Young: Who's your favorite Purdue athlete of all time?

Joey Mulinaro: I mean, the easy answer is Drew Brees, so I won't say that. I got two for you. One of them is probably lesser known, but is near and dear to my heart because he grew up in the same town that I grew up in, Jason Warner. He was a captain on the 2009 team, linebacker, number 29, number 24, Jason Warner is my guy. Then also I'd say Carson Edwards. Sea Bogie. I mean the amount of fun I had watching that guy play is second to none. Should have been a Final Four team. I won't get into that, but a lot of the guys on this team right now, George Karlaftis, David Bell is an Indy guy. I'm a big fan of them too.

Kate Young: Any predictions for Purdue basketball? What do you think?

Joey Mulinaro: Oh, national title.

Kate Young: You heard it hear first.

Joey Mulinaro: This is the year. They're taking the big 10 Tourney. They're taking the national championship. They have the team to do it. They have the coach to do it. They have the experience to do it. We've been waiting. We've been waiting for a long time.

Kate Young: Yes we have.

Joey Mulinaro: I think this is the team that's going to make it to the Final Four to New Orleans and make it to the National Championship. I really do. I really believe that. Yeah.

Kate Young: I love it. When we think about all these awesome students at Purdue, what advice would you have for them if they want to get into, media, your career track or any type of comedy? Any advice you'd have?

Joey Mulinaro: Yeah. I'd say a couple things. I'd say one, you got to find something that you would do for free, except people pay you to do it. If you enjoy doing it that much, that you would do it for nothing, eventually it'll pay off and somebody will pay you to do it. Then second, I'd say, if you don't have a job right out of school, create a job. Do a blog, do a podcast, make videos. Do... You know, there's so many avenues to create and be creative that if it doesn't work out for you right away, because it didn't work out for me right away, to create on your own and then eventually you'll make something happen.

Kate Young: Yeah. When you talk about that persistence that you had to keep pursuing.

Joey Mulinaro: Yeah.

Kate Young: Not everyone gets to work at Barstool.

Joey Mulinaro: Yeah.

Kate Young: How did that change the way that you look at life and how you keep going?

Joey Mulinaro: I reflect back on where I came from and I have to remind myself a lot of those times where nobody was watching, nobody was listening, nobody cared. I was doing it for free, just out of the enjoyment of doing it. Then I go back to that place and I say," It doesn't matter if I'm at Barstool or working for Purdue or ESPN or SNL or whatever it is, as long as you're doing it for the good of your heart coming out of that enjoyment, then you're going to be all right." I got to remind myself of that, but that's key. That's key.

Kate Young: I love that. Yeah. What's your favorite sports experience that you've ever had?

Joey Mulinaro: I mean, being from Indy, the Indy 500 every year is pretty hard to beat. I mean, when they're doing Taps and they're doing the National Anthem and they're God bless America. Then the green flag, that's really, really hard to beat. I mean, The Indy 500 is tops, but as a fan, I'd probably say when the Cubs won The World Series. I wasn't there. I didn't make it to Cleveland. I have them tattooed on my arm for God's sake. Right there.

Kate Young: Oh, yeah.

Joey Mulinaro: That's a Cubs tattoo. When they won The World Series, that's tops. Yeah.

Kate Young: What was it like growing up in Indiana? We always think of big media is in LA and New York. What's it like being based in Indiana?

Joey Mulinaro: Pretty wild, because everybody I went to school with, it's like, and that's fine, but everybody's like a teacher, an accountant or a lawyer. All admirable jobs that are very needed. But when I say," Hey, I want to be in comedy or I want to be an actor." That's not really something that goes over too well. Very weird, but in my heart of hearts, had to just keep going for it and follow my dreams. That's what I'm continuing to do.

Kate Young: What's your favorite stadium arena sports venue?

Joey Mulinaro: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Wrigley Field and obviously Mackey and Ross Ade, obviously. I got engaged outside in between them for Lord's sake. Yeah, big time.

Kate Young: That's a true Purdue fan. Getting engaged at Purdue.

Joey Mulinaro: Yep. Right outside of the stadium. It's unfortunate. It's great that we're doing the renovations that are going to happen, but I always joke with Ri, I'm like," Yeah, eventually we're just going to be like a beer stand." You know? Our spot where we got engage is going to be like a beer, but that's all right.

Kate Young: We're going to show your kids someday. This is where we got engaged.

Joey Mulinaro: This is where we got engaged."You proposed at a concession stand?" I'm like," It was different then."

Kate Young: Thanks to Joey and Riley for spending home coming in with our This Is Purdue team, we had an absolute blast. Be sure to follow Joey on Twitter and Instagram at Joey Mulinaro to check out his legendary impressions and check out our videos from Purdue homecoming, including our interview with Joey at Ross Ade and that special bell tower proposal on YouTube. Just head over to youtube. com/ purdueuniversity. Thanks for listening to This Is Purdue. For more information on this episode, visit our website at purdue. edu/ podcast. There you can head over to your favorite podcast app to subscribe and leave us a review. As always...

Joey Mulinaro: Boiler up!

Riley: Boiler up!


In this episode of This Is Purdue, we’re highlighting Purdue super fans including comedian Joey Mulinaro, two young sisters who are aspiring to be part of Purdue’s All-American Twirling team one day, and even a Golden Retriever who is the canine embodiment of what it means to be a Boilermaker.  

Plus, you’ll hear how our podcast team helped pull off a surprise proposal at the Bell Tower during Purdue’s Homecoming.  

You don’t want to miss this spirited episode!