Defending Indiana, a new podcast hosted by Chicago-based comedians born and raised in Indiana Colleen Brennan and Janice V. Rodriguez, examines stereotypes, jokes and myths about the Hoosier state. Episodes feature special guests connected to Indiana who try to help Brennan and Rodriguez defend the Hoosier state. Their latest episode, part one of a two-part series, went live on Wednesday February 17th, and features Bloomington, IN native, filmmaker Angelo Pizzo (“Hoosiers” and “Rudy”). In these revealing episodes, Pizzo speaks extensively about how his Indiana upbringing has influenced his approach to filmmaking and storytelling.
Tired with all the jokes, myths and stereotypes they have encountered throughout life, Brennan and Rodriguez dissect the notion that Indiana is a flyover state in the middle of the U.S. known only for corn and basketball. Defending Indiana’s hosts sometimes find truth in those misconceptions but attempt to convince listeners there is far more to Indiana than meets the eye.
As Brennan explained, “We love our Hoosier home state, but it’s kind of like our siblings. We can make fun of it, but if you do, we’ll cut you.”
In addition to filmmaker Pizzo, other first season guests include Hoosier notables Christina Hale (former Indiana State Representative and Democratic Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives), Erica Ridley (NYT best-selling author) and Craig Prater (president of the Heartland Film Festival).
“I know Indiana can be the butt of some jokes, but we Hoosiers have so much to be proud of.,” Rodriguez said. “I lived in Florida for 10 years and it really opened my eyes to how much my values are shaped by growing up in Indiana and specifically ‘The Region’. As I’ve gotten older, I can really look at my time in Indiana and appreciate the foundation it has set for my life. But I can also make fun of it – in a loving way of course!”
Catch up on season one and subscribe to Defending Indiana on major platforms including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher & Spotify.