Purdue student interviews celebrities

The COVID-19 pandemic upended the lives of most students. From mask mandates to lockdowns, what was called the “new normal” became a generation-defining experience, leading to a 25 percent increase in anxiety and depression worldwide. One Purdue student found a way to overcome the challenges of social isolation during the pandemic: by starting a podcast. Just a few years later, the Jacob Buehrer Show has grown far past its founder’s expectations (Photo Credit: Jacob Buehrer).

“I started my podcast in November of 2020 while struggling with depression during the COVID-19 lockdowns,” said Buehrer, an incoming sophomore majoring in communications at Purdue West Lafayette. “All I had was a $29 microphone. I never thought I’d be interviewing some fairly big names just a few years later.”

He has interviewed several political figures including the former Governor of Indiana (and former Purdue president) Mitch Daniels, State Rep. Mike Speedy, former Vice President Dan Quayle and Secretary of State Diego Morales.

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Alongside political figures, he has interviewed celebrities including Melissa Gisoni from Dance Moms, NFL Veteran Fullback Chris Gronkowski and Sir-Mix-A-Lot

Buehrer interviews Chris Gronkowsi (Photo Credit: The Jacob Buehrer Show)

He began the podcast primarily interviewing locals from his hometown of New Palestine, Indiana. Eventually, he worked his way up to interviewing celebrities.

Buehrer emphasized it takes persistence and flexibility, as he will often have to reach out to scores of people by email or text before he is able to get a person to agree to sit down for an interview. 

“I’ve been able to interview people from every industry, which means I’ve made a lot of great connections and am thankful to all of them and everyone who has listened,” Buehrer said, “and I thank God for giving me the opportunity.”

Since coming on campus, the extroverted sophomore, who usually wastes no time introducing himself and conversing with new people, has found that many of his fellow students recognize him from his interviews before meeting him in person.

Buehrer during an interview with former Purdue president Mitch Daniels (Photo Credit: The Jacob Buehrer Show).

“One day I walked into a fraternity party at Purdue and a girl I had never met before came up to me and asked if I had interviewed Melissa from Dance moms,” he told The Collegiate Commons. “It’s cool to be recognized for the hard work I’ve put into such a small show.”

Despite the rapid growth of his podcast, Buehrer makes sure to still make time to interview locals and students. 

Most of his interviews are around ten minutes, and can be found on his youtube channel as well as Apple podcasts. The Jacob Buehrer Show will also now be featured on The Collegiate Commons.

Buehrer has interviewed more than 150 people during the four years his podcast has been running and hopes to keep the podcast going as he continues his academic career.

Jacob Stewart is an MPA candidate at Indiana University-Indianapolis. He has written previously written for Campus Reform, The Campus Citizen, the Chalkboard Review, and other publications.

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