#136: Shirtless Shenanigans, Mitch’s Unlikely Journey of a Super Bowl Meme

Hello, Kankakee County and beyond! Today I’m bringing you a story that’s close to our hearts—a tale of humor, virality, and the power of a good meme. As we gear up for Super Bowl 2024, let’s rewind to a moment when our very own Kankakee made Super Bowl history, not on the field, but in the world of social media.

The Meme That Took Over the Internet

My guest, Kevin “Mitch” Mitchell, is a local plumber with a knack for humor and a love for Kankakee. But you might know him better as the guy who, during Maroon 5’s Super Bowl halftime show five years ago, recreated Adam Levine’s “California” tattoo with a Sharpie, scrawling “Illinois” across his stomach, and shared it online. That image, paired with his beer belly and a Coors Light in hand, skyrocketed to viral fame.

A Viral Sensation Overnight

Mitch’s meme was an instant hit. Within an hour, it amassed a thousand shares, and by the next morning, it had reached 20,000. The local plumber had become an internet sensation, and his life was about to change. As we discussed the whirlwind of attention, Kevin recounted waking up to messages from old friends and seeing his face on WGN news. The meme’s reach was undeniable, and it was reshaping his everyday life.

Embracing the Spotlight

Mitch’s story is one of authenticity and the unexpected twists of internet fame. He shared how his meme led to recognition from strangers, media coverage, and even a nod from celebrity Jenny McCarthy. Despite the pressure to replicate his viral success, Mitch remained true to himself, opting not to force another moment of internet glory.

The Lasting Impact of a Meme

Reflecting on the experience, Mitch expressed a down-to-earth perspective. He didn’t seek to monetize his fame or become an influencer; instead, he embraced the bizarre and fleeting nature of his 15 minutes in the spotlight. His meme became a part of Kankakee’s story, a testament to the humor and heart of our community.

A Message of Safety and Celebration

As we look forward to another Super Bowl weekend, Mitch and I want to remind everyone to celebrate responsibly. If you’re enjoying some drinks, do it safely at home or arrange a ride. Let’s make this weekend memorable for all the right reasons.

Conclusion: The Power of a Good Laugh

In closing, our conversation today is a reminder of the joy and connection that can come from a simple, spontaneous act. His viral meme not only brought laughter to millions but also highlighted the spirit of Kankakee. It’s a story that underscores the unexpected ways we can make an impact and the enduring power of a good laugh.

Thank you for joining me on this journey through one of Kankakee’s most memorable moments. If you enjoyed this tale, don’t forget to subscribe to the Kankakee Podcast and follow us on social media. And to our Patreon supporters like Teage Drinnon, your contributions keep our stories alive!

Until next time, this is Jake LaMore, signing off with a heart full of local pride and a reminder to keep the creativity flowing. Stay tuned for more stories from the heart of Kankakee County!

Tune In + Subscribe

Thank you for listening and supporting the Kankakee Podcast!