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Mulligan Wins Gridiron Rave

March 26, 2012

The Washington Post has given longtime ProJo Washington reporter John E. Mulligan a rave review for his performance at the annual Gridiron Club dinner Saturday evening. Mulligan dressed in a dog suit and carried a cardboard station wagon on his hips. He crooned the old Drifter hit “Up on the Roof’’ as a spoof of Romney’s famous family auto trip with his dog strapped to the family’s station wagon.

Mulligan’s stage kudos will come as no surprise to Rhode Islanders of a certain age who remember with affection and laughs Mulligan’s many turns on stage at the annual Providence Newspaper Guild Follies show at the Venus de Milo.

Mulligan has not performed in the Follies for several years but he was once a mainstay of the cast, often writing gags and songs and spoofing Rhody politics to Bob Dylan tunes. Mulligan, Bob Kerr and Tony Lioce were all Follies stahs (no rs in Vo Dilun) for many years. On Politics is certain that Mulligan will be pushed to come back to the Follies for the 40th incarnation of the show next February at the Venus.

The Gridiron is a bit more of an elite event than the plebian Follies. The Gridiron Club is a group of 65 top Washington print reporters that exists for the sole purpose of putting on the annual show that is attended by the Washington political hierarchy. (President Obama didn’t make it this year but did attend last year). Men wear white tie and women show up in gowns. It is also an event that brings print media mucky-mucks from the provinces (including Providence) to rub elbows with the Washington political and media bigshots. In past years, Mulligan has brought ProJo editors and executives, including publisher Howard Sutton, editorial page editor Bob Whitcomb, editor Tom Heslin, metro editor Sue Areson and assorted Rhody pols to the festivities.


7 Comments leave one →
  1. polly reynolds permalink
    March 26, 2012 7:04 pm

    go johnny go

  2. Bob Kerr permalink
    March 26, 2012 7:12 pm

    I’ll never forget the time Mulligan tried out a new song for me in the men’s room at the Venus on the day of the Follies. I don’t think the song made it into the show, but it was a beautiful moment. I’m not surprised he knocked ’em dead in DC. If you can make it at the Venus, you can make it damn near anywhere.

  3. March 26, 2012 7:13 pm

    Right On Bob

  4. M. Charles Bakst permalink
    March 26, 2012 7:43 pm

    Very nice, and I’m happy for John. Now here’s what else I’d like to know: What kind of food do they serve at the Gridiron? I mean, like, can one count on having roast beef and gloppy delicious heart-stopping seafood Newburgh? And, um, what about dessert?
    Just wondering,
    M. Charles Bakst

  5. March 28, 2012 1:56 am

    Nice going, Johnny. Somebody ought to answer Charlie’s question about food at the Gridiron Club as he lives vicariously through the food served at occasions like this.

  6. Tom Mulligan permalink
    March 30, 2012 1:05 pm

    The Gridiron food’s no match for the Venus – nor for the Nordic Lodge, Chas. No seconds, no Newburgh, no free drink tickets. The crowd is also a step down in terms of classiness, attire. The white-tie requirement for gents pretty much rules out velour.

  7. Greg Mulligan permalink
    March 30, 2012 8:16 pm

    I saw a picture of you in the dog suit at Gridiron. Could you do your family a favor and try a stage name.
    Thx Bro

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