Brianna LaPaglia’s best piece of advice? “Sleep when you’re dead.”
That applies to partying, working or, really, anything in life — especially for LaPaglia, the Barstool Sports podcast host who makes a living by not spending time on things that don’t make her happy.
“I used to waste my life, you know, just moping around,” the 22-year-old told The Post. “Once I just actually started living life, it was a lot better, and I was a lot happier.”
And that means being the No. 1 party girl in the country.
The self-proclaimed “CEO of hangovers” — also billed as “The Dr. Phil of college advice” — chronicles partying, relationship and general Gen Z life on her podcast, which began last year.
“What I’m trying to say is, you can have fun, and you can work hard as well,” she said. “I work 24 hours, seven days a week. I’m never not on.”
LaPaglia was a sophomore studying public health at Baldwin Wallace University in Ohio when she started making TikTok videos that featured her, as she said in a recent Barstool interview, hungover and making a fool of herself. That can mean throwing up, still being drunk, or stretched out in her bathtub saying “I give my body four more years [of this].”
The Massachusetts native has 1.3 million followers on the app, where she is known as Brianna Chickenfry — it refers to an old Vine video is which she compared her legs to Burger King chicken fries. When she needed a user name for TikTok, she lazily said, “Let’s just do Brianna Chickenfry. Not thinking that that would be my name now.”
At the time, she was “miserable” in school. Then in 2020, Barstool came calling because of her TikTok videos. When they offered her an internship, LaPaglia’s friends and classmates were more excited than she was.
“I wasn’t nervous going into it because I really didn’t know what the hell [Barstool] was,” she said of the popular media company.
LaPaglia lasted a week as an intern before she was hired full-time. Soon after, she had her own podcast, “PlanBri Uncut.”
“There is something perfectly imperfect about her. She is smart, articulate and beautiful — she is also a college dropout and always hungover. That juxtaposition makes her relatable and aspirational at the same time,” Barstool CEO Erika Nardini told The Post. “There are no airs about her.”
Between classes going virtual because of the pandemic and landing her new gig, LaPaglia decided to quit school. “I was like, ‘Am I going to be miserable and do this, or do I actually want to do something that makes me happy and I’m actually good at?’ ” she said. “I dropped out and moved to New York City.”
Her ascent began just a couple of months after the meltdown of Barstool’s controversial “Call Her Daddy” podcast, which resulted in co-host Sofia Franklyn leaving and company founder Dave Portnoy blasting Franklyn and co-host Alex Cooper as “unprofessional, selfish and greedy.” (Cooper continued the podcast for Barstool by herself before fleeing to Spotify this past summer.)
According to Nardini, LaPaglia is different from Cooper because she doesn’t rely on “shock value.”
Portnoy told The Post of LaPaglia: “That takes guts [to drop out of school]. It told me she is serious about creating content.” She has guested on his own podcast, “BFFs,” several times. “When you do content with me, it’s easy to get steamrolled. She definitely does not.”
LaPaglia has since also become a co-host of the “Because We Got High” podcast, which covers everything from sex to drugs, blackouts to deep questions like “Does NASA suck?” — all in the raunchiest way.
Even with a busy career, she hasn’t stopped partying.
Many nights, LaPaglia, who has been dating boyfriend Nik Pellegrino for more than two years, can be found at bars around her East Village neighborhood, downing cider. But for the past few weeks, she’s been busy on a Barstool-sponsored “College Dropout” tour, hitting up some of the biggest party schools on the East Coast — including Clemson, Penn State and the University of Miami — to drink with fans.
Her hangover cure: She has to “get wet” (in the summer, taking a dip in a swimming pool; in the winter, a cold shower), take ibuprofen and chug a Dunkin’ Donuts blue raspberry Coolatta spiked with Revitalyte.
But hangovers are worth it to meet her biggest fans.
At a stop in West Virginia, a girl hopped a fence, sprayed a security guard with Silly String and launched herself at LaPaglia to give her a gift.
“She proceeded to take a bracelet out of her purse and tell me, ‘This bracelet is my dead mom’s. I’ve been depressed since she died, but when I found your videos I stopped being such a miserable person because you say we could get hit by a bus at any moment,’ ” LaPaglia recalled. “She then grabbed my face, kissed me on the lips, and jumped back over the fence.”
LaPaglia hasn’t taken the bracelet off since.
At the same university, a girl cried when she met LaPaglia, saying that the Gen Z star’s podcast and videos had saved her life.
“I obviously started bawling my eyes out,” LaPaglia said of the young woman. “That was a ‘holy s–t’ moment where I realized, even if it’s one person, the . . . stuff that I’m talking about in my podcast isn’t going unheard.”
When she was 14 and growing up in Massachusetts, LaPaglia tried to take her own life. “Thank God it didn’t work,” she said. She admitted that she still struggles with depression, which can be difficult when she needs to show a vibrant persona.
“No one wants to put their depressive episode on TikTok,” LaPaglia said. “That is just triggering for other people. It’s really hard when I meet fans and they expect so much from me. On social media, people put such high expectations on you.”
But when it comes time to work, she feels a “switch” click on.
“I turn into this bubbly, happy person,” she said. “I don’t even know where the hell it comes from.”
Nardini believes that LaPaglia can chart her own success: “I think she’s a huge talent. She is in a place where she can do whatever she wants.”
LaPaglia wants to keep partying, but also relate to her audience in other ways.
“I’m actually impacting people, rather than just being a fun person to party with,” she said. “I’m actually trying to do some good for these girls.
“F–k what everyone else thinks.”
Additional reporting by Kirsten Fleming
Photos: Stephen Yang; Stylist: Nicole Zane; Makeup: Markphong Tram using Charlotte Tilbury/Alison Brod PR; Hair: Luca Blandi/Oscar Blandi Salon; Video: Jonathan Lin; Stylist Assistant: Alexa Hempel; Location: The Greens at Pier 17, South Street Seaport.
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