Pica’s Restaurant from Upper Darby saw the opportunity to get their pizza featured on The Tonight Show and they worked to make it happen.
The idea for the delivery as a gift to actress Tina Fey came from The Tonight Show writer Luke Cunningham. He and Fey both have an affinity for Pica’s pizza and Cunningham mentioned this in a Q&A he did for Philly Magazine.
Restaurant manager Lori Pica Rosario says that they all read the story and her father contacted the magazine writer who in turn got in touch with Cunningham. Rosario said, “We sent them two large plains and one pepperoni – all half-baked with no cut which is the typical way our out-of-town customers order them so they can heat them up at home.”
Fallon gave Fey the Pica’s box from behind his desk during her segment on the show to promote her film “Muppets Most Wanted”.
Fey’s response was “This pizza is the best! It’s so good!”
Pica’s is known for putting their ‘gravy’ or sauce on the pizza after the cheese. The Pica family knew that their pizza was going to be featured on the show by the time the show was ready to air.
Rosario said, “It is nice to be recognized but the idea wasn’t to have this massive advertisement. We looked at it as more of a reward on a personal level for our wonderful customers and employees and as recognition for the hard work we do every day.”
Frank Pica, Sr. moved from Italy to the United States when he was 18 years old. He opened the restaurant and started the family’s pizza making tradition with the twist of putting the sauce on after the cheese.
The Tonight Show moment was one that made the whole team feel proud and was also good for the business.