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With Ellen DeGeneres hosting the Oscars, the Awards ceremony became rather chummy, featuring selfies and expensively dressed celebrities chowing down on pizza that was catered in by the host. At the time of the live airing, I wondered how the whole pizza gag was accomplished, and this week the pizzeria owner popped up on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to clear a few things up for everyone.
In the video we meet Edgar, the co-owner of Big Mama’s and Papa’s pizzeria, the business that got the call about delivering pizzas to the Oscars. Part of the fun of watching that bit of the big awards ceremony was wondering how the heck the feat was accomplished, and Ellen and Edgar don’t waste any time before getting into the details about the stunt. First, Edgar’s business got a call about delivering the pizzas. At the time, he was told he was bringing in food for the show’s producers, but when he arrived, he met Ellen, who told him to follow her lead. The clearly bemused business owner says that after he spoke with Ellen, he landed on a stage in front of a slew of cameras and celebrities.
We’ve already talked about how the local Los Angeles business really cleaned up during production—at least in free advertisements. Estimates indicate that the average company pays around 1.8 million for an advertising slot during the prestigious awards ceremony. While the Big Mama’s and Papa’s stunt wasn’t exactly a commercial, it still provided several minutes of what was essentially free advertising, leading the restaurant to sell a slew of pizzas until the dough ran out and the order. As the above video shows, Ellen is still helping out Edgar’s business. It must be some damn good pizza.
The best part of the video isn’t even hearing Edgar’s version of events. If you were around to watch this year’s Oscars, you probably caught Ellen taking tip money from the people sitting closest to the stage who munched down on the pizza. We all speculated that money would get back to Edgar, but Ellen waited until this week to hand it over, noting that the celebrities gave over $600 as a tip. To make things a little sweeter, Ellen actually handed over an extra $400 to the man from her own personal funds to round out the tip to $1,000. And to top that fine note off, she enlisted the pizzeria to bring in food for the entire audience. I doubt there’s any way the audience enjoyed that pizza as much as Meryl Streep seemed to.
Ellen is a syndicated talk show that airs on weekdays. Check your local listings for dates and times.