You don’t know Tom Meyer? Well, you should. The aspiring comedian is a senior communications major who, at 22, has already appeared on one of America’s most delicious reality television shows.
The Temple News: What student organizations are you involved in?
Tom Meyer: Right now, I’m spending most of my time doing Temple SMASH, which is a comedy variety show run by students. It’s a lot like Saturday Night Live, so for this past one, I’ve written a sketch, which I’m also directing. Other than that, I have a show called “The Alternative Universe” on WHIP radio, where I play music and talk about the music I played.
TTN: What kind of music do you play on “The Alternate Universe”?
TM: We don’t really have a specific format written down. [We play] Ben Folds, Weezer, Beatles, all stuff that I like. We try to keep a good variety going.
We had Nancy Micciulla come in, a local Philly artist. She brought in an acoustic guitar and did a live performance for us, which was awesome.
TTN: Tell me about your new band, Tom Meyer and the Heart Attacks.
TM: I’ve been writing songs since I was a senior in high school. So it’s just basically me on guitar, and then one day, [my two roommates] came up to me and were like, “Hey, [we] would like to play along with you on your songs.” So we went downstairs and started jamming on a couple of songs, and it sounded really good. We had our first show outside of our basement last weekend at Paddy Whacks on South Street. It went very well.
TTN: Were the ladies lining up for autographs?
TM: No autographs, but they definitely congratulated me on my amazing-ness.
TTN: Which song would you say is your best?
TM: I think right now I’d still have to say my best song is “I Hate it Here,” which is the one that gets me in trouble around Philly because, well, it’s about Philly.
TTN: Last summer, you had an internship and ended up landing a role on TLC’s Cake Boss. What was that like?
TM: Actually, the day I went into my internship [with High Noon Entertainment] was the day after it had ever aired, so it was really not a well-known show or anything. During the course of my internship, which lasted most of June and July, the show kind of blew up. I worked there until the end of the first season. Then after the first season ended, I was done there, and I went home. About a month later, I got a call from the producer saying they had a cool idea that I could come back and be on the show as the main character Buddy’s assistant ‘cause they liked the chemistry Buddy and I had.
TTN: Did anything crazy ever happen to you while working with Cake Boss?
TM: They played a trick on me when I was an intern. If you’ve seen the show, you know Buddy gets angry at things that sometimes he shouldn’t be angry at. When I was an intern and didn’t really know him that well, they asked me to deliver a package to him. So I go into the bakery, and they’re filming, so I stopped and am waiting for the producer to say “Cut,” so I can go in.
He’s like, “Oh, no, we’re just shooting B-roll stuff. You can go in there,” and I’m like, “Oh, are you sure? I don’t want to ruin the scene.” And he’s like, “Oh, no, it’s fine. Go.”
So I go up to Buddy, and I tap him on the shoulder to give him the package, and he just turns around and is like, “What? What do you want?” and starts yelling at me, and I’m like, “I’m sorry. I just wanted to give you this package.” And he’s like, “What? Are you kidding me? You come in here and ruin the scene. What’s in here?”
I’m like, “I don’t know what’s in it. I was just told to give it to you.” Then I turned around to the producer, and I’m like, “You told me I could walk in.” He’s like, “I didn’t say anything, Buddy. I don’t know what he’s talking about. He just came in here.”
Buddy’s like, “Are you kidding me? This better be important, whatever’s in here.”
So he opened it up, and there’s a pink dildo in the box, and he takes it out. As soon as I see the thing come out, I’m like, “Oh my God, what the hell is going on right now?” And he’s like, “What the hell? You think this is funny?”
Then, they all started laughing and told me it was a joke, and I was like, “Yeah I figured it wasn’t actually real.” But I guess they liked the way I handled that situation, so that was probably – little did I know at the time – my audition for the actual show.
TTN: What has life been like since your television debut?
TM: Not really much different. I’ve had two people so far that I don’t already know recognize me and come up and be like, “Hey, were you on Cake Boss?” So in five months, two people. I’m like an F-list celebrity, I guess.
TTN: Is there any chance we’ll see you on another episode?
TM: No, absolutely not. It’s been awhile, first of all. So it wouldn’t make sense if I disappeared from the show for an entire season and then suddenly came back with Buddy’s salad. If you watch the episode, I was sent out to get Buddy a salad, and I walk out the doors never to return again. So if I come back a season later with the salad, it could be funny. It could lead to an interesting little plot twist there – “Buddy, you have no idea what I had to go through to get this salad.”
TTN: So it sounds like your Cake Boss career is probably over. If you could be on another show, which one would you choose?
TM: On South Park, they always have celebrities make cameos. If they had Tom the Assistant come on, no one would know what the hell they were talking about, but that’d be cool. I’d love to do something with the Colbert Report. My original dream was that I wanted to take over for Conan O’Brien on The Tonight Show after he retired, but NBC kind of ruined that for me by firing him. But now I’ll just take over his TBS show when he’s done.
TTN: Since this is the music issue, what is your theme song?
TM: My theme song would be “The Greatest Man That Ever Lived” by Weezer. (Sings) I am the greatest man that ever lived, I was born to give and give and give. I am the greatest man that ever lived, radioactive.
Tracy Galloway can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.