Edgar Martirosyan, the pizza delivery man who dished out slices to Hollywood’s A-List stars on-air at the Academy Awards on Sunday night, was stunned when host Ellen DeGeneres asked him to follow her out into the audience.
“I was shocked. At that point I didn’t understand,” the Glendale resident told the City Council at a meeting Tuesday night.
Martirosyan showed up to the City Hall meeting because his friend, Artur Soghomonyan, is a driver for the City of Glendale’s meal delivery program for seniors, which the council was recognizing with a special proclamation.
Martirosyan said representatives for the Oscars called his business, Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizzeria in Hollywood, to see if he wanted to interview for the opportunity to deliver pizzas during the show. Out of a handful of pizzerias, his was selected, he said, but he thought the delivery of cheese, gluten-free, mushroom and olive and peperoni pizza was for Academy Awards staff. He had no clue he’d be hand-delivering to movie stars such as Meryl Streep.
“It was a good surprise for me,” he told the council.
When he got to the event, he was backstage with the pizzas when DeGeneres introduced herself and told him to follow her.
“And then I’m on stage,” he said.
Meanwhile, his brother and restaurant co-owner, Erik Martirosyan, was just as taken aback while watching the Hollywood awards show.
“I just started yelling and screaming,” Erik Martirosyan said after the council meeting, adding that he called family and friends to tell them to turn on their televisions after he saw his brother in the aisles of the Dolby Theater.
Since Oscar night, the Martirosyans’ pizza restaurant has seen business triple with lines forming out the door. Edgar Martirosyan has also been interviewed by various media outlets, including CNN and the Ellen Degeneres Show. He’s even received requests for interviews from radio and TV stations in Australia and India.
And remember when DeGeneres was asking for cash to pay and tip Martirosyan from Brad Pitt and other stars, using singer Pharrell Williams’ hat? Well, Edgar Martirosyan ended up getting his biggest tip ever: $1,000.
In addition to owning the Hollywood pizzeria, the Martirosyan brothers are in the midst of preparing to open a wood-burning oven pizza restaurant in Silver Lake called Wood at Parkman Avenue and Sunset Boulevard.
Council members joked with Edgar Martirosyan as he told the story of his 15 minutes of fame.
“Wouldn’t you say being here tonight is really the biggest high?” Councilwoman Laura Friedman quipped.
His response was humble: “Everything is exciting.”
-- Brittany Levine, firstname.lastname@example.org