Customer response to the "Tonight" appearance "started the very next day . . . and it's been extremely busy ever since," said manager Lori Pica-Rosario, a fan of Fey's work on "SNL." "This was something we were not expecting, because we thought Tina would receive the pizza behind the scenes and not on air. We are beyond thrilled. This has given us a sense of pride in our family business, our employees and our customers."
The Pica family - owner Frank Pica Jr., wife Camille and their adult children Angela Pica-Oandasan, Karen Pica, Frank Pica III and Lori Pica-Rosario - are the masterminds behind the menu's family recipes.
At its current location since 1956, the business has expanded from a pizzeria to a full restaurant and banquet hall.
The "Tonight Show" exposure came about when show writer Luke Cunningham, also an Upper Darby native, mentioned in a Philadelphia magazine article that he and Fey had a conversation about the pizza at Pica's. The story mentioned that Fey would be a guest March 3 and included the words "Hint to Pica's: SEND PIZZA."
Frank Pica Jr. didn't need a second hint. He contacted Cunningham and set the plan into action.
A Fallon intern took the train down from New York City and scooped up three pies at 30th Street Station that afternoon, then hightailed it back to the studio.
Fallon presented it to her as he was interviewing her. Fey wasted no time flipping open the box and eating a saucy, square slice.
Now, new customers from as far away as New Jersey and Maryland have traveled to Upper Darby to taste what all the fuss is about. Last Saturday night, customers were packed shoulder-to-shoulder, waiting for a seat.
"When I got there, the parking lot was ridiculously congested," said Terra Bundy, of Overbrook Park, at the restaurant last Saturday for her daughter's Sweet 16 birthday party. "I wondered what was going on, and someone explained that it was extra-packed because Tina Fey talked about the pizza on TV. It was our first time there, but I'm glad I picked them for the occasion because we really enjoyed the food."
Miss the shout-out to Pica’s on "The Tonight Show"? Watch Tina Fey chow down on a special delivery from the Upper Darby pizzeria while plugging the new "Muppets" movie.