An unidentified man became a pizza-eating meme Wednesday when he was caught scarfing down a pizza in the background of a CBSN newscast outside the hearing room where President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen was giving testimony.
The star of the meme is reportedly named Thomas, according to Michael Lastoria, founder of &pizza, which has a newly opened location inside the Rayburn House Office Building. The pie in question, referred widely online as ‘hallway pizza,’ came from &pizza.
The man was first spotted by Twitter user @MikeUehlein who sliced and uploaded a short video clip with the caption, “tfw you go to eat your hallway pizza and get told you’re in the live shot.”
tfw you go to eat your hallway pizza and get told you’re in the live shot pic.twitter.com/ppkq9PJraO— Mike Uehlein (@MikeUehlein) February 27, 2019
&pizza has tried to make the most out of its internet fame.
In honor of the attention, it created an exclusive item on the menu Thursday called ‘Hallway Pizza.’
The store’s televisions Thursday were tuned to a nonstop loop of the man taking a bite of his food, before looking up in horror, realizing he’d been caught in the background of a live news shot.
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The‘Hallway Pizza’ contains mozzarella, spicy tomato, salami, pepperoni, Italian sausage, banana peppers and barbecue sauce, all of the ingredients on the now-infamous pie.
The restaurant featured the ‘Hallway Pizza’ for customers Thursday.
“It’s a one-day-only pie … in the spirit of how you become famous, then disappear. We want to make sure this doesn’t live beyond the 24 hours it was meant to,” Lastoria said.
The pizza chain has been referring to the man as an intern, but the pizza-eater isn’t hungry for attention. He hasn’t publicly come forward.
“We’re calling him ‘Thomas the intern’ for now, but we’re going to let Thomas share more details about himself,” Lastoria said.
&pizza even started a GoFundMe campaign raising money for him to, ostensibly, buy more pies.
The campaign had raised $175 as of Thursday afternoon. The money will go directly into Thomas’ bank account when the fundraiser is complete, according to Lastoria.
“We want to feed the man behind the legend,” he said.