Eddie Lin is a regular contributor to Good Food and he’s also the father of two young girls. That means, that he is fully aware of the Spaghetti Taco craze, created by the hit Nickelodeon show iCarly (more about the craze in the NY Times). Last week, Eddie went down to the set of the show and interviewed Jerry Trainor, who plays Spencer on iCarly. On the show, Spencer is the creator of the Spaghetti Tacos:
Eddie Lin: I am here with Jerry Trainor, one of the stars of iCarly. Now, who do you play on the show?
Jerry Trainor: First off, thanks for having me on Morning Becomes Eclectic on KCRW.
EL: This is actually Good Food.
JT: We are on Good Food? Does that mean I can use my normal voice? Fantastic. Wow, Good Food. Different vibe here. I should have looked around first to see the Good Food signs everywhere. I play Spencer, Carly’s older brother, on the show– her good-natured, wacky, sort of idiotic older brother.
EL: I actually really enjoy your character and relate to him too because I am the older brother in my family. I did a lot wacky, crazy, goofy, slightly criminal behavior.
JT: Slightly criminal? You are wearing a vest. You are bucking the fashion trends, which is already zany and kooky.
EL: Did your character, Spencer, create the spaghetti taco on the show?
JT: On the show, yes I did. Yes, really the writers– Dan Schneider came up with it. But I did, yes. In the world of iCarly, Spencer creates the spaghetti tacos.
EL: Because he is an inventor…
JT: Because he doesn’t want anything to be sort of vanilla, you know, blasé.
EL: Have you tried the spaghetti taco in real life?
JT: No, but I have to tell you that I have it very easy to imagine that they would be tasty. Actually, wait, I think I just lied to your entire audience. I think I did try them when we were doing it. I think I ate one. If I remember, that was a long time ago so I don’t really remember, but I imagine them tasting good now I am thinking I know they taste good because I tasted them.
EL: What is the back-story of your character Spencer and the spaghetti taco? How did you come up with it?
JT: Well, he, I am now going to make something up. It was a long day in the junkyard. He was finding scraps of things to turn into a sculpture that had moving bits and flashing lights. He was torn. He wanted Italian food. But he also wanted something sort of zesty and Mexican type of food. So he created the spaghetti taco. He put spaghetti in a zesty taco shell and it was born.
EL: Are you concerned at all that Jerry Trainor and the spaghetti taco will be forever connected in pop culture history?
JT: Well. I am concerned about a lot of things about my life. No, I think that would be a great thing. I have a fantasy that I will be known as the spaghetti taco guy. And then years from now, when VH1 is doing the “Where Are They Now?” special and they dig me up in some gutter somewhere, I’ll be found cruising local taco stands down in San Diego. I’ll get free spaghetti tacos because I am known as the spaghetti taco guy. And that’s how I will subsist.
EL: Do you consider yourself a foodie or do you cook at home?
JT: I don’t cook at all. I am not a good cook. I am also lazy. I don’t have time. I wouldn’t say that I am a foodie, but I love good food. I eat out all the time. I mean every meal is out.
EL: What are your favorite foods or types of cuisine?
JT: Oh my goodness. I would have to go baby back ribs. Mexican food is my desert island food. I could eat Mexican food for every meal.
EL: What other interesting ingredients do you think could personally put between a crunchy taco shell?
JT: Wow, you could probably do anything. I could imagine something like fried chicken would be delicious. Put maybe some buffalo sauce on it.
EL: That actually sounds pretty good.
JT: That sound awesome? You’re welcome. That sounds amazing– maybe pulled pork with some lettuce and cheese over it. Maybe you could even do, for the vegetarians out there, some sort of tofu, maybe get a tofu dog. Stick some tofu dogs [between the shell].
EL: That’d be good for the NPR audience.
JT: Yea! There you go.
EL: Since your character Spencer comes up with all these crazy things, what do you think is going to be the next crazy food dish on iCarly?
JT: I think that the next crazy food dish, well since the previous dish was a hybrid of sort of two nationalities of foods that those nationalities are known for – taco and spaghetti, I think he needs to go even go more eclectic. It’s going to be shawarma and falafel. Gimme another. Maybe a curry sauce on it. But there needs to be some wacky presentation like a torta. Now we are back to Mexico.
EL: We always end up back there.
JT: You know what it’s got to be a dessert. Right? It’s has to be ice cream smashed between two cookies. That’s never been done. Oh wait, it’s been done. It’s been done a thousand times. Alright, I am not very imaginative. I’m sorry.
EL: Alright Jerry Trainor. It was a lot of fun, and a pleasure to interview you. Good luck with the show.
JT: Thank you very much. Thank you for having me. I wish Good Food had more food here for me to eat.
More about iCarly on Nickelodeon here.