John Travolta made Lenny’s Pizza a legend when he ordered two slices from the Brooklyn joint in 1977’s "Saturday Night Fever." Now, the pizza place has named a slice in the legendary actor’s honor as part of a welcome back celebration for the star on Tuesday.
“Brooklyn has been in my DNA since 'Welome Back Kotter,'" Travolta told the screaming crowd at the event. "I love you all so very much. Thank you for giving me such a foundation for my career."
New York State Senator Marty Golden honored Travolta at a ceremony on Tuesday for John Travolta Day, held at Lenny’s Pizza at 1969 86th Street, Brooklyn.
“Travolta changed the culture of Brooklyn and America forever in both fashion and music,” Golden said in a statement. “The movie 'Saturday Night Fever' brought millions of Americans to the dance floor to the rhythm of disco. John Travolta also starred in the iconic television program ‘Welcome Back Kotter’ which portrayed a Brooklyn High School."
Travolta revisited the spot that he made so iconic in "Saturday Night Fever" when his character, Tony Manero, orders two slices from Lenny’s Pizza and eats them stacked on top of one another as he struts down the streets of Brooklyn to the Bee Gee’s “Stayin’ Alive.”
That iconic scene is so popular, Golden noted, that even today people stop by Lenny’s to order a “double decker slice,” making the South Brooklyn spot a tourist destination.
NYPD closed the surrounding streets for the Tuesday afternoon event as crowds swarmed for a chance to see Travolta. Radio personality Joe Causi was the celebration’s emcee and Will DeMeo, who grew up in Bensonhurst and is co-starring alongside Travolta in the in the film “Gotti,” hosted the event. "Gotti," a biopic in which Travolta plays New York City mobster John Gotti, opens Friday.
Gianluca Mech, an Italian businessman and “devoted fan,” was also in attendance. In December 2017, Mech spent $200,000 recreating the "Saturday Night Fever" disco for the film’s 40th anniversary.
Golden said that the local community was “excited for John’s return to Brooklyn.”
“We feel we are bringing back a little history to the streets he once made famous," he said.