Steve Perillo says he feels like his family's successful
tour company officially made it when Saturday Night Live
did a parody of the television commercials he
and his late father have used to promote their Italy trips for nearly 40 years.
"I thought it was great," he said. "Obviously,
everyone who is parodied on Saturday Night Live, they have kind of made it at
some level in America. ... I wish they had used our name. It was flattering."
In the skit, actor Adam Sandler takes to the screen to
promote a company called Romano Tours and what it can -- and can't -- do for
"We like to remind our customers if you are sad now,
you might still feel sad there, OK?" Sandler says. "... Remember you
are still going to be you on vacation."
"I want to be very clear about we can do for you. We
can take you on a hike. We cannot turn you into someone who likes hiking. We
can take you to the Italian Riviera. We cannot make you feel comfortable in a
bathing suit. ... We can provide you with a wine tasting tour of Tuscany. We
cannot change why you drink."
And while Perillo said that SNL managed to do a funny bit
about how you are going to be the same person at home or while traveling, he does have
his own theory about travel.
"When you leave your home, no, you're not happier,"
he said. "But you get to see your life from a distance, and in that way it's
Perillo's favorite part of the skit? A line about how the
squirrels are different in Italy.
"I don't know where they got it, but it was so spot on,"
he said. " ... The squirrels are red in Rome. I've always been saying this,
and nobody cares."
Perillo Tours commercials have run on local networks in the New York City area and on select national cable channels since 1980.