LOS ANGELES—Tom Nardone—owner of PriveCo and Vibrators.com—is a true modern day Renaissance man.
In addition to selling everything from vibrators and bachelorette gifts to bullet-proof vests online, he’s made international headlines for his creation of the Detroit Mower Gang—a group of people who donate time and equipment for the upkeep of parks in the city—and has made public appearances for years to showcase his extreme pumpkin carving skills.
It’s those skills that landed him his most recent public appearance: A segment on The Queen Latifah Show.
Nardone was in Los Angeles Monday to tape the segment at studios in Culver City, Calif. Dressed for the part (he wore a jumpsuit, wig and glasses to appear as Elvis), Nardone carved pumpkins in front of a live audience for the piece, which will air on Thursday, Halloween Day.
“I started (extreme pumpkin carving) 12 years ago,” Nardone told AVN. “I moved to a neighborhood with hundreds of trick-or-treaters and I wanted to make a good display.”
As Nardone honed his talents, he began making public appearances, carving for shows at local events, creating the website ExtremePumpkins.com and doing live TV segments. It was those segments that led Penguin Publishing to come calling.
“I had made some TV appearances for pumpkin carving and was offered a book deal,” he said. “It ended up being a best seller. All three were.”
His website shows off his use of power tools and unusual methods for creating extreme pumpkins. There are also tips on everything from choosing the right pumpkin to removing the seeds to using props.
It was after seeing his website that the Queen Latifah staffers came calling, he said. In addition to the latest national TV segment, Nardone has spent much of this Halloween season at the Detroit Zoo, doing live carving demonstrations on weekends.
The Queen Latifah Show airs at daily at 7 p.m. on KCAL 9 and at 2 p.m. and KCBS in Los Angeles. For additional times and channels, visit QueenLatifah.com.