Look for Grant Lyon, '02, in ads for Cici’s Pizza, AT&T and Johnsonville Sausages

Q&A with Grant Lyon: Meet the alum starring in Cici’s Pizza, AT&T and Johnsonville Sausages ads

Grant Lyon, ‘02, (son of Sandy Lyon, head of the middle school) is an actor and stand-up comedian. He graduated from UC Santa Cruz and now currently appears in ads for Cici’s Pizza, AT&T and Johnsonville Sausages and does stand-up tours around the country. His next tour starts later on this month.

The Cici’s Pizza ad features Lyon in a Cici’s Pizza uniform, first describing how many pizza topping options there are and then singing. 

Click here to see the AT&T ad featuring Lyon as an AT&T employee telling a prospective customer about a cellular plan.

Click here to see the Johnsonville Sausage commercial. Lyon plays a very immature man who becomes disheartened when his parents (whom he still lives with) lie to him and tell him the Johnsonville Sausage factory has burned down in an effort to get him to move out. Vowing to stay at home and work to reopen the factory, Lyon retreats upstairs, asking for room service.

Q: Which ad was your favorite to be in?

A: All of them were fun for different reasons. My favorite one was probably the Johnsonville Sausage one because I think it’s the funniest and I like funny stuff. It gave me the opportunity to improv. The last line where I said, “I’ll take dinner to my room with chocolate milk” was just kind of ad libbed.

Q: Which ad do you think was the most popular?

A: The AT&T one ran the longest, but it may not be the most popular. This could be because AT&T had the biggest budget out of all the companies that I have been in advertisements for.

But the Johnsonville Sausage commercial had the most positive reviews online. Sometimes I’ll get text messages from my friends that just say, “I’ll take dinner to my room with chocolate milk.”

Q: What really happens on set?

A: There’s a lot of people, like 70 or 80, so you have to be focused. It’s very fast-paced. Contrary to popular belief, it’s actual work, not just a party hangout.

Q: Which commerical took the longest?

A: The Cici’s Pizza one probably took about 12 hours. Interestingly, I wasn’t supposed to sing in the original commercial. The lead singer from KC and the Sunshine Band (Harry Wayne Casey) was supposed to show up and sing the famous song “More, More, More” (by Andrea True Connection). He didn’t show up; he bailed the day of. So they asked me if I could sing, and I took over the singing part there.

Q: How does the Internet help you with your acting career?

A: A lot of times, certain companies have certain tones. Some are more serious, and some are funny. With the Internet, I can see the mood that the various companies are trying to portray and what they like. That way when I audition I know how I should appeal to them.

Q: What got you interested in acting/comedy?

A: I’ve always liked performing for people; I’ve always liked being the center of attention. I loved “The Simpsons,” and I inserted Simpsons references in everything. I did plays in middle and high school. But I didn’t really start getting serious until college.  I am not someone who likes sitting behind a desk all day. I like being active and engaged.

Q: How is Los Angeles?

A: I’ve been in LA for five years. I love going to the beach. My girlfriend (Talia Favale) and I ride bicycles around town or down to the beach. I like playing soccer.

Lyon's next stand-up tour begins later this month.
(Photo used by permission of Grant Lyon)
Lyon’s next stand-up tour begins later this month.

Q: How would you describe your comedy style?

A: Sophisticated immaturity. It’s hard to say. I’m not a political comedian or a vulgar comedian. I talk about things that happen to me and then relate that to people in general. “On Magazine” (a monthly entertainment magazine) called me “the perfect blend between smart and goofy.” I like smart comedians, but they can be too preachy. I like goofy comedians, but they can be too stupid. So I guess I’m a little of both.

Q: Are you excited for your upcoming tour?

A: I love performing. That’s the reward through all the auditions and the emailing. I love being onstage in different parts of the country, meeting new people.

Jokes are like a puzzle. The first time you write them they may not come out right. I love the process of figuring out the joke. It took me years to figure out certain jokes. Sometimes I’ll leave something for six months and then come back, and then finally two or three years later I’d figure them out.

Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

A: I love going to the beach, going on hikes, going to new bars, new restaurants. I also just like hanging out with friends and family.

Q: After reading your resume, I saw that your mom says you are a good dancer. Does she visit often enough to see your skills?

A: She comes to LA to visit. But I’m not only the (one of her) kids who lives in LA. Also, when I perform in Sacramento, she comes to shows to see me.

Q: The next time you come to Sacramento, would your stand-up show be accessible to high-school students?

A: I think high-school students could for sure come see me. Nothing I say is really inappropriate. The hard question would be what venue they could see me in because most comedy clubs are 18+ or 16+ with a parent.

—By Chardonnay Needler

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