By Gail McCarthy
---- — Before the National Geographic reality TV hit “Wicked Tuna” premiered for its second season Sunday night, Gloucester’s wicked fishermen and reality stars — Capts. Dave Carraro and Dave Marciano — hit New York City for a promotional trip that even brought their illuminated faces to a Times Square billboard advertising the series.
“Unbelievable. (It was) really very humbling — I had no idea,” said Marciano, a Beverly resident, who has fished out of Gloucester since he was a child. “I truly am very lucky to be a part of this.”
The Times Square experience was only part of the promotional touring, which took both captains to Los Angeles, where they were part of the Television Critics Association event. The association is an organization of about 120 newspaper television critics, reviewers and bloggers who meet twice yearly to preview what the cable and broadcast networks will air over the next six months.
The second season of “Wicked Tuna” kicked off last night, now an hour earlier at 9 p.m. The series hooked viewers around the globe its first season, going into 440 million homes in 171 countries and 38 languages. The series depicts the lucrative nature of the bluefin tuna business and the fierce rivalry among the fishermen, some whose livelihood depends on their success at sea.
While on the west coast, the captains stayed at the luxury Langham Hotel in Pasadena, where many stars who were part of the event roamed the halls.
“I never stayed at a hotel like that before in my life,” said Marciano. “A couple times in the corridors, I think I passed Sarah Jessica Parker. We didn’t speak. People of that status have their whole entourage with them. I heard rumors flying around that Mark Wahlberg was there, and there was some blond that people got excited about.”
Marciano, known as the working-class captain, said he felt like he experienced a small, brief clip of what the celebrity experience must be like.
“But we’re tiny little fish in that pond — we’re guppies in the Los Angeles pond,” he said.
Thanks to the show, he said, he has experienced many things he never dreamed of, like the celebrity event and often being stopped for a photograph and autograph from his own fans, something all the Gloucester-based reality cast has faced since the success of the first season.
“(The Langham) was one of the hotels that has an area roped off where people looking for autographs and photographs can stand waiting,” explained Marciano. “It’s totally wild. I get to do things I never would have done before. They had cars pick us up, people opening the door for me, and people calling me ‘sir.’ There’s this whole etiquette I didn’t know about.”
Carraro, on the other hand, is a bit more used to jet setting — he also works as a Jet Blue pilot.
Among their stops was KROQ where they had an on-air interview during the popular morning drive slot, as well as a stop by Pilgrim Studios, which has done the filming for the series.
“One of my lines is, ‘how do they get such a big fish in such a little can,’ which is a line I took from one of the local buyers, Patsy Frontiero. People love that line,” Marciano added.
He shared a couple of other stories from the trip.
“I’m in the bowels of hotel where I ducked to find the smoking part,” he said. “I’m out there having a cigarette and minding my own business. So this dude comes up and starts talking to me, idle chit chat, sitting in the sun. I’m thinking I know him from somewhere, and later I realized it was Booger, from ‘Revenge of the Nerds.’”
The second incident occurred at a buffet where he was ravenous, not having time to eat and always on the go and being stopped by people who want to talk to him.
“It’s almost impossible to get a bite to eat, and you’re trying to be somewhat civilized, using nice trays and fancy silverware,” Marciano explained. “I’m starving and just trying to get some food. So I have a minute to grab something and the closest thing was this beautiful little flower thing — and when I bit into it, it turned out to be butter, and I had to just eat.
“I never saw these designer butters before,” he said. “Talk about a fish out water. I had no idea these fancy flower decorated things were butter.”
In addition to the Los Angeles and New York promotional trips, there was a launch event in Boston on Friday night at Battery Park attended by many fans, the reality cast, press and city officials — including Mayor Carolyn Kirk and City Councilor Sefatia Romeo Theken.
The series is expanded from 10 episodes in is first season to 14 episodes this time around.
Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3445, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.