Jordan Salama is a freshman from Pelham, NY and the co-founder and host of Princeton Tonight, Princeton’s first student-run broadcast television series.
Princeton Tonight’s first episode features a studio performance and interview with Mike DelGuidice, Billy Joel band member. You can watch it on February 27th at 8pm on cable TV (Channel 7 in Princeton) or on YouTube. Salama promises there will be an original theme song.
University Press Club sat down with Salama, the next Stephen Colbert, to learn more about his show, his bedtime, and his mortal enemy.
What do you like about TV?
I love to tell stories. When a story can be seen and not just heard, it takes on a real-life aspect.
How did you get started?
In high school, I had a talk show called the Pelican Brief. I started this show hoping that one day I could interview James Taylor. Then I worked for Inside Amy Schumer during my senior year of high school.
Princeton Bucket List?
Travel on Princeton’s dime. Sled down Whitman hill. Interview James Taylor. That hasn’t happened yet.
SNL. I love John Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Jimmy Fallon. Seth Meyers. All the talk shows.
What do you actually do all day?
Watch soccer, play soccer, and think about Princeton Tonight.
Tell me more about Princeton Tonight.
It’s an interview-based variety show. It has a main interview component, but, for example, the first episode is going to have a sketch comedy component to it as well. We interview guests from off and on-campus. Each show is 20-25 minutes long. We also have the guests do a university-wide event to give back to the University, like the Mike DelGuidice event. It’s run by 25 students, mostly freshmen and no seniors, through Princeton Broadcast Center.
What was that event like?
I’m a big Billy Joel fan, and I used to see Mike perform all the time in Long Island in the summer. When [Mike] was picked up by the Billy Joel band, it was a big publicity thing. I knew he really liked giving back to schools, and I sent him a Facebook message asking him to perform at Princeton and do a show for us.
Mike was amazing. He held a concert and master class. He can play any song you ask him to play. He could sound just like Paul Simon. He did a duet with a student on the piano, and he sounded exactly like Elton John. He did the Piano man as his last song and asked the crowd to sing along.
What’s coming up next on Princeton Tonight?
Khalil Muhammad from Amy Schumer’s show (Inside Amy Schumer) is going to do his one-man show, “Pryor Truth,” a tribute to Richard Pryor. That’s February 26th. John Caglione Jr., the make-up artist who created the Joker’s look and the SNL Coneheads, reached out to us. He’s going to be on the show in April. We’re also doing one with Emmanuel Udotong, a Princeton freshman who started a multinational company dedicated to providing support for struggling entrepreneurs in Africa.
How is Princeton Tonight different than All-Nighter?
All-Nighter is very Princeton-oriented in terms of guests and we are trying to produce our show for a more general audience. And then we are broadcast on cable television and all our content is pre-recorded, while All-Nighter is more centered around the live event show.
Where will be you be in 25 years?
Having fun with whatever I’m doing.
Who is your mortal enemy?
The German National Soccer Team. Every player on it.
What is the best meal you’ve eaten at Princeton?
The Brooklyn slice at Princeton Pie. In New York they call it a grandma slice. I don’t know what they do to it, but it’s so good.
How did you celebrate your last birthday?
I went to Louie and Ernie’s Pizza in the Bronx with my parents.
What’s the most dangerous thing you’ve ever done?
Driven 45 miles through a snowstorm in a Prius.
Are you a dictator or laissez-faire leader?
Neither. I’m a fair leader but I want to get things done. I co-founded the group with Ryan Ozminkowski ’19. I am the creative and production side, and he does business and logistics. We make a good team.
What hangs over your bed?
A dead guy. Pause. The vent above my bed has been dripping all year with some kind of red liquid. We joke it’s a dead body.
What word do you overuse the most?
What makes you laugh?
Everything. I laugh too much.
What makes you cry?
When Argentina loses in soccer. I’m Argentinian.
Cry Baby Tears Sour Candy. It’s not like sour patch kids. I’ve only found them at Five Below.
9:30. I try.
The first episode of Princeton Tonight will air on February 27th at 8 pm. There will be a viewing party in East Pyne, you can watch on Cable TV, or on YouTube.