Sammy the Builder appears alongside his cousin and childhood friend, Joey Tattoo, in the new Spike reality series Tattoo Rescue. The show sends the two New Jersey natives throughout the United States to repair and rejuvenate failing tattoo parlors.
For Sammy, who is every bit as passionate and particular about his work as his cousin, it's important that the shops appearing on Tattoo Rescue succeed. Not just for their own benefit, but also because of the time, care, and dedication he's put into it.
Otherwise, he has promised that he will show up to those shops and throw a hammer through their f***ing window.
"I told them," he said, "if I come back there and I see that you're screwing up, the first thing you're gonna see is a hammer coming through that f***ing window...followed by me."
Just picture an unsuspecting shop owner taking advantage of all the time and money put into their new place. Imagine him yukking it up with friends, no customers, everything's filthy. Then something catches the corner of his eye. He glances upward and there's a hammer, followed by Sammy himself, angrily crashing through the window like Mr. T in the beginning credits of "The A-Team."
It's a scary image, but it's also believable.
It's not that Sammy's an angry guy. He's just passionate about his work. He's very agreeable, a lot of fun to be around, and someone you want in your corner. But he's also not someone you want to cross, because if you do, you might need a different kind of rescue.
That level of dedication and pride in his work is something he says was instilled in him by his father, who at 84-years-old is still working in the industry. He, in turn, had inherited the construction bug from Sammy's grandfather. It comes natural to him because it's literally in his blood.
"I just love to be hands on," he said. "At the end of the day, I need to be the dirtiest one on the job."
He loved shooting the show and said everybody had a great time doing it despite all the hard work and quick turnaround. That's why it's important for him that the work he does be not only appreciated, but maintained.
"If I see the shop in worse condition than I leave it, I'm gonna take that as a direct insult," he said. "To me it's a slap in the face."
The opportunity that the show provides to shop owners will allow them to take their business to the next level. On the set, though, Sammy stressed to them the importance of follow-through.
"[Joey] ain't Santa Claus, and I ain't the Easter Bunny," he said. "We're not here to drop off presents and walk out of here.
"He may not have an annual scheduled visit like the Easter Bunny, but that doesn't he won't pop in for a surprise inspection. He may not be a holiday icon, but he can still travel and return to the scene of the Rescue.
"If the place is worse off than I leave it, the first thing that comes through that window is a f***ing hammer. And then: ME."
Watch Sammy the Builder do his thing on the series premiere of Tattoo Rescue this Sunday at 10/9c on Spike.
See a preview of Sammy's no-nonsense approach in the video below.