"Cake Boss" is a reality cooking show that premiered on April 19, 2009, on TLC and concluded its seventh season on Nov. 17, 2015. The show stars Bartolo "Buddy" Valastro, Jr. as the title figure as well as his family and close friends.
Buddy Valastro is the owner and operator of Carlo's Bake Shop in Hoboken, New Jersey, where he employs his family and friends. Buddy's brothers-in-law, Joey Faugno and Mauro Castano, are the head baker and pastry chef, respectively. Their wives, and Buddy's sisters, Grace and Maddalena, respectively, manage the front counter and answer questions from the customers. Other employees at the shop include Frank Amato, Buddy's cousin, and Danny Dragone, a family friend who has worked at the shop since before Buddy was born.
Episodes of "Cake Boss" typically involve the process of making the shop's famous edible cakes as well as the stress the process inflicts on Buddy and the members of his family. The show is also notable for a controversial incident in which people mocked and insulted a transgender woman as part of a prank. The woman, Carmen Carrera, stated she had agreed to do the show in an effort to promote awareness of transgender individuals and was ashamed of resulting episode. Valastro apologized to Carrera for the episode, which he pulled from reruns shortly after the controversy.