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Tommy Lee’s roommate takes center stage

Recent Nebraska grad Ellis walks red carpet to watch debut of reality show
/ Source: The Associated Press

The T-shirts said it all: "Forget Tommy. I (heart) his roommate."

The star of the show Tuesday night at Iguana's Pub wasn't rocker Tommy Lee or the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus a couple of blocks north.

It was Matt Ellis, who walked up the red carpet as the flashbulbs popped for the TV debut of NBC's "Tommy Lee Goes to College."

Discovered by producers while tending bar at Iguana's, Ellis had roomed with Lee in semi-reality: their dorm room was an off-campus construction.

On Tuesday night, recent grad Ellis served up 50-cent shots of Jack Daniel's — Lee's favorite — while on the big-screen TV Lee bought textbooks, signed autographs and met the "hot tutor," Natalie Riedmann, for help with a class that the 42-year-old Motley Crue drummer hadn't really registered for.

Some people inside the college community and out worried the NBC show would portray Nebraskans as hicks.

"But so far it's nothing but positive," said UNL student Kevin Koenig, 22, amid the whoops, hollers and laughs from Iguana's crowd.

"We look better than we maybe really are," said Ellis when he first saw the show's promotional clips.

Student Tim Menke, 30, wasn't crazy about Tuesday night's premiere, but said it was entertaining.

"Seeing your local haunts on TV, it's just kind of cool," he said.