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September 2, 2014

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Coolican: Why MTV should film ‘Jersey Shore’ in Las Vegas

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Christopher DeVargas

DJ Pauly D already has a DJ residency at the Palms — why not bring the rest of the cast here with him?

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J. Patrick Coolican

MTV: Please just get it over with already and do a season of “Jersey Shore” here in Vegas.

DJ Pauly D has a regular gig at the Palms, recent editions of Las Vegas Weekly have advertised club appearances by The Situation and JWoww (is that a new face or just Photoshop?), and Snooki is all over town lately, at Pure and Wet Republic.

Why anyone would want to go to a club because there are some cut-rate, 99-Cent-Store celebrities pumping their fists in a VIP section is beyond me, but regardless, it’s happening. I can feel it, like in 2002, when I knew war with Iraq was coming when I read the leaked WMD scare stories on the front pages of The New York Times and The Washington Post.

OK, not the best analogy, but you get my drift.

My best guess is that this will happen at the Hard Rock or the Palms, especially given that Pauly has his DJ gig at the latter but who knows, maybe a dark horse will make a play for the publicity, perhaps Caesars or Trump or Tropicana.

I don’t intend this to be some elitist lament about them coming here. I’ll admit to having dialed them up on Netflix, junk food at my side, junk food in my eyes. I love to loathe Sammi Sweetheart’s manipulations of Ronnie and The Situation’s presumptuous tyranny of his housemates. While at Rehoboth Beach, which is Delaware’s minor league version of the Jersey Shore, I almost bought a T-shirt this summer that read, “Come at me bro!”

And I’m partial to the Jersey Shore, where my parents were living nine months before I was born. The East Coast beaches, with their bumper cars and salt water taffy — the ocean almost an afterthought to the whole experience — will always feel like home.

It will be fun tracking the Jersey movements around Las Vegas, like tagged chimpanzees, and you know there will be one or more incidents involving Metro — a shooting? — and perhaps a rival gang from Orange County.

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MTV's Jersey Shore is set in Italy for Season 4, which premieres Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011.

In a way, this is sort of their true home, the place where illusion and reality go hand-in-hand, where anti-intellectualism is, for some, a badge of honor (with apologies to the college graduate and least hyped and most normal character Vinny). And of course Las Vegas is where gym-tan-laundry and fake breasts and poofy hair are theological precepts for so many. (I imagine the Las Vegas Athletic Club on Eastern and the beltway could be a great place to find extras.)

So yes, let’s welcome them. But let’s at least try to wink and nod to the rest of the country that we’re in on the joke, that we welcome the suckers but don’t count ourselves among them.

We here in Las Vegas know the explosion of vapid, talentless celebrity, and we know it isn’t new. As the sociologist Daniel Boorstin wrote back in the 1960s, a celebrity is someone who is “famous for being famous.” I was reminded of this by Leo Braudy, the USC professor and author of the authoritative history of fame, “The Frenzy of Renown: Fame and Its History,” who pointed to Zsa Zsa Gabor as the historical analog to Snooki.

Braudy acknowledged, however, that reality TV and the Internet had increased the quantity of this dreck. And, he noted the difference from past and present exemplified by Las Vegas: “It’s an interesting thing to see the decline, from the Rat Pack to ‘Jersey Shore,’ which is, in a certain way, a degraded imitation.”

Indeed, the Rat Pack was the “Jersey Shore” of its time. Except if you listen to Sinatra’s “In the Wee Small Hours,” you feel a longing and sadness that is universal and timeless. Whereas “Jersey Shore” cast members will no doubt be on a celebrity rehab show by the time we have our first Mormon president.

So bring on “Jersey Shore,” but let’s go find the new Rat Pack, too. And by that I don’t mean an imitation of the Rat Pack. I mean great art and entertainment. Our superstar DJs and “Absinthe” and its parody of the self-seriousness qualify.

Las Vegas is about more than just famous orange faces from Jersey. And Orange County.

We are, aren’t we?

A version of this column first appeared in Las Vegas Weekly.

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  1. "Jersey Shore" should actually film in NJ. Better to keep the lid on that sewer.

  2. I agree vapid and talentless "stars" such as the Jersey Shore group are the antithesis of cultural growth where ever they show up. Frankly, I wish I could get away from seeing them pop up in this paper (along with Paris Hilton and the Kardashians). However, having said that, I'm pro-business. If bringing in these people will bring in customers - great. If it becomes apparent they aren't a draw, the resorts will cease to bring them in. I'm comfortable letting the market decide if the Jersey Shore crew are good for Las Vegas or not.

  3. Jersey Shore is supposed to be a 'Reality' show. If you decide to film it in Las Vegas it is not reality anymore, it is scripted. If it has a script it has to follow then it needs a producer, a crew, actors etc. The Jersey shore is a joke. Reality TV is a joke. "Why anyone would want to go to a club because there are some cut-rate, 99-Cent-Store celebrities pumping their fists in a VIP section is beyond me, but regardless, it's happening." Should be considered the bulk of the article, and the irony.

  4. I hate reality television shows. There I said it.

    Greed, selfishness, keeping-up-with-the-Joneses, and a bunch of other traits that even border on criminality on television, all scripted? I'm sorry. But I live life and already see horrible human traits like that. I don't need to watch that crapola on television as a form of entertainment.

    A bunch of people, and the composition of people thrown together are picked so that they are at odds with each other, friction guaranteed, then put them all in one place, nudge and push them to do stuff, mostly stupid outlandish stuff, encourage them to all put their best food forward to get outrageous and over-the-top, then hope it all gets caught on camera, RAKE IN THE BUCKS! This was one of the worst ideas that ever came out of Japanese entertainment and then transferred to American television.

    Somehow this is to be all of sudden introduced into Las Vegas?

    No.

    Please.

    We're trying to get A list musicians, actors, actresses and personalities here. To recapture those old days.

    Not overblown hyped up D list people who walk around and can't hear you, your voice drowned out because of the loud voices in their brains that tell them how awesome they are.

    Let me remind people. We already had reality TV crapola here in Las Vegas.

    Rehab at Hard Rock. They abandoned it. Not because it didn't make them money. Because it wasted their resources and they spent more money on security to try to prevent people from running amok at the pool parties. And they realized they took unnecessary chances at losing their gaming licenses by having it revealed for everyone to see on television. Finally they had enough and pulled the plug. Failed idea.

    And then you got Paris Hilton, a rich spoilt brat who got a reality television show going. Somehow somewho someway she thinks she's an entertainer. But that pipedream ended with her community service sentence picking up trash along the highway and painting out graffitti as a result of her conviction for drug use. And she showed up to do that community service in high heels (yes, high heels...this was reported in the LVRJ she showed up to do her community service in high heels...what a dummy).

    Anyways, why drag the level of our allure by getting them bums to show up and act stupid?

    That's for New Jersey. The Governor there already showed how he envies Las Vegas by asking people to not come here. Now you want to hire people from New Jersey to do dumb stuff here. After what he said?

    Don't need it. You ask me, we already got plenty of people around here who do dumb stuff. And it's free to watch. No charge.

    Remember our motto: "Nothing in Las Vegas should shock you. And if it does? YOU NEED TO MOVE!"

  5. RNR is the new Rat Pack. Learn about them.

  6. Except for COPS, all reality TV shows are scripted.

    For the record, Matt Goss does a good Rat Pack type show at Caesars.

  7. sevenfoot

    Hate to tell you this but Jersey Shore is scripted. ALL reality shows are scripted - except for game shows.

  8. "Anyways, why drag the level of our allure by getting them bums to show up and act stupid?"

    Colin - you do realize that the Jersey Shore slackers are actually mirror images of what usually shows up on any given weekend in Vegas. Spend a weekend in a Strip hotel or just visit a Strip hotel, especially on a holiday weekend, and you will see and experience the same drunken behavior by so many young people. Luckily, we are not privy to what goes on between the sheets (well, at least most of the time since some try to sneak it in at the pool or IN the pool).

    Just what Vegas needs - The Ultimate reason for kids to act stupid - the cast of Jersey Shore hanging around filming their "so called reality" show.

  9. "Indeed, the Rat Pack was the "Jersey Shore" of its time." - Coolican

    I almost tossed my breakfast when I read that!

  10. My simple take on this is Bring it on.

    I have never seen a single episode of Jersey Shore and can not tell you who a single person is in it. I do see that Millions of people do watch it though.

    Film it in Vegas. That will bring some jobs with the crew and I have a feeling that some of those Millions of viewers will come to Vegas on the off chance they can see their "stars".

    Just something else to promote Vegas and bring in the people. I have no problem with that.

    There is an up side to most anything if you look at the right way. You don't have to be part of it but you can share in the benefits of it. ;-)

  11. Det_Munch says: "...you do realize that the Jersey Shore slackers are actually mirror images of what usually shows up on any given weekend in Vegas."

    Yes, I know that.

    Much to the chagraine of the casino owners. I know they would rather prefer a different clientelle of tourists. Because I guarantee they come here to party, not gamble. I know, I know. Weird way of looking at it, but I'm trying to think like a casino owner. They look at everyone as potential losers. And if they come in the casino and win? It's automatically assumed they cheated. (NOTE: That little observation actually came out of Steve Wynn's lips. That's how he thinks.)

    I can probably speak for them when I say they are probably more problems than they are worth. Because of all the money spent in casinos for casinos and ripped up and destroyed stuff.

    But I guess what I was trying to say before is that kind of stuff goes on along the Strip, but I'm pretty sure they don't want to advertise it. Any more than it is perceived to be advertised due to dumb movies like "The Hangover."

    Casinos love to have tourists come here, but I'm pretty sure they want tourists who ain't gonna rip up things, pass out all over the place, and cause concern for their security. They ideally want ones that are gamblers that don't know how to win.

    Having said that, I'm sure a bunch of fanny perpedicular towlette napkins like the ones that habituate "Jersey Shore" are as far away from the ones they want as you can get.

    And yes, I agree with olbuddy before. What's with this stupid nickname stuff? I guess from now on you can refer to me as DJ Augie Doggie Snoogie Oogie Oogie All High Mo Froggy Poo The Debacle Colin From Las Vegas. Really dumb. I just see dumb monikers like that it just tells me they pretty much have no talent and they want to be noticed and they are more legends in their own minds than I am.

    I say keep that gaggle of goofs back in New Jersey. They seem to fit in there better.

    Keep them outta Las Vegas.

    Or just let them go to Atlantic City, move into a casino and screw that place up beyond belief. I'm pretty sure that idiot of a Governor there would take the credit for it, saying he's helping the economy or something.

  12. given the fact that they are going to go somewhere, like it or not, las vegas is the perfect venue for the gang of roided up misfits from new york (for those who do not know, none of them are from jersey, and none are italian).

    i was in south beach when they were filming there, and you wouldnt believe the amoung of support people that surround them, unless the producers want you to interact with them, you stand no chance of actually getting close to them.
    you cant even take pictures of them, they have several large bouncer types doing nothing but keeping people from photographing them.

    from what i saw its all basically scripted...i dont see how it could hurt las vegas. on any given weekend the jersey shore crowd probably represents a large segment of the visitors.

    from most of the comments ive read it seems that few of the posters have actually seen an episode...so im not sure what they base their opinions on...hear-say i guess!

    vegas has nothing to lose, i say bring them, publicity is publicity...the real world didnt hurt las vegas, if anything it exposed vegas to a whole new market...rehab didnt hurt vegas either, it was never meant for 'old' thinking people and neither is this...so lighten up, dont be so hard on the sitch and the snook!

  13. I've lived in Vegas since 1994 and have loved all of it prior to the economic depression that started in either 2007 or 2008 when the real estate market tanked, taking construction, insurance and financial services down with it. I'm always amused when someone like Coolican rails against the cast members of Jersey Shore because of "bad taste." The same thing was said about the lights running up and down the pyramid at the Luxor shortly after it was opened. My feelings are: Get Over It. Vegas is about bad taste. vegasis the definition of bad taste and wretched exe

  14. cess. We should embrace or role as the trend-setters of tackines. I mean, where else can you see a worn-out old road whore, painted up like a circus clown, wearing zebra-striped pants, a leopard print blouse and plastic heels with goldfish in them? To refer to Vegas as a "family friendly destination" is quite possibly the most absurd statement I've heard this year. About the only thing Wayne Newton said that I ever agreed with is his statement that this place is for adults only. Anyone who is foolish enough to bring his young children to Vegas and knowingly exposes them to the idiocy and excess that occurs 24 hours per day, seven days a week and 365 days per year in this modern day Sodom and Gomorrah is either blind or hoplessly naive to the ways of the world.

  15. Yeah, Jim, I was grateful that my children were grown when I was transferred here and didn't have to see a picture of a naked woman on the back of every taxicab and get the [sometimes not too] subtle message of something for nothing from the de facto government of the state, the gambling business. That said, I would have resigned from my job regardless of the personal consequences to me rather than bring my daughters here and subject them to the abjectly failed public school system and the toxic-for-children environment. It's about personal choices and responsibility as a parent for those choices.