‘Snooki and Sarah Palin Are the Same Person’

I was flipping channels the other day and came across a rerun of Paul Provenza’s show The Green Room (which is a show I loved and I really hope it comes back) on Showtime. Dana Gould was talking about how he never watches reality TV shows and Franklin Ajiaye says, “Snooki and Sarah Palin are the same person.” And it struck me just how true that statement is.

It isn’t just that they both have had multiple “reality” TV shows, it’s that they are both products of the entire reality TV ethos. I don’t believe we would have any idea who either of them is if not for the celebration of mediocrity and shallow faux-celebrity culture that it has created (or perhaps that created it). And it is that culture that creates them, enriches them and makes them famous for no reason.

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  • sqlrob



    Reality stars aren’t new. People suck :-/

  • What? No way. Sarah Palin is not Snoopy.

  • dõki

    I, for one, still have no idea who Snooki is. And this is after reading the Wikipedia entry about her.

  • Moggie


    What? No way. Sarah Palin is not Snoopy.

    I see her more as a Lucy van Pelt.

  • sqlrob



    What? No way. Sarah Palin is not Snoopy.

    I see her more as a Lucy van Pelt.

    I see her more as an adult.

  • matty1

    Sarah who?

  • Another similarity between Palin and Snooki: they’re both nasty pieces of work. “Reality” TV seems to revel in empowering assholes.

  • You know, I had actually planned to write a lot more about this, but then I mistakenly posted it without bothering to finish. So it’s not much of an argument as it is. But I really need to get back to bed because I have to be gone all evening.

  • Sastra

    reality TV ethos… the celebration of mediocrity and shallow faux-celebrity culture that it has created (or perhaps that created it).

    You make a good point, but I think the “Reality Show” genre is a little too broad and general to state this categorically. I mean, it includes shows like “Project Runway,” “Hoarders,” “Survivor,” “Most Dangerous Catch” and whatever-the-hell Snooki is from. That’s quite a range.

    What I’d find interesting is figuring out what the different audiences were getting out of these shows — and whether there was a distinction within the fan bases, so that regular watchers of stuff like “Intervention” divide between the sneering, the curious — and the desperate.

  • busterggi

    Nope, Snookie is vacuous, vulgar, and not too bright – that makes her way superior to the potentially dangerous Woldf from Wassila.

  • The notion of “faux celebrities” implies that there are legitimate celebrities, and I find that notion problematic. People don’t become famous by earning it– at least, a LOT of famous people don’t. And of those who do, there are almost always more deserving people out there whom no one’s ever heard of. There’s a shit ton of luck involved (or unluck, in many cases) with becoming a celebrity of any sort, and that’s the case with reality TV as much as it is with anything.

    I’ll grant that with reality TV we certainly seem to have more celebrities, because regular TV shows have casts of actors (also celebrities) that don’t change up nearly as much as casts of reality shows. Snooki, however, is part of a cast. Regardless of how annoying or stupid you think she is, somebody thinks she’s endearing or at least entertaining enough to put on people’s televisions season after season– well, until Jersey Shore ended.

    Sarah Palin wasn’t created by reality TV and didn’t become famous because of reality TV. She became a celebrity via reality, period. She then went on to make a reality TV show, but I don’t know anybody who has actually watched it. Everyone I know hates her more or less via exposure to her VP run.

    I find the comparison– and the complaint– tenuous at best. Snooki is sort of a go-to example that some people use when they want to refer to a stupid, vacuous woman, and there’s an element of sexism to doing so. Every stupid vacuous woman is not Snooki. Even if she’s on TV. Even if she has a reality show. And god knows there’s no shortage of stupid vacuous men on reality shows, so the comparison could just as easily have been made to The Situation (yes, that is a guy on The Jersey Shore’s name….nickname, of course). But it isn’t.

    Reality TV is not a celebration of the mediocre. It’s just TV that doesn’t feature people with SAG cards. Plenty of it is downright terrible and makes you weep for humanity….but then so do a lot of deliberately created, scripted, and casted regular shows. In fact, I daresay the latter is worse because how much planning and work went into the creation of it.

  • frog

    No way. Snooki may be kind of dimwitted and ignorant, but she’s a freaking omniscient genius compared to Sarah “Jesus celebrated Easter” Palin.