TODAY   |  July 29, 2010

Snooki: Don’t have to be from Jersey to love ‘Shore’

In response to Garden State Gov. Chris Christie’s remarks about the “Jersey Shore” cast, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi says “the shore” is about “having a good time.” “You can be from Connecticut, wherever, New York.”

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This content comes from a Full-Text Transcript of the program.

MATT LAUER, co-host: We are back now at 8:10 with the guys and gals of MTV 's " Jersey Shore ." The virtual unknowns became overnight sensations last year, and tonight season two gets under way. In a moment we'll talk to Snooki and the friends and the gang about the show and some criticism they've taken from New Jersey 's own governor. But first, NBC 's Jeff Rossen has also made it to the shore. Jeff , good morning to you.

JEFF ROSSEN reporting: Hm. Yeah, long trip down here, Matt , to hang out with the cast. Right now we're coming to you from the roof of that famous " Jersey Shore " house where all the filming is done, where it all happens. This is that famous hot tub. If you watch the show, you see some of the more interesting scenes here. And by the way, I should mention, you don't get to see this too much on the show, but the house is literally right on the water, right on the Atlantic . A beautiful place. I'm actually jealous I don't live here myself. And with a beautiful roof deck, I might add. This is the hammock where Snooki always tries to get in 20 times, falls down and then finally gets in. And then here's the bed where some of the other more interesting scenes happen. In fact, I probably shouldn't be on that, shouldn't be on that, should I?

Ms. NICOLE "SNOOKI" POLIZZI: No.

ROSSEN: God knows what happens there. And here's the cast with us, which we'll talk to in just a minute. Now, love these guys or hate them, no question they're ratings gold. Their show is doing incredibly well on MTV . President Obama talks about you guys, the governor of New Jersey talks about you guys, talked to Matt a couple of days ago. And the new season -- by the way, that is really pointy -- starts tonight.

Mr. PAULY "D" DELVECCHIO: It's on point.

ROSSEN: On MTV 's " Jersey Shore ," there is no shame.

ROSSEN: The self-proclaimed guidos and guidettes are at it again. Almost overnight they went from gelled-up nobody to pop culture icons with their fashion, colorful language and sometimes controversial stereotypes. It's like " The Real World " on steroids. Now, JWoww , The Situation and the rest of the cast are invading South Beach , Miami , for season two. But getting here wasn't easy. After the first season , Snooki and the gang reportedly asked MTV to double their salaries from $5,000 per episode to 10,000 per episode. Then they asked for even more.

Mr. MIKE WALTERS (TMZ News Manager): The " Jersey Shore " cast is actually asking for almost $45,000 an episode. Snooki and The Situation , I'm told, actually got near that. Some of the other ones a little lower. But that's a lot of money.

ROSSEN: Now to mention private appearances. The stars reportedly rake in as much as $50,000 each simply to show up for drinks at Las Vegas hot spots and then leave. On Tuesday they rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange . Even President Obama is showing the love.

President BARACK OBAMA: The following individuals shall be excluded from the

indoor tanning tax within this bill: Snooki, JWoww, The Situation and House Minority Leader John Boehner .

ROSSEN: Not everyone is a fan. Wednesday here on TODAY, the governor of New Jersey told Matt the show creates a negative image.

Governor CHRIS CHRISTIE: And then they say this is New Jersey . It's not New Jersey .

ROSSEN: But even he had to laugh.

Gov. CHRISTIE: I've got enough problems here. I mean, $11 billion deficit, I've got to take Snooki and The Situation also? Come on.

ROSSEN: The new season kicks off tonight in Miami . So you're wondering, what are they all doing here in Seaside Heights ? Well, they're already taping season three back here on the Jersey shore . In fact, they're now a week into taping. And by the way, Matt , if you, if you question about how far they've come and their icon status, this is Newsweek magazine , with Al Sharpton on the cover. And inside, a picture of the " Jersey Shore " gang, America 's new icons. Back to you.

LAUER: Yeah, Jeff , right where they belong. Jeff Rossen , thank you very much . And with us from their perch at the shore, Nicole " Snooki " Polizzi, Vinny Guadagnino, Pauly " D " Delvecchio, and Jenni " JWoww " Farley. Hey folks, good morning to all of you. Nice to see you.

Group: Good morning.

LAUER: Hey, Pauly D , what time did you have to get up to start your hair this morning?

Mr. DELVECCHIO: They have to wake me up a little earlier than the rest of the guys. I mean, it takes me 25 minutes to do my hair.

LAUER: It looks good, though. It looks great. Hey, can we talk money for a second? I know it's not polite...

Mr. DELVECCHIO: Thank you.

LAUER: ...but some of the reporting you just heard in Jeff 's piece about going from 5 to $10,000 per episode between season one and season two, and some maybe even getting as much as $45,000 an episode, are those numbers accurate?

Mr. DELVECCHIO: No, I mean, a lot of that's just rumors. I just -- I mean, I'm happy -- I'm just happy to be back -- be back. You guys happy?

Ms. POLIZZI: Yeah.

Mr. VINNY GUADAGNINO: Yeah.

Ms. JENNI "JWOWW" FARLEY: We were going to come back regardless, so it's kind of like the icing on the cake .

Mr. DELVECCHIO: Absolutely.

LAUER: All right, so raise your hands if you're happy with your salaries right now.

LAUER: Yeah, OK, because I'm wondering...

Mr. GUADAGNINO: Happy to -- happy to be here.

LAUER: ... Snooki , here's what I'm wondering. If there's a little -- if they've taken the parity away here, in other words if some of you are getting paid more than others, might not that create some anger, hostility, frustration and confrontation? You know, the kind of things that make a reality show great?

Ms. POLIZZI: You know, we don't -- we don't come here and think about money. We come here to party. We don't discuss those things, and we shouldn't. And, you know, we just come here and have a good time . So that's pretty much it.

Mr. GUADAGNINO: Yeah.

LAUER: Can you tell me, has anyone gone out and splurged on anything you'd like to share with me? Anything fun just, you know, you kind of treated yourself with?

Ms. POLIZZI: I bought a new car.

LAUER: Did you really? What kind did you get?

Mr. GUADAGNINO: Same here.

Ms. POLIZZI: I got a 2011 BMW .

LAUER: Ooh , good for you.

Ms. POLIZZI: That I can't drive because it's stick, so.

LAUER: But it looks good in the driveway?

Ms. POLIZZI: But it's still a good time.

LAUER: That's great. Hey, I...

Ms. POLIZZI: Exactly, yes.

LAUER: ...I've always wondered if season two of a show like this isn't the hardest season because you guys know the game now. You shot all season one and then you saw what the producers chose to highlight in each episode and what ended up on the edit room floor. So doesn't that necessarily affect the way you behave in front of the cameras for season two and three?

Ms. FARLEY: No, not at all. We -- when we come back we're ourselves at the end of the day .

Mr. DELVECCHIO: Yeah.

Mr. GUADAGNINO: Yeah.

Ms. POLIZZI: Like usually when we're here we don't think about what's going to be cut and screwed.

Ms. GUADAGNINO: Mm-hmm.

Ms. POLIZZI: We just come out here and have a good time , like I said. We don't think about that stuff because if you do you'll drive yourself crazy and you won't be yourself.

Ms. FARLEY: Exactly.

Mr. DELVECCHIO: Exactly. The best thing about our show is that we're all ourselves. It's not scripted.

Ms. POLIZZI: Yeah.

Ms. FARLEY: Yeah.

Mr. DELVECCHIO: We're just doing what we would normally do and they catch it on film.

Ms. POLIZZI: Yeah, there's like no cameras here.

LAUER: And so because conflict seems to be such a big part of shows like this, you don't go out of your way looking for confrontation?

Ms. FARLEY: No, not at all.

Mr. DELVECCHIO: No.

Mr. GUADAGNINO: No.

Ms. POLIZZI: Not at all.

Mr. DELVECCHIO: It just happens.

Ms. POLIZZI: Yeah, it happens.

Mr. GUADAGNINO: We're young kids.

Ms. POLIZZI: It's very easy.

Mr. GUADAGNINO: We go out to clubs and sometimes things happen like that.

Ms. FARLEY: Exactly.

Mr. DELVECCHIO: Yeah.

LAUER: Let me ask you about the comments made by Chris Christie here on this show. He's a nice guy , by the way, but he had a little fun with you guys yesterday saying, hey, you're not from New Jersey and why should he have to handle you. You want to respond to that, anybody?

Mr. GUADAGNINO: Ah...

Ms. POLIZZI: Our show is about coming to the shore and having a good time. You don't have to be from Jersey .

Mr. DELVECCHIO: Yes.

Mr. GUADAGNINO: Yeah, mm-hmm.

Ms. POLIZZI: " The Shore " is about getting a shore house . You can be from, you know, Connecticut , whatever, New York . You come down here and you have a good time . That's what this show is about.

Ms. FARLEY: About vacation.

Mr. DELVECCHIO: Yeah, I love New Jersey . I love coming here.

Ms. POLIZZI: Yeah, so do I, yes.

Mr. DELVECCHIO: It's a -- it's a blast. And everybody likes to have us here. We have a lot of friends here.

Ms. POLIZZI: I like Jersey .

Mr. GUADAGNINO: Yeah.

Ms. FARLEY: Exactly.

Mr. GUADAGNINO: And if we can help out the pockets of New Jersey , then that's even -- that's a bonus for us.

Ms. FARLEY: The citizens, yeah.

Mr. DELVECCHIO: Yeah. Oh, yeah, absolutely.

Ms. POLIZZI: Oh, yeah.

LAUER: And so season two, Miami , what's the biggest difference between Miami and the Jersey shore , in your opinion?

Mr. GUADAGNINO: Ooh .

Mr. DELVECCHIO: Oh, a whole different scene, a whole different scene.

Ms. FARLEY: That's right . It's a party scene, yeah.

Mr. DELVECCHIO: There's a lot of tourists. Yes. Yeah, there's a lot of tourists in Miami .

Mr. GUADAGNINO: It's more exotic in Miami .

Mr. DELVECCHIO: Yeah, I mean the clubs are nice.

Ms. POLIZZI: Here it's home.

Mr. DELVECCHIO: They can close at like 6 AM , so you're partying all night long.

Mr. GUADAGNINO: Yeah.

Ms. POLIZZI: Yes.

LAUER: Well, guys, a lot of people, as you know, this show is a hit. A lot of people looking forward to season two. And as Jeff mentioned earlier...

Mr. DELVECCHIO: Yeah.

LAUER: ...you're already under way...

Mr. DELVECCHIO: Yes.

Ms. FARLEY: Yes.

Mr. GUADAGNINO: Yes.

LAUER: ...shooting season number three. Good luck and thanks for waking up early, guys, I appreciate it.