Seth Meyers predicted during the latest "Weekend Update" that "Jersey Shore" will end with a stunning revelation: "The whole show was just a dream in the mind of a meatball with syphilis."
Thursday's series finale of the MTV reality show will mark the end of a nightmare for those of us offended by its celebration of vapidity and an anti-Italian slur. But for the folks at "Saturday Night Live" and other humor purveyors, the program’s conclusion represents a rude awakening from a comedian's dream.
It's time to bid goodbye to spoofs of a show that often played like a parody of itself.
"SNL" cast member Bobby Moynihan donned an ill-fitting dress and wig to play Snooki on "Weekend Update." She morphed into a libidinous monster during a 2010 episode of "South Park," in which TV-hating, Canada-blaming mom Shelia Broflovski reveals she was a Snooki in her secret Jersey youth. Craig Ferguson, ridiculing the offensive stereotypes that filled “Jersey Shore,” showed up as Super Mario in his spoof.
Our favorite parody is perhaps the most serious: a Funny or Die time-lapse video of Alyssa Milano going from a makeup-free beauty to a painted and primped Snooki-like clown who ends up on a poster plastered over a frat-house urinal.
The humor, on TV, online and elsewhere, reflected both the popularity and the preposterousness of "Jersey Shore," which packed much vacuous GTL – gym, tan and laundry – into six seasons. We’ll give Snooki, The Situation, JWoww and Co. credit, though, for using their dubious celebrity and Garden State link to do some good during last month’s MTV telethon to help rebuild the Jersey Shore in Hurricane Sandy’s wake.
Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multi-media NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is the former City Editor of the New York Daily News, where he started as a reporter in 1992. Follow him on Twitter.