Photo Credit: ABC
"I object to it because it basically shows Italian-Americans as being stupid, promiscuous, narcissistic, and not that bright," she said, adding that Jersey Shore is different from other negative TV portrayals of Italian-Americans, such as HBO's The Sopranos. "In Sopranos, they show the effect that it has on the innocents," she explained. "They show how the children suffer for the father's misdeeds. In this show, they don't show the ramifications of promiscuous, unsafe sex. They don't show the effect of the fact that these kids, in years to come, may not have a career because they're not going to school."
Sherri Shepherd, a Jersey Shore fan who wore a piled-high hairdo (a la Snooki) for the occasion, played devil's advocate. "You're saying that The Sopranos shows a slice of life," she said. "And I'm saying that The Jersey Shore does the same."
The exchange might have set a contentious tone for the cast's appearance -- not that the newly famous MTV stars bothered to care. The self-proclaimed "guidos" and "guidettes" ("The Situation," Snooki, DJ Pauly D, Ronnie, Sammi, J-Woww, Angelina and Vinny) are riding a surreal wave of media attention right now. A middle-aged comedy veteran with red hair wasn't about to break their stride.
"The Situation" launched right into his schtick, handing out nicknames to each View host: Whoopi Goldberg was The Administration.
Snooki had her own spiel. Asked "when did you realize, 'I'm famous'?" she replied, "at birth." How so? "Just my personality," she said. "And my looks."
Behar chose this moment to point out that, unlike herself, this nitwit wasn't actually Italian. "They're not all Italian-Americans," Behar crowed. "I'd like to just say that." Turns out Snooki is "more of a Chilean" and a little bit Sicilian -- "but not that much." Whether or not they are Italian is beside the point, of course, since all the cast members consider being a guido a "lifestyle."
Behar, a seasoned comedian who usually lightens up interviews with jokes, appeared to be seething throughout their visit. She seemingly didn't want to get too close to Paulie, her neighbor on the couch. "Joy, you have to move over!" scolded Goldberg.
Hasselbeck, meanwhile, acted playful, trying to coax The Situation to show his six-pack abs. "You know what?" he flirted. "I don't want to really cheapen the product these days." But Goldberg and Behar continued to try to provide a voice of reason.
"When you have sex on the show, do you use condoms?" asked Behar.
"I do use protection," said The Situation.
"Even in the hot tub? Because the thing can come off in the hot tub," she retorted.
"It's really hot water," he said. "It takes care of business."
"I'm curious," said Goldberg. "Where do you see yourselves in…where are you heading? What's your 20-year plan?"
"I've got a deep belief in myself that I can pretty much do anything," said The Situation. "So after I maybe do maybe one or two more years of reality, if that, then I'll move on to possibly acting. If that works out, I'll try it out. If it doesn't work out, then hey, I tried it out."
After some talk from Behar about having a Plan B, going to college, learning a trade, Goldberg got downright parental. "Tell me you guys have a savings plan, that you're putting money away," she said. In other words, when it comes to fame, 15 minutes can go fast.
Even Hasselbeck couldn't resist doling out a little advice to Ronnie and Sammi. "Your relationship also got a little physical sometimes," she said. "There were times, there was a little shoving back and forth, and it definitely got to a level, I think, because there was a lot of emotion there. When you're back in the house together, are you guys committed to working out things without really…shoving?"
She was blatantly referring to the violent nature of their relationship, but the pair didn't get it. "We're just gonna wait and see what happens in the second season," Sammi said.
"Yeah, but not so much of the pushy-shovey stuff?" said Hasselbeck, trying again.
"No, not so much of the push-shovey stuff," Sammi parroted, while Ronnie nodded. Not exactly convincing.
"Good, because I mean, I'm making it sound nice but on the heels of the Chris Brown-Rihanna kind of stuff..." said Hasselbeck. And then, y
Did the Jersey Shore cast pick up on the tension? Nope! Shepherd brought the conversation around to more important topics, like J-Woww's implants and Snooki's ineffable fabulousness. "Why are people so obsessed with you, Snooki?" "Oh, I don't know," she replied. "I guess just look at me. I have good style."
Do these kids represent all Italian-Americans? Behar will have to settle for Paulie's answer. "The show isn't called Italian-Americans on the Jersey Shore," he said. "We represent ourselves." This reminded me of Hasselbeck's comment earlier in the show. "If you want to become a stereotype," she said, "that's your choice." Judging by all the attention they're getting, these kids probably think they chose well.
Do you think that the Jersey Shore cast will still be famous in two years? Chime in below!