Popular MTV reality show brings fist pumping to Milwaukee

Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino visited a Milwaukee club Friday night. Sorrentino has garnered national attention on MTV's "Jersey Shore." Photo courtesy Milwaukeenights.com.

There are those who would argue the popularity of the smash-hit MTV show “Jersey Shore” proves the deterioration of American culture and the collapse of society’s judgment. Others would argue the show is nothing but harmless fun peppered with melodramatic story lines.

But one thing is indisputable about the show’s most bombastic cast member: Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino can sure draw a crowd.

Sorrentino brought his gelled hair and passion for fist-pumping to Milwaukee last Friday when he appeared at Decibel Nightclub, 1905 E. North Ave.

Drew Deuster, the owner of Decibel, said in an e-mail to the Tribune that the popular dance club was expecting at least 1,200 people for the event.

That number of people, combined with Decibel’s $20 cover charge for the event, explains why Sorrentino and the rest of the “Jersey Shore” cast reportedly take in thousands of dollars to appear at bars around the country.

But it’s not just Jersey Shore stars charging large fees to appear in America’s nightclub scene. Deuster said Decibel works with several talent agencies that help book celebrity appearances.

“Virtually any celebrity is available for a price,” said Deuster.

The All American Talent and Celebrity Network has a Web site that works to connect “talent buyers” with celebrities.

Their site has nine celebrities, including Dr. Phil, Donald Trump, Lance Armstrong and Jerry Seinfeld, whose appearance fees exceed $200,ooo.

Those appearance fees trump the reported $7,500 Sorrentino receives for nightclub appearances.

The Situation is not the only “Jersey Shore” star to appear in Milwaukee recently. Monday night Jenni “JWoww” Farley, was scheduled to appear at Club Milwaukee. The appearances are indicative of the show’s extreme popularity. Last week MTV announced its long-expected decision to renew “Jersey Shore” for a second season.

Mike Herbst, a sophomore in the College of Communication, said he was highly amused by the entertaining Italian-Americans’ exploits.

“The Situation’s desperate attempts to hook up with girls are hilarious,” said Herbst. “No matter how many times he gets completely shut down, he’s ever persistent.”

Despite the huge popularity of the show, there are those who blast MTV for its decision to renew “Jersey Shore” for a second season.

The National Italian-American Foundation’s President Joseph Del Raso criticized Jersey Shore’s depiction of Italian-Americans.

“NIAF objects to MTV’s continued billing of this program as a ‘reality show,’” said Del Raso in an NIAF press release. “Its reliance on heavy editing and scripted segments featuring compensated actors pressed into unbecoming behavior renders ‘Jersey Shore’ far from reality.”

Some college students, such as Caitlin Meilbeck, a junior in the College of Nursing, said they have no interest in watching the adventures of JWoww and The Situation.

“I’ve never seen (Jersey Shore),” Meilbeck said. “I honestly did not know what the show was until just recently when a girl at work told me about it.”

Although endless debate surrounds the “Shore,” be assured this reality show will be back and popular as ever next winter for one more shot at a summer of gym, tan and laundry.