They were lampooned in late-night talk-show monologues, turned heads at awards shows and on red carpets, and inspired GTL-friendly Halloween costumes. There were few corners of pop culture the crew of MTV's "Jersey Shore" didn't reach in 2010, and that includes Barbara Walters' "10 Most Fascinating People of 2010" list.
In her introduction of the party-startin' crew, Walters said she regretted missing out on sit-downs with luminaries such as Jackie Onassis and Greta Garbo, but quipped that she's beefing up her storied resumé by chatting with the "Shore" kids.
While Walters' approach to the interview was fairly tongue-in-cheek, the Seaside Heights fist-pumpers were fairly intimidated by the event. As Snooki put it, "This is like [meeting] Elvis. It was awesome."
Walters gamely jumped into the world of the "Jersey Shore." She learned about the seven-member cast's unique lexicon, chatting with Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino about the definition of a "grenade" ("It's just humorous guy language that really nobody's really intended to hear"), and the reality stars coached her on the proper way to pronounce "smush." She then wasted no time putting her newly expanded vocabulary to work.
"So are you and Sammi smushing?" Walters asked Ronnie, as the rest of the cast giggled.
"You could say that," Ron admitted, with his on-and-off girlfriend Sammi by his side.
The "Shore" residents also addressed their controversial image as relentless revelers who set a poor example for young people — a claim that Sorrentino, who reportedly made $10 million from his "Jersey" fame this year, shrugged off.
"I would like to find one person that says when they were in their 20s they didn't go out and have a little fun," he said.
Pauly D also denied the show reinforced stereotypes about Italian-Americans, saying, "I'm not representing all Italians."
Despite the show's rowdy atmosphere, Snooki maintained the buttoned-up news veteran would fit right in at a raging night on the Shore.
"She's really hot in person," she said. "I think Barbara would kick our asses at the Jersey Shore."
Even with Snooki's confidence in Walters as a possible member of the "Shore" crew, the legendary anchor still wasn't sure what to make of the collective after her encounter with the tanned twentysomethings.
"They are something," Walters said. "I don't know what, but they are something."
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