“The Importance of Being ‘Jersey Shore’”

What happens when MTV guidos are appropriated by the language of Oscar Wilde?

Topics: Theater, Satire, Viral Video, Television,

"The Importance of Being 'Jersey Shore'""The Importance of Being the Sitch."

The world is sad, Oscar Wilde said, because a puppet was once melancholy.

Wilde’s wry take on Hamlet – as something of a brooding muppet – was recounted in a classic New Yorker essay by Louis Menand, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Harvard professor. “[Wilde] was referring to Hamlet,” Menand explains, “a character he thought had taught the world a new kind of unhappiness – the unhappiness of eternal disappointment in life as it is.”

Eternal disappointment, or Weltschmerz, if you want to impress friends at a German cocktail party, is probably one of Wilde’s lesser-known aphorisms. That may be, however, the ineffable reaction that most people have to MTV’s “Jersey Shore.”

This would be the query posed by the Broadway cast of “The Importance of Being Earnest,” who, in a series of viral videos, recite dialogue from MTV’s hit show in the style of Wilde’s witticisms.

The results, if anything, prove that the unhappiness unleashed by the aimless self-loathing and inertia of Denmark’s prince is alive and well today.

Unfortunately, today’s youths might not use such eloquent language.

You Might Also Like

To quote Wilde again, in a seemingly prophetic vision of the Situation and Snooki: “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.”

Drew Grant is a staff writer for Salon. Follow her on Twitter at @videodrew.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 8
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Sonic's Bacon Double Cheddar Croissant Dog

    Sonic calls this a "gourmet twist" on a classic. I am not so, so fancy, but I know that sprinkling bacon and cheddar cheese onto a tube of pork is not gourmet, even if you have made a bun out of something that is theoretically French.

    Krispy Kreme

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Krispy Kreme's Doughnut Dog

    This stupid thing is a hotdog in a glazed doughnut bun, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly. It is only available at Delaware's Frawley Stadium, thank god.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    KFC's Double Down Dog

    This creation is notable for its fried chicken bun and ability to hastily kill your dreams.

    Pizza Hut

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza

    Pizza Hut basically just glued pigs-in-blankets to the crust of its normal pizza. This actually sounds good, and I blame America for brainwashing me into feeling that.

    Carl's Jr.

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Carl's Jr. Most American Thick Burger

    This is a burger stuffed with potato chips and hot dogs. Choose a meat, America! How hard is it to just choose a meat?!

    Tokyo Dog

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Tokyo Dog's Juuni Ban

    A food truck in Seattle called Tokyo Dog created this thing, which is notable for its distinction as the Guinness Book of World Records' most expensive hot dog at $169. It is a smoked cheese bratwurst, covered in butter Teriyaki grilled onions, Maitake mushrooms, Wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles, caviar and Japanese mayo in a brioche bun. Just calm down, Tokyo Dog. Calm down.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"

    This album art should be illegal.

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>