Vinny Guadagnino successfully transitioned from an MTV reality show that covered his and his castmates’ drunken debauchery to a show that chronicles him and his mom traveling the country and eating different types of food.
But for the Staten Island, N.Y. native, who is still proud to call the “concrete jungle” home, the move is far from finished.
“As long as it’s a good product, I don’t have to be in the biggest thing,” Guadagnino explained during a wide-ranging sit down interview on my radio show. He even mentioned that he turned down multiple offers, including big paydays, because he’s “not a great, trashy reality star.”
“I’m really not saying I’m too good for anything,” he said. “I really believe in myself as an entertainer because I’m such a huge comedy nerd.”
He even turned down the chance to make extra cash while on the show, noting that he used the money early on to pay for improv classes while other stars of the show were flying private and riding in limos. Not to say that Guadagnino didn’t have his fun; I remember at least one appearance of his from yester-year in downtown Scranton at the old Coliseum Night Club.
Guadagnino also stopped short of saying he has any regrets about the process thus far.
“It’s actually kind of fun, like you were on this big show, and now you have to kind of like, weave your way out of it and on to the next thing,” he said. “Now, you’d be an idiot if you said, ‘Oh that show was not good,’ because people (still) want to talk to me.”
But after that, Guadagnino perhaps best exhibits the difference in mindset between he and his former “Jersey Shore” cast members.
“Every interview is now an audition, every TV show you go on is a stage and now you can just prove it to the world,” the New Yorker continued. “It’s interesting. It’s hard, but it’s fun.”
And while there were the inevitable tough moments on the road with his mom, overall Vinny enjoyed filming “Vinny And Ma Eat America” for The Cooking Channel with his mother, Paola. The two are great on camera, and Guadagnino is hopeful for more episodes following the March 11 marathon that aired of the first batch.
Speaking of transitions, the show follows mom and son as Paola travels to new cities and tries cuisines she’s never had before (basically anything that doesn’t fall under the Italian genre). Guadagnino said one of the highlights was his mom eating and actually enjoying sushi, although he is doubtful it makes the “Feast of the Seven Fish” Christmas Eve dinner menu.
Listen to “Ralphie Tonight” weeknights from 7 p.m. to midnight on 97 BHT.