Wednesday, January 26, 2011

An Ode To Tommy defines the word "Pioneer" as "one who is first, or among the earliest in any field of inquiry, enterprise, or progress." And much like what Jackie Robinson did for African-American baseball players, The Beatles did for rock-and-roll, and what 90's AOL chatrooms did for early internet predators; Tommy from MTV's "True Life: "I own a summer share" did for guidos being portrayed positively in mainstream media. Tommy's episode of True Life first aired on November 20th, 2003, and it followed him and his motely crew of Italian friends during their summer weekends spent in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. Each weekend Tommy would drive his Black Cadillac down to their shore home in hopes of finding true love, and his future wife.

Equip with his black Don Corleone hat, white pants, wife beater and a barrage of tribal/religious tattoos covering most of his arms, Tommy hits the bars and within 15 minutes of his crews arrival "owns the bar, owns the dance floor, and owns every women in the place". A typical night for Tommy and company consisted of having their friend Michelle iron all their clothes while they pregamed with pizzas and beer, followed by watching "Goodfellas" en route to the club, Tommy dancing and falling for a girl at the club, and then having said women somehow "disappear" before the night is over. This would always leave Tommy in a vulnerable state, and on many instances could be found bringing up his ex-fiance (who would later go on to hook up with one of Tommy's best friends back home, who subsequently wound up getting the shit kicked out of him by Tommy himself after he had heard the news), or making bold statements at 3:30 in the morning such as "I will find that girl before the night is over, and our night doesn't end til 9..10 in the mornin". However, no night on the shore is over without making a pit stop at their favorite late night stand- "Steaks Unlimited". The long lines don't seem to phase Tommy & co, as they proceeded to cut everyone and threaten anyone who looks even remotely confrontational. All for the love of cheeeseballlls and steak sangwitches.

Fast forward eight years later to present day when you watch Jersey Shore. It's pretty hard not to notice a piece of Tommy in each of the male characters. Granted, all guidos are cut from the same DNA, so many are similar but it's fun to point out which characteristics embody what traits from Tommy. The most clear cut similarity is between Ronnie and Tommy. Both have hair thin tempers, and would rather solve any dispute with fists, rather than talk about things rationally. The Situation and Tommy are alike in the sense of they both want to "own" (be the focal point of attention) any place that they enter, both are narcissistic and have an overall sense of over-entitlement. Vinny and Tommy share the quality of being over confident with the ladies, but also over sensitive when things don't go their way. Tommy openly cries about his fiance leaving him on True Life, which reminded me a lot of the way Vinny felt in season 2 of Jersey Shore, when he got stood up by that foreign girl in Miami after buying her roses (which Ronnie then bought and gave to Sammie). Last, but certainly not least, Tommy and Pauley D share lots of traits in common too. Both have a keen knack for "beating up the beat", a love for techno music (was 2003 pre-house?), and an animal like instinct to savagely hit the dance floor.

I had always felt that Tommy deserved his own series. He is far and away the most entertaining person to ever be featured on True Life, and in my opinion, on any television show ever. If you think the guidos of Jersey Shore today have classic one liners (gernade, smush etc.), they couldn't hold a candle to the gold that Tommy produced every time he opened his mouth. Below I've listed my five favorite Tommy quotes for your viewing pleasure.

Top 5 Tommy quotes:

5) "You look like Uncle Fester you fat fuck"

4) "I look like a pizza boy tonight, but I aint baking up no motherfucking pies. I might bake up, a knuckle sangwitch"

3) "I drank myself into a drunken stupor until I got sick... literally" followed by Tommy puking and rallying in the bathroom of Merge and getting into an altercation with someone he had gotten in an argument with several years prior.

2) "You're in the dickie do club. Your stomach sticks out more then your dickie do"

1) "I'ma drop the hammer tonght. I'ma fuck somebody up or I'm getting laid and that's whats gonna happen tonight... How could you go and fuck one of my best friends?"

So the next time your your watching Jersey Shore, take a second to look back and thank the man who started this phenomenon. The first guy to ever be televised "Snookin for love" on the Jersey Shore- Tommy.

Can't get enough old school guido footage? Check out the below video "Guido Beach"


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