We at the Phoenix don’t present you the following list of Pauly D merchandise because we think you should buy any of it. Rather, we offer it in the belief that nothing quite shows the twisted beauty and horror of the American experiment like the trail of branded schlock a C-list celebrity leaves in his or her wake.
Face it: Paul DelVecchio — the Providence-born, Johnston-raised Jersey Shore alum now the subject of articles like “Gym, Tan, Money: Inside Pauly D’s $11 Million Payday” in Forbes — is the new American Dream. He has a permanent bronze hue, an abundance of tattoos, and a gel-spiked hairdo that makes his silhouette as recognizable as Indiana Jones’s. He’s got more than 9.5 million Facebook “likes.” He has a trademark catchphrase (“Yeah, Buddy!”) and wellness mantra (“Gym. Tan. Laundry,” or “GTL,” for short). And when he books DJ gigs like last month’s performance at Twin River Casino, hundreds of fans don’t simply pay $25 to get in the door; they shell out another $13 once they’re inside for a special whipped cream/vodka/Sierra Mist/orange juice concoction called a “Fist Pump.” (That’s the name of Pauly’s trademark dance move, for newbies.)
Did you miss that show? Read on and take solace in a tradition as old as our republic: shopping for stuff with a famous person’s name on it.
DJ Pauly D Pro Performance DJ Headphones
PRICE: $299.95 from SMS Audio
OUR TAKE: We thought about starting this list with a $3500 Italian-flag bejeweled laptop cover like Pauly’s. But that isn’t technically a store-available product; it was a custom job, which we learned from an article titled “Exclusive: DJ Pauly D’s Laptop Designer Dishes on His Famous Bling,” which we now hate ourselves for having read.
But we digress. Where were we? Right. The headphones.
The defining feature of this product seems to be a removable microphone cord that allows you to make phone calls while DJing, which is a lifesaver if you’re currently bummed that you can’t make phone calls while DJing.
If these ’phones happen to be out of your price range, SMS also sells Pauly D-branded earbuds for $19.95. So, everybody loses.
PRODUCT: The Pauly D Project — Season 1 DVD set
PRICE: $16.49 on Amazon.com
OUR TAKE: Sadly, Pauly’s reality-show follow-up to Jersey Shore lasted only one season. But that was long enough for the journalism gods to bestow us with a New York Times review.
The series is “shaped as a Horatio Alger story,” whose protagonist “belongs to a select category of performers who have turned their haircuts into careers,” Mike Hale wrote on March 28, 2012,
“Nothing in the first two episodes of The Pauly D Project is more than mildly diverting,” he concluded, adding that, considering the show’s backbone of pranks, partying, sex, and general debauchery, “It’s as if [MTV] is slightly embarrassed by the worthwhile shows on its schedule — from documentary series like True Life and 16 and Pregnant to scripted series like Awkward and Teen Wolf — and occasionally feels the need to pull down its pants.”