2011’s Smartest Moments in Pop Culture


'Jersey Shore' Gone Wilde

Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi poses with her first published novel.
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi poses with her first published novel.
Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Rebecca Black wasn't the only go-getter going viral online in 2011. Trashy met high-brow with the "'Jersey Shore' Gone Wilde" series produced by the Web site Playbill. The short videos feature professional thespians Santino Fontana and David Furr in Victorian garb acting out scripts stripped directly from MTV's "Jersey Shore" transcripts. The duo transforms Snooki, The Situation and company's absurd obscenity-flecked ramblings and ravings into theatrical gold, delivering their PG-13 lines with the propriety of the utmost gentlemen in a hilarious cultural mash-up.

Ironically, the same year that 'Jersey Shore' went Oscar Wilde, Nicole Polizzi (aka "Snooki") became a published author. Her novel, "A Shore Thing" demonstrated that reality television success doesn't always translate to success in reality. During its first month on bookstore shelves, only about 9,000 copies sold [source: Friedman].