Pauly D Says ‘Jersey Shore’ Cast Didn’t Get Paid for Season 1 of Smash Reality Show
The DJ and reality star made the revelation during a recent podcast appearance, during which he also talked about how he initially joined the show — and how he found out it was picked up by suddenly seeing himself on TV months later.
Pauly D told the Full Send Podcast he was originally contacted via MySpace to be on a TV show that didn't even have a name at the time. A casting director randomly sent him a message and told him that they liked his look and wanted him to be on a show they were working on.
Originally, Pauly D thought it was fake and didn't immediately give the casting director his contact information. After a night of DJing, however, he messaged the casting director his phone number. They contacted him the next day and asked if they could film a day in his life. Not long after, they filmed him going to the gym, tanning, riding on his bike and going to the club.
The Jersey Shore star didn't hear anything for six months, until they called and asked if he could pack for a 30-day trip to the Jersey Shore.
Pauly D went and filmed a Real World-type show alongside seven other strangers... and the rest is reality TV history.
According to Pauly D, he, Jenni "JWoww" Farley, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Vinny Guadagnino, Angelina Pivarnick, Sammi "Sweetheart" Giancola and Ronnie Ortiz-Magro filmed the first season of the popular reality show entirely for free.
In fact, Pauly D didn't even see or hear anything about the show until he saw himself on TV months after filming.
"They didn't tell us anything so all of a sudden I'm doing my hair in the bathroom, and I look at my TV and it's me doing my hair and I hear my voice, in the same bathroom I was doing my hair in. I was like tripped out for a second," Pauly D shared. "It was a commercial for the show. I hit everybody up like, 'The commercial's out, the commercial's out!'"
Pauly D and the rest of the cast ended up signing on for a second season — which, yes, they were paid for.
Speaking on the podcast, he added that he viewed Jersey Shore as a platform to promote his career as a DJ and he "used the show as a commercial." It definitely worked out for Pauly D since he was one of the top 10 highest-paid DJs in the world in 2021, according to Business Insider.
Pauly D has been on six seasons of Jersey Shore, five seasons of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation and three seasons of Double Shot at Love.
He's also appeared on shows such as Revenge Prank, Famously Single, Marriage Bootcamp: Reality Stars 11 and Game of Clones.
Watch Pauly D's Full Send Podcast interview, below.