Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino
Unconventional monikers from "Dr. Oz" to "Flavor Flav" have graced television for several years, yet no one could hold a candle to arguably the greatest nickname ever uttered on the small screen: "The Situation." New York native Michael Sorrentino often went by this alias on MTV's reality program "Jersey Shore" (2009-12), where cameras followed a group of Italian-American twenty-somethings partying the summer away in Seaside Heights, NJ. Sorrentino's brute physique, over-inflated ego, and sarcastic attitude painted him as the show's villain, which, in the world of reality TV, also meant he was one of the viewers' favorite cast members. Several organizations blasted "Jersey Shore" for the cast's generous use of the terms "Guido" and "Guidette," while portraying the Italian-American community as short-tempered, violent and alcoholic fame seekers with no discernible taste or class. Sorrentino owned up to his "Guido" status and shrugged off the criticism, which angered the show's opponents yet continued to bring in more viewers. More importantly, Sorrentino did not mind poking fun at himself, even appearing on "The Jay Leno Show" (NBC, 2009-2010) as a quiz show contestant, which helped extend his 15 minutes of fame and cemented his reputation as the guy with the abs who America loved to hate.