May 02, 2013 3:48pm PT by Sophie Schillaci
Lil Wayne Hits Staten Island in 'The Show With Vinny' Premiere (Video)
Even with its close proximity to New York City, Staten Island residents have likely seen an increase in star sightings lately, thanks to local MTV star Vinny Guadagnino.
“The Show With Vinny is a hybrid talk show reality show,” the former Jersey Shore star tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Celebrities come over to my house where I grew up in Staten Island. My mother cooks for them, we have a big Sunday dinner with my family, I interview them [and] sometimes we do something fun.”
Viewers got a sneak peek at The Show With Vinny in April when the gang hit the gym with Mark Wahlberg and Ke$ha dropped by to play a glittery prank on Vinny’s outspoken Uncle Nino. “I still have nightmares about it,” says Nino of the incident.
But Thursday’s 10 p.m. broadcast marks the series’ official debut with Lil Wayne. During his visit to chez Vinny, Weezy got a taste of mom Paola’s broccoli rabe and hit the local skate park.
“No talk show has ever been filmed like this,” says Vinny. “It really is a lot of fun and the celebrities, you see them in a way you’ve never seen them before.”
While Vinny does the talking, Paola does the cooking. Her meals have become the stuff of legend after preparing various feasts for Vinny’s Jersey Shore housemates, but cooking for celebrities has provided a unique challenge for the Italian mother.
“Nowadays, people are thinking healthier. None of them eat flour,” says Paola. “They’re all pale!”
But gluten-free is no match for Paola’s kitchen prowess. Using fresh and natural ingredients, she prepares light, delicious meals for her son’s houseguests.
“A lot of these guests, they’re eating this type of food for the first time,” she observes.
Travel to the East Coast may prove challenging for some of the busier stars, but Vinny says that the MTV connection is “like playing for the Lakers.”
“There’s always celebrities around,” says Vinny. “Some of the best bookings have come from my personal connections because they already feel comfortable with me, but MTV books the show as well and it’s a great network to be on.”
Email: Sophie.Schillaci@THR.com; Twitter: @SophieSchillaci