Nicole Elizabeth LaValle (née Polizzi; born November 23, 1987), best known by her nickname Snooki, is an American reality television personality. She is best known for being a cast member of the MTV reality show Jersey Shore and starring in Snooki & Jwoww and Jersey Shore: Family Vacation. Upon appearing on Jersey Shore in 2009, Snooki gained popularity, leading to numerous talk show appearances, web and television series participation and hosting, and a large social media following. She reportedly earned $150,000 per Jersey Shore episode by the last season.[5] She also appeared as the guest hostess for WWE Raw in 2011 and competed at WrestleMania XXVII that same year.

Snooki in 2011
Nicole Elizabeth Polizzi

(1987-11-23) November 23, 1987 (age 36)
Santiago, Chile
Alma materBrookdale Community College[1][2]
Years active2009–present
Height4 ft 8 in (1.42 m)
Jionni LaValle
(m. 2014)

Early life and education

Polizzi was born in Santiago, Chile.[6] She was adopted when she was six months old and was raised by Italian-American parents,[7] Andy and Helen Polizzi.[8][9] Polizzi has taken two DNA tests to determine her genetic background. In 2014, the first DNA test stated that she had European, Asian and Jewish ancestry. Five years later, in January 2019, she took another DNA test which stated that she is of Native Chilean and European descent.[10] Polizzi’s father is a volunteer firefighter and auto-salvage supervisor, and her mother is an office manager.[11]

Polizzi received her nickname, Snooki, in middle school, when her friends named her after "Snookie", a male character in Save the Last Dance, because she was the first of her friends to kiss a boy.[12] She grew up and attended school in Marlboro, New York, where she was a cheerleader.[6] During high school, she suffered from an eating disorder, at one point weighing 80 pounds (36 kg).[13]

Snooki attended Marlboro High School in Marlboro. After graduating, she attended Brookdale Community College in Middletown Township, New Jersey,[1][2] where she studied to become a veterinary technician.[6]


Reality television

Snooki in 2010

MTV first introduced Snooki in Is She Really Going Out with Him?,[14] a show that focused on women dating obnoxious or arrogant men. Snooki and her boyfriend, Justin, appeared in episode 14, "Jerz Pud".[15]

Snooki became part of the reality TV series Jersey Shore after being scouted by the casting director, Josh Allouche, an employee of Doron Ofir Casting. The New York Times identified her as "the breakout member of the cast".[6] According to The New York Times, her actions on the show have caused her to be the target of public disdain while having a "strange appeal".[6] One reported measure of her appeal was that she was one of the most popular celebrity Halloween costumes of 2010.[16] At the height of the show's popularity, Snooki was reportedly earning $150,000 per episode.[17]

While shooting in Seaside Heights, Snooki was punched in the face by New York City school gym teacher Brad Ferro.[18][19] The punch, while shown in previews, was blacked out during showings of the episode. Videos of the punch went viral on YouTube and were featured in many news media. After the punch was made public, Snooki's appearance fees increased from $2,000 per event to $10,000 per event.[20][21][22]

In 2011, Snooki and her Jersey Shore costar, Jennifer Farley, signed a contract to star in a spin-off show, Snooki & Jwoww, which premiered on MTV in June 2012. The first season followed Snooki and Farley moving in together,[23][24] and they describe their show like a modern-day Laverne & Shirley.[25] 495 Productions filmed the first season over the course of six weeks, at a former two-story firehouse located near Grove and Mercer Streets in Jersey City, New Jersey.[26] The second season relocated to the stars' actual permanent residences and began airing on January 8, 2013. This season had an expanded one-hour episode format. The March 2012 confirmation of Snooki's pregnancy raised speculation as to how the creative direction of her spin-off would be affected, as she would be unable to engage in the "hard-partying, booze-swilling" antics that had previously garnered high ratings for MTV.[27][28] The show chronicled her days in pregnancy and early years in motherhood and ran for four seasons before concluding in February 2015.

On September 4, 2013, it was announced on Good Morning America that Snooki would compete on the 17th season of Dancing with the Stars, partnered with newcomer Sasha Farber.[29] They were eliminated on October 28, 2013, coming in 8th place despite receiving good scores and comments from the judges.[30]

In early 2016, Snooki starred with her husband on the f.y.i. series Nicole & Jionni's Shore Flip. Since November 2015, Snooki has starred with Farley on the web series Snooki & Jwoww: Moms With Attitude produced by AwesomenessTV. The show wrapped its second season in late 2017. On January 28, 2016, it was announced that she would be a contestant on The New Celebrity Apprentice.[31]

Other television appearances

Snooki was a presenter at the 2010 CMT Music Awards.[32] On July 27, 2010, the cast of Jersey Shore appeared at the New York Stock Exchange, and Snooki rang the opening bell.[33] Snooki and the cast of Jersey Shore appeared at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards on September 12, 2010.[34] Snooki also appeared on TLC's Cake Boss episode "Snookie, Super Anthony & a Ship" on November 8, 2010, in which she orders a cake for her mom. On November 7, 2010, Snooki appeared at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Madrid, Spain. She was subsequently parodied in the South Park episode "It's a Jersey Thing", and is frequently parodied on Saturday Night Live by actor Bobby Moynihan.[35] She also hosted the MTV New Year's special MTV's Club New Year's Eve 2013, with Jwoww and Jeff Dye, on December 31, 2012, from Times Square, to ring in 2013.

Snooki made an appearance on the March 14, 2011, episode of WWE Monday Night Raw, where she had a segment with John Morrison, Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler. During the segment, she slapped Vickie, starting a feud with the couple. Later at night, she got into a brawl with LayCool, which led to the formation of a six-person Mixed Tag Team match at WrestleMania XXVII. Snooki made an appearance on the March 28, 2011, episode of WWE Monday Night Raw in a segment where Snooki introduces Trish Stratus to the Jersey Shore, where they started a street fight with LayCool in a bar. At Wrestlemania, Snooki and her partners Trish Stratus and John Morrison won the match.[36] On December 12, 2011, on WWE RAW, she was awarded the WWE 2011 A-Lister of the Year Slammy Award which she accepted via satellite.

Other ventures

In January 2011, Snooki's book, A Shore Thing, was released; it described her search for love on the boardwalk.[37] Despite a promotional campaign that included appearances by Snooki on The View, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and the Late Show with David Letterman, the book was not a sales success. It sold approximately 9,000 copies within its first month of release, during which it accumulated 16 one-star customer reviews on One publishing executive said the book sold poorly because "rather than a tell-all, it was disguised as a novel."[38][39]

In April 2011, Snooki was paid $32,000 to speak at Rutgers University. Topics she spoke about included what being a celebrity is like and what she thinks is important in school, including the advice: "Study hard, but party harder". Some students complained the school's money would have been better used on speakers other than Snooki. Rutgers spokesman Steve Manas responded that the extension of the invitation to Snooki resulted from canvassing by students, who indicated whom they wanted to invite. Over 1,000 people attended Snooki's engagement.[40]

On October 25, 2011, Snooki's second book, Confessions of a Guidette, was released with Gallery Books. The book was marketed as a part-memoir, part-guide of how to "rock it Jersey-style.[41][42]

Snooki's third book, Gorilla Beach, was released on May 15, 2012. It is a sequel to Snooki's first book, A Shore Thing.[43]

In January 2012, Snooki's Team Snooki Boxing co-promoted a cooperative venture with Final Round Promotions, a boxing card at Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, featuring Irish featherweight boxer Patrick Hyland fighting and winning in the main event before a capacity crowd. Hyland's two brothers Eddie and Paul, also boxers, appeared in preliminary bouts. The event attracted considerable publicity in the boxing press.[44]

Personal life

Snooki in 2018

Snooki lives in Florham Park, New Jersey.[45]

In March 2012, Snooki announced her engagement to Jionni LaValle.[3][46] Snooki gave birth to the couple's first child, Lorenzo Dominic LaValle, on August 26, 2012.[47] Snooki appeared on the front page of the March 2013 issue of Us Weekly, claiming to have lost 42 pounds post pregnancy.[48]

Her second child, Giovanna Marie LaValle, was born September 26, 2014, weighing in at 6lbs 7oz.[49] On November 29, 2014, Snooki married Jionni LaValle.[50]

In October 2016, Snooki announced she had had a breast augmentation to obtain a C cup.[51]

On November 22, 2018, she announced via her Instagram that she was expecting her third child.[52] On December 13, 2018, she revealed, via YouTube, that she would be having another boy,[53] who would be named Angelo.[54][55][56] On May 30, 2019, Snooki gave birth to her third child, Angelo James LaValle.[57]

Legal troubles

On July 30, 2010, Snooki was arrested in Seaside Heights, New Jersey for disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, and criminal annoyance of others. In a September 8 plea bargain in which the latter two charges were dropped, Judge Damian G. Murray sentenced her to a $500 fine and community service. In handing down the sentence, he characterized Snooki as "a Lindsay Lohan wannabe".[58] Her arrest was taped during production of season three of Jersey Shore.

On May 31, 2011, in Florence, Italy, Snooki was briefly taken into custody by local police after the car she was driving collided with a parked traffic police car. According to Italian police, Snooki was cited and released. Two police officers sustained minor injuries.[59]

In late 2011, Snooki sued SRG Ventures, a licensing company she had signed with a year earlier to bring out Snooki-branded merchandise such as watches, shoes, lingerie, and school supplies, for breach of contract. She alleged the company had failed to adequately seek such licensing opportunities. The company countersued, alleging she and her manager had undermined its efforts by negotiating directly with manufacturers and delaying their decisions.[60]


Year Title Role Notes
2009 Is She Really Going Out with Him? Herself Episode 14: "Jerz Pud"
2009–12 Jersey Shore Herself Main cast, 6 seasons
2010 When I Was 17 Herself Season 1, Ep. 10
2010 Cake Boss Herself Season 3, Ep. 21: "Snookie, Super Anthony & a Ship"
2011 WWE Raw/WrestleMania 27 Herself 3 episodes: Mar 14, Mar 28, Dec 12

1 match at WrestleMania: Apr 3

2011 Silent Library Herself Episode "Jersey Shore"
2012–15 Snooki & Jwoww Herself Main cast, 4 seasons
2012 The Three Stooges Herself Cameo
2012 MTV's Club New Year's Eve 2013 Herself Hosted with JWoww & Jeff Dye
2013 Movie 43 Herself Cameo
2013 MTV's ChallengeMania: Road to Rivals II Co-host Hosted with Kenny Santucci
2013 Dancing with the Stars Contestant Season 17
2014 Supernatural Herself Episode: "Blade Runners"[61]
2015–17 Snooki & Jwoww: Moms with Attitude Herself web series[62]
2016 Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry Herself Season 1, Episode 2[63]
2016 Nicole & Jionni's Shore Flip Herself Main cast[64]
2016 Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry Herself Season 2, Episode 1[65]
2017 The New Celebrity Apprentice Contestant Season 8; finished in 13th place
2018–present Jersey Shore: Family Vacation Herself Main (seasons 1-3, 5–), Recurring (season 4)
2018 Celebrity Fear Factor Contestant [episode needed]
2018–19 How Far Is Tattoo Far? Host 2 seasons
2019 Hollywood Medium whit Tyler Henry Herself Season 4, Episode 5[66]
2020 Ridiculousness Herself Season 16, Episode 28
2020 Celebrity Family Feud Herself Season 7, Episode 4
2021 Floribama Shore Herself Season 4, Episode 14 & 15, Hosted with JWoww[67]
2021 Cribs Herself Guest
2021–22 Messyness Host Main[68]
2023 All Star Shore Narrator Season 2
2024 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Herself Guest, Season 11, Episode 5

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Result
2010 Teen Choice Awards "Choice TV: Female Reality/Variety Star" Nominated
2011 Teen Choice Awards "Choice TV: Female Reality/Variety Star" Nominated
2011 WWE Slammy Awards "A-Lister of the Year"[69] Won
2013 Razzie Awards "Worst Screen Couple" (shared with any combination of two cast members from Jersey Shore)[70] Nominated


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External links