Q&A: Vinny Guadagnino
If you know him from MTV’s Jersey Shore, you weren’t surprised to learn the affable Vinny Guadagnino is set to serve as celebrity guest host of Chippendales the Show at the Rio April 26 through May 26. Nicknamed the “Keto Guido,” he’s in the best shape of his life and primed to shed some clothes as part of the gig. But that’s not the only reason the reality TV favorite is a great Chippendales host. He’s been working and learning in the world of improv and sketch comedy for years and is almost as comfortable onstage as he is on camera. Guadagnino is just as excited to get to Vegas as he is for the world to see his new dating show with Jersey Shore buddy DJ Pauly D.
You’ve filmed a lot of TV in Las Vegas but what about your off-camera trips?
Those are the best ones. I’ve been more for work but whenever I’m in L.A. I like to come to Vegas because being from New York, when you’re on the West Coast you want to make the most of it. I did my birthday here in 2011, and my birthday is November 11. So I came in and I played roulette at 11:11 p.m. and I bet $1,111.
I lost. But I just wanted to be able to tell that story for the rest of my life, 11-11-11. That night was great because all my friends and family came out. What I do, I love being able to share with people. Doing Chippendales now, what I’m looking forward to most is sharing that experience with friends and family and everyone that wants to come out.
Ronnie from Jersey Shore did one night as guest host a while back. Did that influence your decision?
I think they knew of me because of that, but when they asked about the possibility, I was all about it. I always wanted to be in a Vegas show but I don’t really know what my lane is for that. What do I do? I’m not a DJ or a singer or a stand-up comedian yet. Sometimes you gotta create your own lane. This is right in my wheelhouse. I always thought Chippendales was a straight-up stripper show, but it’s not. It’s theatrical and there are mini-shows within the big show. It’s visually awesome with dancing, singing and partying, and this is perfect for me.
What do you think makes Chippendales special?
It’s the energy in the room that makes a show. You can have the best show in the world onstage but if the audience is not engaged, it’s just whatever. There probably isn’t a show with a more engaged audience than Chippendales. It’s wild.
You said you’re not a stand-up comedian yet. Is that the next step?
I’ve been doing it for eight years now, a lot of improv and sketch comedy and started to dabble in stand-up. I’ve hosted a lot of stand-up shows. It’s kind of hard for me because I’m a name already so people expect me to headline shows, but it takes 20 years for these comedians you see on TV to be that good, to get that hour. So I try to get up when I can and work on it. I’m a huge comedy nerd, I know a lot of comedians and I listen to podcasts 24 hours a day.
Your Double Shot at Love show premiered earlier this month. What was it like to team up with Pauly again for this crazy dating show?
It’s us dating 20 women at the same time, so I don’t know if that terrifies you or sounds amazing but all the images happening your head right now, that’s what the show is. Dating one woman is hard enough. It’s our own kind of weird version of The Bachelor. But everyone loves me and Pauly together, we’ve got this bromance, and this is us in our element. I think it’s what the world was looking for.