Snooki & Joey

Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi started out as a pretty polarizing figure among folks in New Jersey when she made her debut in 2009 on MTV’s mega-hit reality show “Jersey Shore.” From the first episode Polizzi was a breakout star, but her wild partying, in-your-face style and drunken antics (along with the fact that she was not from New Jersey) rubbed a lot of locals the wrong way.

But over the last 11 years, Snooki has grown up quite a bit. Her days in the bars are for the most part behind her and after recently announcing her departure from the Jersey Shore reboot “Jersey Shore: Family Vacation” the old Snooki may be a thing of the past. Though she still enjoys a few drinks once in a while, today Polizzi is a mother of three and co-host (alongside her makeup artist and best friend Joey Camasta) of the podcast “It’s Happening with Snooki & Joey,” The pair heads to Harrah’s Resort at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25. We had a chance to chat with both Snooki and Joey in advance of the show. Here’s what they had to say.

A.C. Weekly: So tell us a little about the show you guys are doing in A.C. What can fans expect?

Snooki: Well, we just finished our show last night and we are hung over! But it’s basically our live podcast that we do onstage. So we talk about celeb gossip, we talk about our lives, we do a little history of our friendship and in A.C. We do a Q&A and a fun little dating show with Joey. It’s a performance!

Joey: It’s almost like having the best night out with your girlfriends ever. It’s the funnest night you will have out in a long time. We get everyone involved, we ask questions to the audience, so it’s very interactive. Its actually me and Nicole onstage talking like we normally do as best friends. To me it’s like when you were a kid and you would do a show at home for your parents in the living room. It’s very comfortable and fun.

ACW: Going back to the early days, when Jersey Shore first started did you have any idea that this would turn into an actual career for you?

S: Of course not. I always knew that I wanted to be on a reality show, but more of something like “The Real World” where you go, you have fun and then you get back to your life. At the time I was in school studying to be a vet tech and I was really excited to be working with animals, becauise my goal in life was to save animals, because I like animals better than people. But then the show happened.

ACW: You recently left “Jersey Shore: Family Vacation” because you said the lifestyle wasn’t for you anymore. Do you ever look back at the old footage and cringe?

S: It’s definitely cringe-worthy. It’s like watching your high school drunk moments. It’s embarrassing, but it is what it is and I had a good time doing it and now the show isn’t what it was and it’s just not something I want to do anymore, so I had to do a little career move. I can’t go for days without seeing my kids just for the show, it just doesn’t work anymore.

ACW: You have done TV, written books, performed live. What is next for you?

S: Well, our podcast tour is definitely my priority right now and it’s hopefully going to be a long term thing. We are only doing this month now, but I think we are going to add more dates soon. So I’m doing that now and I’m also working on launching my first baby line of strollers, high chairs and diaper bags.

ACW: Have you gotten sick of the “Snooki” nickname?

S: It’s my brand so I’m used to it. I feel like everyone knows that name, but when people talk to me one on one they call me Nicole. They get it.

ACW: Any plans to go out in A.C. while you are in town?

S: Yeah! After our show I will be doing an appearance at The Pool, so all the fans can come there and hang out, have drinks and dance. We are going to make a night of it!