I hear Jersey Shore starts again tonight. I've never seen it and I have a feeling it would just make me mad (other shows that fall under this category: any of The Real Housewives shows, Toddlers and Tiaras, I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant). But you'd have to be living in a pop culture cave to not know who Snooki and The Situation are. Many Jerseyans are mad that this group has been chosen to represent their state and I can't say I blame them. After all, there are plenty of totally respectable people from the Garden State too. Here are 10 of them.
1. Buzz Aldrin.
Born in Glen Ridge, Buzz graduated from Montclair High School. Tom Cruise also spent several years in Glen Ridge and graduated from high school there.
2. Count Basie
. Basie was born in Red Bank. Also hailing from there? Sebastian Bach. Maybe the two cancel each other out.
3. Abbott AND Costello
. Bud Abbott was born in town Springsteen made famous - Asbury Park. His parents worked for Barnum and Bailey Circus, so it's only natural that he ended showbiz. Lou Costello was born about 60 miles away in Paterson, but the two didn't meet until they were both working at the Eltinge Burlesque Theater in NYC.
4. Thomas Edison.
But you already knew that the Wizard of Menlo Park took up residence in, well, Menlo Park. He ended up moving to West Orange in 1886 and died there in 1931. He's buried there too, in case you're interested in visiting. Menlo Park was renamed Edison, N.J., in 1954. Let's see Snooki achieve that!
5. Alfred Kinsey.
Hoboken isn't just home to Frank Sinatra, although he's probably the most famous resident of the town. Kinsey was born there and went to school at Columbia High School.
6. Philip Roth.
author was from Newark - as are many of his characters. If you ever want to know more about Mr. Roth's Jersey upbringing, just pick up some of his books - they have a lot of autobiographical elements to them.
7. Meryl Streep.
She was born in Summit, N.J., but grew up in Bernardsville. Hey, she should get together with the next person on our list and have a
8. Jack Nicholson.
He grew up in Neptune City and went to nearby Manasquan High School. And unlike a lot of other celebs, Nicholson actually attends his high school reunions! In 2004, he showed up to his 50-year reunion with his aunt Lorraine. Another fun tidbit he was friends with Danny Devito, who also grew up in Neptune City. They had relatives who ran a hair salon together.
9. Carl Sagan.
Carl wasn't born in New Jersey, but he grew up there and graduated from Rahway High School.
10. Samuel Alito.
Supreme Court Justice Alito hails from Hamilton Township, N.J., and stayed a Jersey Boy when he went to Princeton, graduating in 1972. Up until his Supreme Court appointment, he continued to live in New Jersey - West Caldwell, to be exact.
Any other famous Jerseyans (Jerseyites? I've seen it both ways) you'd like to claim? And how do you feel about Jersey Shore?