You’ll Mind: Shore’s Real Life Is Lackluster

Add another name to the list of once-top-of-mind celebrities whose exploits are being chronicled by reality-TV cameras: Pauly Shore, the “wease” of late ’80s and early ’90s MTV: Music Television and cheesy movie fame.

Even at his career’s height, more than a few found Shore hard to take. And while he’s not so manic in Minding the Store — where he’s charged with helping to turn around the flagging fortunes of his mom’s landmark comedy club, Los Angeles’ The Comedy Store — it’s clear that his actual personality is just a (very) toned-down version of that persona.

To wit: In the first episode, “Hot Girls,” Pauly searches for a way to put some spice into his mother’s moribund “theme nights.” He come up with an idea after watching a 1980s vintage Girls of The Comedy Store videocassette: “Hot Girls of The Comedy Store.”

Next, Pauly is off to a radio station to drum up contestants and then holds club auditions, only to find out, as some of his comic friends have warned, that “hot girls aren’t funny.” There are a few cringe-worthy standup moments, yet they’re the episode’s sole highlights.

The second installment hits a new low, in terms of celebrity self-indulgence. In Austin, Texas, for a standup stint, Pauly again is faced with girl trouble — apparently, he’s having sex with too many groupies while out on the road.

Sex therapist Dr. Pat Allen convinces Pauly to make a contract with himself not to sleep with anyone while on the trip. His problem — he’s also using it to bond with his dad, comedian Sammy Shore, who’s inviting would-be groupies backstage after the show.

And the secondary plot in the second episode — in which Pauly’s buddies Marc Hatchell and Dean Gelber travel around L.A. searching for the perfect food to serve in the kitchen-free club — tries too hard and falls flat.

That’s the main problem. Shore in real life isn’t really all that interesting: He doesn’t party like he did in his MTV-fueled heyday, and aside from his persistent girl-craziness, he’s not all that different from your average late-thirties single guy.

In the press materials, Shore concedes as much, likening his life to a Seinfeldian farce in which he plays the straight man. But there are no Cosmo Kramers among Pauly’s real-life compadres to make his world imitate such high comedic art. The end result: Minding the Store is a rather pedestrian reality effort.

Minding the Store begins Sunday, July 17, at 10 p.m. on TBS.

Michael Demenchuk

Mike Demenchuk has served as content manager of Broadcasting+Cable and Multichannel News since 2016. After stints as reporter and editor at Adweek, The Bond Buyer and local papers in New Jersey, he joined the staff of Multichannel News in 1999 as assistant managing editor and has served as the cable trade publication's managing editor since 2005. He edits copy and writes headlines for both the print magazine and website, wrangles the occasional e-newsletter and reviews TV shows from time to time. He's also the guy to bother with your guest blog, Fates & Fortunes and Freeze Frame submissions.