FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Drivers along U.S. 1 in South Florida may have done a double-take this week when they recognized a man holding a yellow sign, trying to entice them to check out a Halloween Megastore in Fort Lauderdale.
“I hope nobody finds out I do this. They would bust my chops‚” Merk laughed inside the store last week as he greeted a mother and son and pointed them toward the boys' costume section.
Merk, 40, still runs the Shore Store on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, but every autumn he heads to South Florida to help his brother run the seasonal Halloween pop-up shops, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
Merk admits he gets some sidelong glances from customers who recognize him but are not sure who is he.
“Yeah, they give me this odd look like, ‘What are you doing in a Halloween store?’” Merk told the newspaper.“Or if I’m on an airplane, ‘Oh, I know this guy from somewhere.’ It’s very cool.”
Merk said his family has been running the Halloween stores for 15 years and own 12 outlets in Florida. He also said he still owns the house where the cast members lived."Jersey Shore" chronicled the spats, hookups and friendships of cast members like Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino.
Merk was an unofficial cast member of the show from 2009 to 2012 and said he still keeps up the "Jersey Shore" crew.
"We all are still very tight. Everyone thinks it's just the cast, but there are 100 people behind the scenes that are so cool and nice," Merk told the Sun-Sentinel. "We always see each other."
Merk, briefly appeared in the show's reboot, "Jersey Shore: Family Vacation," which has been filmed in Miami Beach and also had scenes shot in New Jersey and Las Vegas, the newspaper reported.
Even though there was plenty of tension among his employees, Merk said the "Jersey Shore" cast was easy to work with.
Most of them, anyway.
© 2020 Cox Media Group