Even Jerry Springer Makes Fun of 'The Jerry Springer Show'

The Jerry Springer Show Jerry Springer has a startling confession of his own: The second generation of guests is starting to appear on the 20th season of his talk show.

"These people were told not to procreate," jokes the 66-year-old schlock TV legend. "We are probably the only show that grows its own guests."

Love him or hate him, there is no denying Springer's impact on American popular culture. He gave voice to men, women and those of less well-defined gender identities who had never before been seen on American television. Fans of more recent innovations in lowbrow reality entertainment such as The Jersey Shore and Keeping Up With the Kardashians owe Springer a debt of gratitude, though the popularity of these shows probably gives Springer's numerous critics another reason to hate him.

His show is a joke, one which Springer has played along with for years, but when the program first aired in 1991, Springer played it straight. Early guests included Jesse Jackson and Oliver North. After the show bombed in the ratings, producers went in a different direction, and the rest is history.

Springer understands why The Jerry Springer Show turns off many viewers: It's not his cup of tea either. "I don't watch it. ... It's not aimed at 66-year-old men," says Springer, who adds that politics remain his passion, while the talk show is "just my job."

Next Up: Politicians Who Patronize Prostitutes

Springer, whose parents fled Germany to avoid the Holocaust, was born in Great Britain and emigrated to the U.S. in 1949 at the age of 5. He grew up in Queens, New York, along with his sister. After graduating from college and law school, Springer worked on the presidential campaign of Sen. Robert Kennedy until his assassination in 1968. He then took a job with a law firm and moved to Cincinnati. Springer lost a race for Congress in 1970, but a year later was elected to Cincinnati City Council. He resigned amid scandal in 1974 after he was discovered to have patronized a prostitute because he paid her by check. But voters later forgave his indiscretion, and reelected him to City Council, which tapped him to serve as mayor for a year when he was 33.

After losing a race for governor in 1982, Springer became a television news anchor at a local NBC affiliate, where he won several local Emmys and brought the station to the tops of the ratings. His bosses at the time considered him to be an ideal replacement for the retiring Phil Donahue. At the time, Springer says, he was skeptical of the whole endeavor.

"My first contract was for six weeks," he says. "I was just assigned it as as employee."

His show has legions of detractors who accuse it of glorifying anti-social behavior. But the most common accusation against the The Jerry Springer Show is that it's fake, everything from the guests to the fist fights to the shouts of "Jerry, Jerry, Jerry." Springer, for his part, insists that the stories on the program are real.

"The behavior has existed since the beginning of time," Springer says, adding that "maybe in the beginning" the show got duped but no longer. "Now, they sign statements in front of the camera saying what they are saying is true."

Springer has not gotten politics out of his system. For a while, he hosted a talk show on the now-defunct politically liberal Air America radio network. When asked if he would ever run for office again, Springer replied "never say never," but seemed to think it unlikely. Like many people, Springer expects the Democrats to lose big this November.

Springer's Still Going Strong

Success may be Springer's best revenge against the naysayers. This fall, The Jerry Springer Show delivered its highest household ratings for a season premier week in three years. Ratings among women viewers were especially strong. The talk show host, though, isn't resting on his laurels -- or indeed, resting much at all. He has found time to record a country music record, host America's Got Talent and dabble in acting.

Even now, idle seconds are a rarity.

He tapes The Jerry Springer Show two days a week in Connecticut. Then he flies to Los Angeles to tape Baggage, a dating game show he hosts on GSN where potential couples try to guess each other's secret flaws. The irony of someone with a notorious past is not lost on Springer, who joked that his baggage would be a "steamer trunk." Then there's the America's Got Talent tour where he introduces the acts. Springer's schedule has eased somewhat now that the taping for Baggage is done, but not by much.

Springer, who has been immortalized on both The Simpsons and in Jerry Springer: The Opera, admits he is a workaholic. He says he won't have any time off until the holidays.

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Please its entertainment . Its funny and makes our own lives not so bad . Go Jerry

October 07 2010 at 10:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mr. Henson

Go Jerry, Go Jerry..Jerry!Jerry!Jerry!. How funny is his shows keeps me laughing from start to finish. Fake or real who cares when it's the one time during the day I can sit down and have a good laugh. Come on it's funny to watch to grown men, heavy weights at that, bitch slap each other when a good old cross hook would do just fine. It's funny people quit trying to be so PC and enjoy for what it is; Fake or Real? who gives a ****, hey Jerry just found out my wife is seeing a over-weight pizza boy named Lisa, can I come on the show I'm bored.

October 06 2010 at 7:09 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I know for a fact that a percentage of the people on the Springer show are actors pretending to be the people they say they are. 4 people that are personal acquaintances have appeared on the show, one of whom was on twice... each time as a different fictional person. 2 of the others were exactly what they claimed, and the last one was who she said she was, but whos real attitude toward the subject of the show was exactly the opposite of what she portrayed on the show. So enjoy the show folks, but dont believe it.

October 06 2010 at 5:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to razorwyre1's comment

Hey, if it still produces laughs for me......I'm still game.......

October 06 2010 at 7:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This second generation has joined their parents to become the faces of the tea party, the birhters, the Koran burners, and the anti-mosque folks. They go from Walmart, to the tea-party rallies and hope that one day they hit the big time--The Jerry Springer Show.

October 06 2010 at 5:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

He should have Gloria Allred on, rof. I mean come on now, how stupid does she and her client Niki think the public is. She wants us to believe Niki commited a felony (using false social security #), faces deportation (being torn from her kids and family because she wanted gas mileage??? Gloria Allred put her client in legal jeopardy and should be disbarred. As for Niki, well she's already admitted she duped Meg Whitman into thinking she was legal, why should anyone believe her now??? Especially considering how she's endangered her and her familys life with jail and deportation!!! What a joke... This should be on Jerry Springer for sure. The only think Meg Whittman did wrong was hiring Niki, believing Niki was legal when she hired her. According to Gloria and Niki, nobody should trust ANY hispanic and his/her documents!!!!

October 06 2010 at 3:42 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

he is better than the pressssssdent

October 06 2010 at 1:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love the Springer show. What's wrong with having a belly laugh once in a while seeing the consequences for people who make choices most of us dare not make??

October 05 2010 at 9:57 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Kleestard's comment

Obviously there are a lot of SAD people commenting in here...You know the ones who do not WANT to laugh, or are so miserable they want everyone else to be miserable with them.. You know what they say, "misery loves company"...Either that or some people have absolutely NO sense of humor....I mean seriously...I agree with you....I laugh a lot when I watch it...

October 06 2010 at 6:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Springer is a cross between a donkey and a horse.......

October 05 2010 at 9:33 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gunftr1's comment

A mule?

October 06 2010 at 2:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So, Jerry says politics are his passion? So, when Jerry was the Mayor of Cincinnati and he wrote personal checks as payment to prostitutes in Northern Kentucky...what was his passion? Sounds to me like his passion was...well, passion for money.

October 05 2010 at 9:19 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rlbrooks726's comment

And the problem with having a passion for money is???...Everyone makes errors in judgement, no one is perfect.....Besides, have you EVER met an honest politician anyway???

October 06 2010 at 6:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love Jerry Springer. At least his shows are true. Think it is a good way for the contestants to get it out of their systems. Helps a lot of people to work things out.

October 05 2010 at 8:43 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply