Jerry Springer Reflects On His Scandalous Talk Show: "I've Ruined the Culture"
Jerry Springer may have had one of the most successful runs in talk show history, but even he realizes his show was the embodiment of trash TV.
Probably the most notable figure in daytime television, Springer sat down with David Yontef's "Behind the Velvet Rope" podcast recently, where he admitted that his wildly popular show was indeed harmful. Springer may be considered a pioneer of reality television, but this is not something he is proud of. Instead, the 78-year-old is remorseful for being the face of a talk show that covered the most absurd guests and topics.
"I just apologize. I'm so sorry. What have I done? I've ruined the culture," he told Yontef.
"The Jerry Springer Show" debuted September 30th, 1991. Among some of the most outrageous guests are Annabel Chong, a sex worker who slept with a record 251 men in 10 hours, and a man named Earl, who purposely sliced off his penis. However, these visitors were saints compared to the thousands of strippers, white supremacists, and couples who revealed shocking secrets to one another before a live studio audience. By 1999, "The Jerry Springer Show" had beat out "The Oprah Winfrey Show" for the number one talk show spot.
Despite the success, Springer, a former Cincinnati mayor, says he knows he will pay for his entertainment career in the next life.
"I just hope hell isn't that hot because I burn real easy. I'm very light-complected, and that kind of worries me," he joked during the podcast.
After his show ended in 2018, Springer landed another television show, "Judge Jerry," that placed him in the courtroom to mediate the issues of ludicrous plaintiffs. While the show did attract his day-one fans, it only lasted three seasons. Today, Springer is the host of "The Jerry Springer Podcast: Tales, Tunes, and Tomfoolery" and leads a much quieter life, though his reign in television remains unmatched.
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