‘Jerry! Jerry!’ times 20

NEW YORK — Thanks to Jerry Springer, the idea of a midget standing on a table to start a food fight or passionately kissing her sister on a daytime TV show doesn’t seem so shocking anymore.

Springer’s theater of the absurd is like video wallpaper now, as he celebrates his 20th season on the air Wednesday with an episode filmed in New York’s Times Square that plays back some of the memorable wig-pulling, chin-smacking and turkey-tossing moments of the past.

“It’s become an institution,” Bill Carroll, an analyst of television’s syndication market for Katz Television, said.

Springer’s show doesn’t get high ratings, not like in the early 1990s when he briefly challenged “The Oprah Winfrey Show” for supremacy. But it is a dependable performer, Carroll said, and owner NBC Universal said this week it had already sold the show to stations in key markets such as New York and Los Angeles through mid-2014.

“I don’t watch the show, but it’s not aimed at 66-year-old men,” Springer said. “If I were in college, I would watch. I enjoy doing it. It’s a lot of fun.”

Springer infrequently stands on his show’s stage, usually prowling with a microphone among audience members and acting like a ringmaster for themed programs such as “Wives Battle Mistresses,” “Midget Holiday Hell” and “Guess What? I’m a Man!” Transsexuals revealing their “secret” to dating partners, love triangles and romantic betrayals are frequent topics, designed to deliver an onstage moment of shock.

Former U.S. Education Secretary William Bennett called talk show hosts like Springer “perpetrators of cultural rot,” in a 1995 news conference aimed at cleaning up daytime TV where he was joined by U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn. Now Springer films his episodes in a production facility in Lieberman’s hometown of Stamford, Conn.

Politicians have largely moved on from Springer. (Representatives for Bennett and Lieberman did not immediately return calls for comment.)

“They don’t have to say to their guests, ‘Be outrageous,'” Katz said. “They all come to the show, they’ve all grown up with the show. They know what their role is. The more outrageous, the more memorable. For some folks, it’s reality television and for some folks, it’s comedic. It has developed its own genre.”

Many of the stations that air Springer pair his show with others hosted by Steve Wilkos, a former Springer security guard, and the colorful Maury Povich, he said.

Springer, a former mayor of Cincinnati, was a local news anchor in the same city when his station’s parent company assigned him to host a new talk show. The first episode aired in September 1991.

At first, it was conventional, chasing after the same audience of middle-aged women that Oprah Winfrey owned. Springer said he made his only substantive decision on the show’s future: go young.

“We decided to have young people on the stage, young people in the audience and young subject matter,” he said. “Well, young people are much more open about their lives. They’re much wilder, and that’s when the show started to go crazy.”

For the first fight — an audience member rushing the stage to confront a Ku Klux Klan member — Springer didn’t even have security guards. He worried the show would be in trouble. It wasn’t.

When the show’s rights were first bought out, “they said from now on we’re only allowed to do crazy,” Springer said.

“The culture of television changed,” he said. “The world didn’t change. There’s nothing that’s ever been on any of our shows that a grownup didn’t know existed. There’s nothing shocking in the show. What was shocking was that we had never seen it on television before.”

Some of the show’s participants have had legal issues: A German man was convicted of beating his ex-wife to death shortly after appearing on a show titled “Secret Mistresses.” Another man was arrested in 2007 for violating a restraining order against his ex-wife after he proposed to her on Springer’s show. A teenager accused of sexually abusing his 8-year-old sister in 1998 claimed he got the idea from watching a Springer show about incest.

People are more accustomed, in these days of reality television, to being entertained by real people instead of actors. That was still a novel concept when Springer’s show started rolling.

Offstage, he seems to take his show and its content even less seriously than he does on the air.

“I’m hired to do a show about crazy, so I can’t then say, ‘I don’t want to do crazy,'” he said. “I know if I go to work I see crazy. If I go home, hopefully I don’t see crazy.”

ad-high_impact_4
News
Mojave Poppy Bees
Male Mojave poppy bees exhibit territorial fighting behavior. The Center for Biological Diversity wants the bee, found only in Clark County, to be added to the endangered species list. (Zach Portman/University of Minnesota Department of Entomology)
Clark County Schools announce random searches
Clark County School District middle and high school students will be subject to random searches for weapons under a new initiative to combat the wave of guns found on campus. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss React to Dennis Hof's Death
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss speak about their friend and prominent brothel owner Dennis Hof's death at Dennis Hof's Love Ranch. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof has died
Nevada brothel owner and Republican candidate for Nevada State Assembly District 36, Dennis Hof has died. He was 72. Nye County Sherriff's office confirmed. Hof owned Love Ranch brothel, located in Crystal, Nevada.
Las Vegas police investigate suspicious package at shopping center
Las Vegas police evacuated a southeast valley shopping center at Flamingo and Sandhill roads early Tuesday morning while they investigated reports of a suspicious package. (Max Michor/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Las Vegas Metro hosts the K-9 Trials
The Las Vegas Metro K-9 Trials returns to the Orleans Arena to benefit the Friends For Las Vegas Police K-9 group.
Kingman residents love their little town
Residents of Kingman, Ariz. talk about how they ended up living in the Route 66 town, and what they love about their quiet community. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Service at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery
Twelve unclaimed veterans are honored at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City in Oct. 9, 2018. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas house prices reach highest level in 11 years
Las Vegas house prices are rising But so is the amount of available homes on the market Still, properties priced below $300,000 are selling fast And September was the first time since June 2007 that the median house price reached the $300,000 mark Las Vegas home prices have been rising at one of the fastest rates in the country over the past year Recent data show the market is now less affordable than the national average
National Night Out
About 100 Summerlin residents gathered at Park Centre Dr. in Summerlin on Tuesday for National Night Out. Lt. Joshua Bitsko with Las Vegas Metro, played with 3-year-old David who was dressed as a police officer. Face painting, fire truck tours and more kept kids busy as parents roamed behind them. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rural homeless issue comes to a head in Pahrump
On Sept. 12, Pahrump sheriff deputies told residents of a homeless encampment on private property that they had 15 minutes to vacate and grab their belongings. That decision might face some legal consequences. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remembrance blood drive on October 1
A blood drive was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center on the one year anniversary of the Oct. 1 shooting. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remembrance Lights memorial unveiled at St. Rose hospital
A dedication ceremony was held at St. Rose to unveil a memorial and to read the names of those who died on October 1, a year ago. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
1October Blood Drive Remembrance Wall
(Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
1October Blood Drive
Vitalent hosts a blood drive at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Monday, Oct. 1, 2018, the first anniversary of the Las Vegas shootings. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
1October sunrise remembrance ceremony in Las Vegas
Myanda Smith, sister of Las Vegas shooting victim Neysa Tonks, speaks at the sunrise remembrance ceremony at the Clark County Government Center in downtown Las Vegas, Monday, Oct. 1, 2018. (Chitose Suzuki/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
‪Gov. Brian Sandoval speaks to crowd at Oct. 1 sunrise remembrance ceremony ‬
‪Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval speaks to the crowd at the Oct. 1 sunrise remembrance ceremony ‬at the Clark County Government Center in downtown Las Vegas, Monday, Oct. 1, 2018. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Father of Route 91 Harvest festival shooting victim talks about college scholarship in his daughter's memory
Chris Davis, father of a Route 91 Harvest festival shooting victim, Neysa Tonks, talks about a college scholarship in his daughter's memory to assist the children of those who died in the shooting. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Oct. 1 survivor Malinda Baldridge talks about life after the shooting
Malinda Baldridge of Reno attended the Route 91 Harvest festival with her daughter, Breanna, 17, and was shot twice in the leg when the gunman fired on the crowd.
Route 91 survivor talks about lack of progress in gun legislation
Heather Gooze, a Route 91 survivor, talks about lack of progress in gun legislation since the Oct 1. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas/Review-Journal) @reviewjournal
Review held in death of man after encounter with Las Vegas police
The mother of Tashii Brown, who died after an encounter with Las Vegas police on the Strip, not satisfied after public review of evidence. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County Museum opening "How We Mourned: Selected Artifacts from the October 1 Memorials"
The Clark County Museum is opening an exhibit "How We Mourned: Selected Artifacts from the October 1 Memorials" of items left to honor the victims killed in the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Memorial service for former RJ lawyer Mark Hinueber
Mark Hinueber, the Review-Journal's former lawyer and defender of the First Amendment, died in Las Vegas on Aug. 23. Hinueber, who was 66, worked at the RJ and other newspapers for 42 years. On Saturday, his friends and family gathered for a memorial service.
Army veteran honored in Henderson event
Army Sgt. Adam Poppenhouse was honored by fellow veterans in an event hosted by a One Hero at a Time at the Henderson Events Center.
Michelle Obama and Keegan-Michael Key urge Nevadans to vote
Former first lady Michelle Obama and comedian Keegan-Michael Key urged Nevadans to vote at Chaparral High School in Las Vegas Sunday, Sep. 23, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
1 dead, 1 wounded in North Las Vegas standoff
A woman was hospitalized with serious injuries on Thursday morning after being shot inside a North Las Vegas house. Police responded about 11 p.m. to a shooting at a home on the 5600 block of Tropic Breeze Street, near Ann Road and Bruce Street. The wounded woman, police believe, was shot by a man, who later barricaded himself inside the house. SWAT was called to assist, and when officers entered the house, they discovered the man dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Las Vegas Teen Makes Clothing Resale His Side Hustle
Las Vegas resident Reanu Elises, 18, started buying and selling streetwear online when he was a high school junior. Like many other young adults, the world of online resale applications like Depop and Mercari have made selling clothing online for a profit easy. Now, Elises spends his free time at thrift shops looking for rare and vintage clothing he can list on his on his shop. Now in his freshman year at UNLV as a business marketing major, Elises hopes to open a shop of his own one day and start his own clothing brand. He estimates that he's made about $1000 from just thrifted finds in the past year, which he'll use to buy more thrift clothing and help pay for expenses in college. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
Fruition Vineyards Encourages Young Entrepreneurs to "Buy, Flip, Dream"
Once a month, young adults gather at Fruition Vineyards on South Maryland Parkway near UNLV to dig through a stack of rare, vintage and designer clothing that's marked down well below it's resale value. Shop founder Valerie Julian began the vent, dubbed "Fruition Vineyards" in August after running her streetwear shop since 2005. The event gives young entrepreneurs the opportunity to "buy, flip, dream" according to Jean. Meaning that they're encouraged to buy the clothing for sale and find a way to resell it for a profit, then reinvest that into whatever dream they pursue: college, a hobby or their own resale business. Shoppers lined up starting an hour before noon on the last Saturday in April for the opportunity and spoke about what they hoped to do with their finds and profits. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
Local man goes under cover searching for answers to homelessness
Licensed mental health therapist Sheldon Jacobs spent 48 hours under cover posing as a homeless man in an attempt to gain perspective on the complex issue.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like