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Most people seem to take it for granted that this show will always have
detractors and that "over-sensitive" types will never "get it." This show
wears its quite superlative title like a badge of honor and it makes
feel good to know that they like something that "elitist critics" hate.
Something that is very rarely discussed, however, is exactly why this
deserves to be called the worst show in the history of television. While I
believe there are many other shows that have done more to deserve that
appellation (The Chevy Chase Show, the Real World, Touched by an Angel,
etc.) the Jerry Springer Show is as good a choice as any given the
competition. The fact of the matter is that this wasn't always "the worst
show in the history of television," and I'll tell you why.
See, this show has had four distinct phases. In the first phase, it was a pretty regular talk show that didn't really stand out from Oprah, Maury, etc. Then it entered its glorious second phase. They started booking guests that were more -- shall we say -- interesting than what you might find on the competing talk shows. The guests and the topics were obviously different from what they had been before: bizarre love triangles involving crossdressers, Kristmas with the Klan, helping the morbidly obese, and so on and so forth. These are the ones that started the Jerry Springer myth. These are the episodes that got people talking. "Hey man, you've got to see this show." At this point, however, it still looked and felt like a normal talk show and it was conducted like one. And by that, I mean that Jerry actually tried to help his guests resolve their problems with as little heartache as possible. The man really seemed to care. He didn't treat his guests like the freaks most of us in the television viewing audience thought they were.
The third phase is where the trouble started. The producers got cocky. They finally realized how "cool" their show was and they started acting like it. They booked progressively weirder and weirder guests, with a pronounced (and often unsettling) preference for truly bizarre sexual cases. At this point, the show was no longer about conflict resolution...it was pure exhibition. Then the audience started getting in on the act. This is when the show was at the height of its popularity. It was this environment that allowed the disastrous movie "Ringmaster" to be made, not to mention the countless pay-per-view shows and the corresponding "Too Hot For TV" video cassettes. It was at the end of this era that parts of the show were more or less revealed to be fabricated. The state of Illinois told Jerry that if the physical fights on his show were real, that the people involved would have to be arrested on assault and battery charges. If the fights were staged, however, it would be a moot point and nobody could be arrested for pretending to fight. That of course begs the question "are they real or aren't they?" What a predicament; the fights were one of the reasons the show was so popular. If they were real, they would have to stop. If they were staged, they could continue, but what would be the point in watching a fake talk show? Jerry's response was calculated but revealing: "they look real to me." If you can't answer something truthfully and fully with "yes" or "no," it's a pretty good indication that you've been trapped like a rat.
So here we are now in the fourth phase of this show's existence. The show is no longer "hip" or culturally relevant. The show's producer is always seen off to the side grinning and chomping on a cigar, pushing buttons on a soundboard every four minutes. Jerry couldn't care less about the guests on his show or their problems; they're just there to be paraded around like freaks and if something happens to get worked out along the way, whatever. The guests are a fairly sad lot...they're typically presented as retarded hicks and they almost always confirm this suspicion by tearing their clothes off within twenty seconds of reaching the stage. I guess it goes without saying that most of these people are rather, uh, large individuals. There's even an attractive young lady named Angie who does pole dances before and after the commercial breaks. The worst part of this whole 'experience,' however, is the studio audience. I swear these are the rudest bunch of jackasses on the planet. They scream at the guests and belittle them and chant mindless mantras like "YOU ARE GAY! YOU ARE GAY!" or "BARK LIKE A DOG! BARK LIKE A DOG!" They sometimes stand up and challenge the guests to fights. When it comes time for the question segment at the end of the show, they either stand up and insult the guests in the meanest terms possible or they flash the camera for "jerry beads." Sometimes they do both. Anyone with a hint of a southern accent is automatically trailer trash and they hurl insults at these people simply because they know they won't be held accountable for their actions. And god help the poor soul who actually tries to ask a real question! If this is the case, the rest of the audience screams "YOU SUCK! YOU SUCK!" or "GO TO OPRAH! GO TO OPRAH!" until the offending person ashamedly sits down. Frankly, the audience members come off as even bigger freaks than the guests. All of these factors coalesce into a single train-wreck to form the backdrop for what is now called the worst show in the history of television. The content of the show has nothing at all to do with the reason it receives that title; it's the spiteful and arrogant way in which it is presented that makes the title an apt one.
1 - Always expect one person to say "We've been married for (insert
number of months/years here), but I'm here to tell you I've been
sleeping with (insert name here)".
2 - Always expect the audience to say the usual things - "JER-RY! JER-RY! JER-RY! etc.", "STEEEEEEVE!", "SIT DOWN WHORE!", "GO TO OPRAH!", "TAKE IT OFF!", "LO-SER! LO-SER!", etc, plus the usual cheers or boos or whatever.
3 - If there are any strippers on the show, always expect at least one of them to show part of their "anatomy".
4 - Always expect an audience member to "take it off" (and in episodes from 2002 onwards, expect Todd to give them some beads for that).
5 - Always expect to hear the terrible disclaimer: "Please take care of yourselves - and each other." 'Nuff said.
This crap represents everything wrong with America today. Society must be at its lowest point in existence if people can actually cheer for the immoral garbage that gets explicitly paraded as entertainment. Not to mention, the pain of others, the complications of a relationship, amplified greatly and sexed up, only to be presented to the world as nothing but unadultrated entertainment. One gets the impression that Jerry Springer is a true sadist, even if his stupid show is scripted and fake. The idea itself is bad and unethical. I don't know why the morons in the audience, although paid, have any reason to shout "Jerry!Jerry!Jerry!" when he does absolutely nothing on stage besides enjoying bleeding the masses? If America had any decency remaining in society, they would have boycotted this crap long ago. Its utterly pathetic.
Back in the early '90's, The Jerry Springer show dealt with serious
issues though not as popular as "Oprah" or "Maury", it still had its
merits. Despite this, it paled in comparison to "Geraldo" or "Donahue".
Donahue and Geraldo, on the other hand, were REAL compared to Maury.
Its unfortunate that the the quality of this show reached its peak in
the mid-90's, replaced with nothing more than sensationalism which says
a lot about our current social and political climate whom in this day
and age have been "browbeaten" and in a state of collective denial. The
media is no longer the way it was; it is controlled by those in power
with corporate and political interests. We are being fed what "they"
want us to be fed. We are being "told" what "they" want us to be told.
And its scary because the real power of this once-great nation is held
by the people(supposedly)whose freedoms and ideals that make America
the envy of the world are now being systematically eroded by what is
now "corporate America". This show is proof of that.
This show, for the most part, doesn't benefit society in any way, shape, or form and its time people realize that. There's no logic, no sense of cohesiveness to warrant this as an acceptable medium. If people keep watching this show, then it is safe to say that they are systematically under "corporate America's control".
As horrible and trashy as this show has been, it does for some reason keep me glued to the screen. What I find unique is that Jerry Springer comes across as a rather decent, clean cut, nonjudgemental person and his guests all appear as if they came out of John Waters' acting stock, both in appearance and acting. One episode I liked (as if they're not all off the wall) concerns a 400 pound prostitute on the stage, then her leathery-faced, toothless, hairbunned, long thick dress wearing old-line Pentecostal mother comes on stage to drive demons out of her. Watching this show is like watching Pink Flamingoes edited for TV.
When the "Jerry Springer Show" first aired, it was like other talk shows of the time. There wasn't anything weird or violent about the show. The topics appealed to a young audience, but on the most part it was an entertaining talk show. Around the '94/'95 season was when Jerry really let it all hang out! The guests got more bizarre, and the topics really racy. This was when all the fighting amongst the guests started, but it wasn't in every episode. It wasn't till later that fighting & swearing seemed to happen in every show, and made the show more predictable. I have always had a soft spot for this show, and Jerry Springer. He really makes me laugh! Although the his talk show isn't as shocking as in the '90s, it's still entertaining although most people will deny this fact.
Not that everything on television will be uplifting, informative, or
made for the family, but this is not so much a "show" as it is an
exhibition of the most base demoralized miscreants in our world.
If that entertains you, then more power to you. To me, it says that we have nothing whatsoever to do with our lives and/or our time, as to witness such a debacle as this. It's a sad statement of affairs that this show is even still on the air! I see no reason for this crap to be broadcast, visited, watched, or admired. With a 3/10 rating at IMDb, apparently many agree with this view, however, the ad dollars must be generating well, or it would have been axed a long time ago.
Honestly though, this doesn't even qualify as a guilty pleasure. If you enjoy watching this stuff, there's something seriously wrong with your life. Get up off the couch, turn off the TV, and go FIND ONE.
It rates a 0.1/10 from...
the Fiend :.
its been 16 years and this show is still on the air i'm amazed this has
to be the Trashiest show in TV history. What a horrible show needs to
be cancelled real fast, because it sucks.All the guests are white-trash
and are either cousins or related in some other way what a digusting
excuse for a TV show. Jerry Spinger should give up. This show did get
old real quick, In fact all talk shows are turning into this piece of
trash. Maury is going into that direction, and we all know about Rikki
Lake. They actually made a movie about this show what a waste of
Avoid this show! 1/10 and if possible -10/10
I am also wondering that if this show is real or not? All I see is prolonged arguments and people attacking each other, they could get hurt. In other talk shows, they are not like that. But this one.... is one of the worst ones ever. I really don't watch this disturbing show that much, but just a lack of it, that's it.
The Jerry Springer Show as we know it today is a big pile of horse dump
aimed at the dumbest people in the trashiest trailer parks. It once was
genuine, but the guests have been replaced by Z-grade actors who
hopelessly dribble on trying to think of something stupid to say.
Don't watch this show, an hour of your life will just pointlessly go down the drain, you'd be better of watching white noise.
I think Springer himself is really embarrassed at the turn the show has made, you can tell he just wants to get out of there and get his cheque. It's too bad this is what he'll be remembered for, because he's a smart guy.
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