Jerry Springer stars as more or less himself, the host of a raunchy, controversial and popular Los Angeles talk show which features everyday people with problems and who frequently vent ...
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Jerry Springer stars as more or less himself, the host of a raunchy, controversial and popular Los Angeles talk show which features everyday people with problems and who frequently vent their problems on the air. A new group of guests are flown in for one show who include white trailer trash from Sarasota FL; Connie, whose current husband has cheated on her with her nymphomaniac teenage daughter, Angel, for which Connie has gotten revenge by having sex with Angel's fiance; and from Detroit, black trash Starletta, whose boyfriend, Damone, has slept with all of her girlfriends. Soon the paths of all of these parties cross which leads to more sex, arguments, physical violence, and Jerry sweating out just another day.
Legal stipulations prevented the production from using the name of Jerry Springer (1991) in the film. Hence, here it's called "The Jerry Show". See more »
Connie's shirt that she gets Jerry to sign and the one that she wears in later scenes is different. Jerry signs "To Connie Thanks Love Jerry" and the shirt that she wears says "To Connie Thanks Jerry." See more »
It would seem that all those people who are bashing this film so gleefully are being less than honest, as it is in fact capably made, generally well acted (Springer himself wisely opts for a mild, secondary role) and at times achieves a surprising poignancy. Based on the few clips I've seen over the years, I have nothing but contempt for the infamous talk show itself, but it is clear that the folks behind this project had a threefold objective: 1. to defend and explain the show's appeal 2. to probe the mentality and motivations of a typical guest and 3. to still deliver the kind of sleaze and silliness the show's fans have come to expect. Amazingly enough, the movie basically connects on all three levels.
What is most surprising about "Ringmaster" is the amount of compassion it has for its (at heart) extremely sad, lonely characters - where a guest spot on Springer's show will be, for most of them, the absolute pinnacle of their abysmal lives. The movie also argues that, whatever else you might think of them, these people have guts, they're fighters - they won't be doormats for anyone. The best performances are given by Jaime Pressly and Wendy Robinson, both of whom throw themselves into their roles with complete and often hilarious abandon. Their profanity-laced tirades are, frankly, very funny and very um, "vivid". (Especially Robinson's "Linda Blair" comment.) Sleazy and trashy, to be sure, but smarter than you'd think and maintains a narrative drive all the way through - unlike so many other TV shows turned into films. With the show's popularity on the wane by now, this represents a more lasting monument, if defaced and defiled, of the whole Springer sensation.
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