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Ringmaster (1998)

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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 ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mel Riley
Ashley Holbrook ...
Krista Tesreau ...
Dawn Maxey ...
Maximilliana ...
Jerry Giles ...
Floyd Merkel


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.

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content and language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

25 November 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jerry Springer: Ringmaster  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,344,022, 29 November 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$9,247,881, 7 February 1999
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


The trailer park folks are supposed to live in Central Florida. (Jaime Pressly passes a Tampa sign, Willie mentions that he works at the Walmart in Lakeland, etc.) But when her stepfather bails her out, he does so at the Broward County jail (written in large letters on the side of the building). Broward County is almost exactly 200 miles south of Lakeland. See more »


Troy Davenport: ...absolutely NO weapons of any kind.
Starletta: Why he look at us when he say that?
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Featured in The Ringmaster (1998) See more »


As If It Were Yesterday
Written & Performed by Joe Lervold
Courtesy of MasterSource
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User Reviews

Determined To Hate It, But Couldn't
4 February 2001 | by See all my reviews

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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