Jerry Springer is a great guy, despite what many think about his “contribution to society” – The Jerry Springer Show. Ask anyone about Jerry and most will say: “What a waste of television air time!” Openly admitting one’s passion for the show immediately assigns that person to the shallow end of the gene pool. So most follow the admission with: “It cracks me up that people are so…backward.”
Whatever. There is a reason the show is still cranking out new episodes after 21-years. More oft than not, the same people who typically roll their eyes upon mention of Jerry’s name still have trouble turning away when a 400-pound woman attacks her 98-pound boyfriend with a crescent wrench in front of a studio audience. It’s pure, 21st century P.T. Barnum; a freak show that appeals to our lowest common denominator, and Jerry Springer has made a fortune exploiting the primal thrill of watching human train wrecks.
But over the past several years, we’ve started to see Jerry in different contexts – hosting America’s Got Talent, as a guest on Dancing with the Stars, and for some, as a host for The Price is Right, Live! If we’ve learned anything about the man, it’s that he’s consistent and very self-aware. The man likes to laugh, especially at himself; but he is a skilled “instigator” through decades of practice.
When I first met Jerry at rehearsal for “The Price is Right, Live!” at the Welk Resort in Branson, the executive producer of the show took one look at my shirt and said: “That’s the largest Polo logo I think I’ve ever seen.” When I described that my wife had recently purchased the shirt for me, Jerry jumped right in: “Was she mad at you?”
When he talks about his show, it always starts with an apology. “In fact,” he’ll say, “after 40-years of marriage I still can’t bring myself to tell my wife what I do. She thinks I sell insurance.” If one isn’t careful, after just a few minutes of corny puns, self-deprecation and several I’m an idiot‘s, the true Springer-loather may actually find the man endearing. Seriously.
Check him out for yourself as Jerry hosts three more shows with The Price is Right, Live! at the Welk Resort Theater in Branson, June 6th, 7th and 8th. The show continues through November with a cast of revolving hosts including Todd Newton, Mark L. Walberg and David Ruprecht. For those who haven’t been following along, I am the announcer for the Branson show.
Oh…and for the die-hard Jerry Springer fan who knows all of the classic episodes: Jerry told me that Mark and Pixel (the man and the horse he married) are actually from the Ozarks, and he’s terrified that they may actually attend one of the shows.