Jerry Springer: Wikis


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Jerry Springer

Jerry Springer while giving a speech at Emory University.

In office
Preceded by Jim Luken
Succeeded by Bobbie L. Sterne

Born February 13, 1944 (1944-02-13) (age 66)
Highgate, London, England
Birth name Gerald Norman Springer
Nationality American[1]
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Micki Velton (since 1973)
Alma mater Tulane University, Northwestern University
Occupation Former politician, talk show presenter
Religion Judaism

Gerald Norman "Jerry" Springer (born February 13, 1944) is a British-born American television presenter, best known as host of the tabloid talk show The Jerry Springer Show since its debut in 1991. He is a former Democratic mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio,[2] a former newsreader and a musician.


Early life

Springer was born in Highgate in London, England, United Kingdom.[3] His parents, Margo (a bank clerk) and Richard Springer (owner of a shoe shop[4]), were Jewish refugees who escaped Germany (from the city of Neustettin, now Szczecinek, Poland).[5][6] In January 1949, Springer emigrated with his parents to the United States, settling in Kew Gardens, Queens, New York. He and his sister Evelyn were raised in a small four-room apartment. One of his earliest memories about current events was when he was 12 and watching the Democratic convention on television where he saw, and was impressed by John F. Kennedy. (Powers and Johnson, 1998; also, Waldman, 2006) He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Tulane University in 1965, majoring in political science.[7] He earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Northwestern University in 1968.[5][8]

Springer became a political campaign aide to Robert F. Kennedy.[8] After Kennedy's assassination, he joined the Cincinnati law firm of Frost & Jacobs, now Frost Brown Todd.

Political career

In 1970, Springer ran for Congress. He failed to unseat incumbent Republican Donald D. Clancy, but garnered 45% of the vote. He had previously spearheaded the effort to lower the voting age, including testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of ratification of the 26th Amendment.

Springer was elected to the Cincinnati city council in 1971.[8] He considered resigning in 1974 after admitting to hiring a prostitute.[8] The episode was uncovered when a police raid on a Fort Wright, Kentucky "massage parlor" unearthed a check Springer had written for its "services". Springer came clean at a press conference. His honesty helped him win back his seat in 1975. In 1977, he was chosen to serve one year as mayor by the City Council.

In 1982, Springer sought the Democratic nomination for governor of Ohio. TV commercials for Springer's campaign referenced his use of a check to pay a prostitute, saying that he wasn't afraid of the truth "even if it hurts".[9] He failed to win the Democratic party's nomination, and his political career was put on hold. Springer considered running for the United States Senate in 2003,[10] but backed down due to negative affiliations with The Jerry Springer Show.[11]

Politics to journalism

Springer's broadcast career started while he was still mayor of Cincinnati, with album-oriented rock radio station WEBN FM, which was noted for its laid-back and irreverent radio format. The station featured commentaries by Springer under the banner "The Springer Memorandum." The popularity of these commentaries helped launch his broadcasting career.

Springer was hired as a political reporter and commentator on Cincinnati's NBC affiliate, WLWT, which had, at the time, the lowest-rated news program. Later, having been named primary news anchor and Managing Editor, he needed a broadcast "catch phrase" in the model of other great newsmen. With the help of some others at WLWT, he created his signature line: "Take care of yourself, and each other." Within two years he was Cincinnati's number one news anchor, along with partner Norma Rashid, and for five years, the most popular one in the city,[8] garnering ten local Emmy Awards for his nightly commentaries. It was a position he held until January 1993.

Springer's commentaries on WLWT were frequently satirized by Cincinnati radio personality Gary Burbank.

In 1997, the Chicago-based NBC-owned station WMAQ hired Springer to serve as a news commentator. However, this proved to be unpopular among viewers, as it resulted in the resignation of Ron Magers and long-time news anchor Carol Marin. After performing only two commentaries, Springer resigned as commentator.[12][13]

The Jerry Springer Show

The Jerry Springer Show debuted on September 30, 1991. It was developed by WLWT-TV to replace its Phil Donahue Show (coincidentally, the style that Springer was in was similar to Phil Donahue, and both were produced by Multimedia Entertainment). It started as a politically-oriented talk show, a longer version of Springer's commentaries. Guests included Oliver North and Jesse Jackson, and topics included homelessness and gun politics.

In the spring of 1994, Springer and his new producer, Richard Dominick, revamped the format of the show in order to garner higher ratings. The show became more and more successful as it became more and more lowbrow, with an emphasis on infidelity. Its guests were typically lower class, minimally-educated, blue collar people confronted on a television stage with a spouse or family member's adultery, homosexuality, prostitution, transvestism, hate group membership, or other controversial situations. These confrontations often led to shouting, profanities, chair-throwing, fist-fights, and removal of clothing. Female guests also receive 'Jerry Beads' for exposing their breasts to the studio audience, in the style of Mardi Gras revelers. The show garnered huge ratings, and lots of attention. By 1998, it was even beating Oprah Winfrey in many cities, and was reaching more than 6.7 million viewers. (Waxman, 1998)

On July 10, 2002, the sons of guest Nancy Campbell-Panitz - who was murdered by her ex-husband after they appeared on a May 2000 episode with his girlfriend - filed suit in Sarasota County against Springer, his producers, and his distributor, claiming he created "a mood that led to murder."[14]

In 2005, a UK version was shown on ITV1 entitled The Springer Show. It beat its talk-show rival Trisha Goddard five to one in the ratings, despite it being a subdued and more tongue-in-cheek version of the U.S. show.[15]

The VH1 "celebreality" series The Springer Hustle, which took a look at how The Jerry Springer Show is produced, premiered in April 2007.[16]


Springer hosted America's Got Talent on NBC in the U.S. for two seasons, replacing Regis Philbin,[17] before leaving to concentrate on other projects.[18]

From January 17, 2005 to December 5, 2006, Springer hosted Springer on the Radio, a liberal talk show on Cincinnati's WCKY-AM. He did the show from the Clear Channel studios in Kenwood on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and in Chicago (where his television show tapes) on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.[19] Air America Radio syndicated the program for most of the show's run.

In the UK, Springer has hosted The Wright Stuff and 2001's Greed on the UK's Five network as well as 2007's Nothing But the Truth, the UK version of Nada más que la verdad. He also had a late-night talk show. On April 16, 2006, Springer was the guest host for the opening show for the third series of The Friday Night Project for Channel 4 and guest hosted Have I Got News for You on December 12, 2008. Springer has also co-presented UK daytime programme This Morning on ITV. In 2009, Springer appeared as a guest on the long running British game show Countdown and hosted Miss Universe 2008. He was also the guest host for WWE Raw on February 15, 2010 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.


Springer portrayed his own talk show host character in the 1998 movie Ringmaster,[20] though his character's name is Jerry Farrelly. Ringmaster offers a behind-the-scenes look at would-be guests who apply to a Springer-like show. The same year, Springer also released an unrelated autobiography named Ringmaster; he claimed "I can only think of one title a year."[20]

In 1997, he appeared on an episode of the ninth season of Roseanne and on The X-Files episode "The Post-Modern Prometheus". In 1998, he voiced a cartoon version of himself in the Halloween episode of The Simpsons entitled "Starship Poopers." In 1999, he appeared in the episode Mrs. Kraft of the third season of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch with his talk show. In 2007, he appeared on episode #1301 of MADtv as himself.

Jerry Springer made a cameo appearance in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me as himself during an episode of his show featuring Dr. Evil and his estranged son Scott Evil.

In 1999 he was in an episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast.

Springer appeared in an episode of Married... with Children as The Masculine Feminist, in which he was for women getting a bowling night at a bowling alley. Al Bundy and his friends tie Springer to a chair and take over his show with a stripper who jumps up and down for the crowd's delight. He was in several episodes of George Lopez as Benny Lopez' ex-boyfriend Wayne and made a July 2007 guest appearance on Days of our Lives as "Pete," a high roller in Las Vegas who helped Nick Fallon win $50,000. On October 19, 2007, Springer made a cameo appearance on Late Night with Conan O'Brien as a "random" audience member. In June 2009 he appeared in Chicago at the Cambridge Theatre London as Billy Flynn for a short period of time, starring alongside Aoife Mulholland and Leigh Zimmerman.

Springer has been a guest in the following shows: the UK daytime programme The Paul O'Grady Show on Channel 4 on November 12, 2007, Question Time on June 19, 2008, Saturday Kitchen on June 21, 2008 along with chef Sophie Griegson and Arthur Potts Dawson, Verdict with Dan Abrams in June 2008, Whose Line is it Anyway?, The Jason Ellis Show on June 20, 2008 and Desert Island Discs on November 1, 2009

He was interviewed by satirist Chris Morris in his surreal radio series Blue Jam (Series 2, Episode 6).On January 23, 2004, Springer was featured in an episode of This American Life titled "Leaving the Fold".[21]

Springer appeared in an episode of BBC One's Television Series Who Do You Think You Are? on August 27, 2008[22] In the episode he travelled to Poland, where he discovered that his maternal grandmother had been sent to Chelmno extermination camp by the Nazis and killed. His paternal grandmother died at Theresienstadt concentration camp in what is now the Czech Republic.

Springer appeared on the Chris Moyles Show in April 2009, along with Davina McCall and Alan Carr. On May 31, 2009, Springer was a guest on the The Andrew Marr Show talking about politics and his upcoming projects.

Springer appeared on 4 music in the United Kingdom, Counting down 50 great American musicians

Other projects

In the mid-1990s, Springer recorded Dr. Talk, an album that mostly consisted of country music covers.

In the autumn of 2006, Springer was a contestant on the third season of Dancing with the Stars, with his professional dance partner, Kym Johnson. He wanted to appear on the show so he could learn the waltz for the wedding of his daughter, Katie.[19][23] Springer and Johnson were eliminated in the seventh week of competition.[24]

On May 16, 2008, Springer delivered the Northwestern University School of Law commencement address. Although many students had criticized the University's choice of speaker, he received a standing ovation from about half the audience and reviews of his speech were generally positive.[25] In a March 2009 interview on Anytime with Bob Kushell, Springer said that in his speech he talked about "the ethical judgments we all have to make in whatever business we go [into].[26]

Springer is the executive producer of The Steve Wilkos Show, which is hosted by Steve Wilkos, the long-time head of security on his own talk show.

In popular culture

A musical by Stewart Lee and Richard Thomas, Jerry Springer: The Opera, is based on his show. It first became popular at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2002 . It has since played at the Royal National Theatre in London, and London's West End before embarking on a UK Tour in 2006. It has recently opened in Chicago, in the US, and will be moving onto regional productions throughout the United States. It was also screened on BBC 2 Television, causing some controversy. The televised version is now available on DVD.

David Pannick QC appeared and won the case for BBC director-general Mark Thompson. The High Court ruled that the cult musical Jerry Springer: The Opera is not blasphemous, and Pannick stated that: "Judge Tubbs had acted within her powers and made the only decision she could lawfully have made; while religious beliefs were integral to British society, so is freedom of expression, especially to matters of social and moral importance."[27]

Springer and his television program are mentioned in Mark Knopfler's song Devil Baby and "The Joke" by the Belgian Zen Metal band Tim's Favourite. He inspired the songs "Jerry Springer" by "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Mr Springer" by Fascinating Aïdaand "Jerry Rules in the Land of the Free" by the Dutch punk band De Heideroosjes.


  1. ^ Jerry Springer (American television host) - Britannica Online Encyclopedia
  2. ^ "This American Life: 258-Leaving the Fold". 
  3. ^ Keaveny, Shaun (2009-06-11). "The Shaun Keaveny Breakfast Show"". BBC 6 Music. 
  4. ^ [ Who Do You Think You Are? Jerry Springer ] at the Internet Movie Database
  5. ^ a b Sheridan, Patricia (2007-06-11). "Patricia Sheridan's Breakfast with Jerry Springer"". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2007-06-21. 
  6. ^ "Jerry Springer Biography (1944-)". Theatre, Film, and Television Biographies. Retrieved 2008-12-13. 
  7. ^ "Springer, Gerald N." Tulane University Alumni Directory 2002, New Orleans: Tulane U. p 761
  8. ^ a b c d e Plotz, David (1998-03-22). "Jerry Springer". Slate. Retrieved 2007-06-21. 
  9. ^ Jerry Springer for Governor: a 1980 Campaign Ad YouTube
  10. ^ Korte, Gregory (2003-02-14). "Springer opens door on politics". The Cincinnati Enquirer (Gannett Company). Retrieved 2007-06-21. 
  11. ^ Horstman, Barry M (2003-08-06). "Springer's decision:No Senate run". The Cincinnati Post (E. W. Scripps Company). Archived from the original on 2005-03-09. Retrieved 2007-06-21. 
  12. ^ "Springer Quits News Show, Citing Attacks". The New York Times. May 9, 1997. Retrieved May 25, 2009. 
  13. ^ "E! Online: Jerry Springer Quits News Job.". Retrieved May 25, 2009. 
  14. ^ Note: online sources that call her "Nanny" seem to be in error. Most media reports say that her first name was Nancy. For example "Springer sued over murdered guest". BBC News. 2002-07-11. 
  15. ^ "Springer thrashing Trisha in talkshow battle". June 19, 2005. 
  16. ^ "The Springer Hustle". VH1. Retrieved 2008-12-13. 
  17. ^ NBC Universal (2007-03-05). "Popular Television Talk-Show Host Jerry Springer Named Host of NBC's 'America's Got Talent' when Hit Variety-Talent Competition Series Returns this Summer". Press release. Retrieved 2007-06-21. 
  18. ^ "Jerry Springer Out as Talent Host". Yahoo News. February 7, 2009.;_ylt=AtkPtaOCFSf7AFzkK20im8xxFb8C. 
  19. ^ a b Associated Press (2006-12-05). "Jerry Springer ends syndicated radio show". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-06-21. 
  20. ^ a b "Jerry Springer the 'Ringmaster' of his domain". CNN Showbiz Today. 1998-11-18. Retrieved 2007-06-21. 
  21. ^ "Leaving the Fold". This American Life. 2004-01-23.
  22. ^ "Jerry Springer's "Who Do You Think You Are?" Story". BBC. 2008-08-27. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  23. ^ "Fans go wild for 'Dancing' Jerry Springer". MSNBC. 2006-10-04. Retrieved 2007-06-21. 
  24. ^ "Jerry Springer Voted Off 'Dancing With the Stars'". Fox News Channel. 2006-10-26.,2933,225478,00.html. Retrieved 2007-06-21. 
  25. ^ "Springer addresses Law grads at commencement". The Daily Northwestern. 2008-05-16. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  26. ^ "Anytime with Bob Kushell feat. Jerry Springer". Anytime with Bob Kushell. 2009-03-12. No. 13, season 1.
  27. ^ ", Jerry Springer play ruled not blasphemous". 


  • Rebecca Johnson and Kathleen Powers, "Jerry Springer under Siege", Good Housekeeping, September 1998, pp. 114–119.
  • John Kieswetter. "Springer ready to take radio show national". The Cincinnati Enquirer. March 21, 2005. D1.
  • Allison J. Waldman, "American Pie: The In-Your-Face Success of 'The Jerry Springer Show'", TelevisionWeek, May 8, 2006, p. 31.
  • Sharon Waxman. "King of the Trash Heap; Jerry Springer Digs the Dirt On Television". Washington Post, January 20, 1998, p. D1.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Jim Luken
Mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio
Succeeded by
Bobbie L. Sterne
Preceded by
Regis Philbin
Host of America's Got Talent
Succeeded by
Nick Cannon
Preceded by
Vanessa Minnillo and Mario Lopez
Hosts of Miss Universe with Melanie Brown
Succeeded by
Billy Bush and Claudia Jordan


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Gerald Norman "Jerry" Springer (born February 13, 1944 in Hampstead, London) is a former Democratic mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio, United States, who now hosts a television program bearing his name, The Jerry Springer Show. He also hosts a talk radio program called Springer on the Radio on Air America Radio.


  • The GNP by itself is no mark of our national achievement. For it includes smokestacks that pollute, drugs that destroy, and ambulances which clear our highways of human wreckage. It includes a mugger's knife, a rioter's bomb, and Oswald's rifle, but if the GNP tells us all this, there is much that it does not tell us. It says nothing about the health of our families, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play.
    • from a speech given circa 1970 to citizens in Cincinatti Ohio.
    • This American Life, Ep. 258, 01/30/04, Leaving the Fold; Act One.
    • PLEASE NOTE that this quote borrows very heavily, in substance and form, from a 1968 speech by Robert F. Kennedy [1].
  • My campaign is based upon the proposition that the answers to the problems which currently plague our cities, our towns, and our homes, are not to be found in the decisions in Washington. They are instead to be found in the hearts, minds and resources of our own people here at home.
    • from a speech given circa 1970 to citizens in Cincinatti Ohio.
    • This American Life, Ep. 258, 01/30/04, Leaving the Fold; Act One.
  • Okay bear with me this'll be a little tough. You should know this isn't the first time I thought about leaving. I thought about it some twenty years ago when a check that would soon become a part of Cincinnati folklore, made me see life from the bottom. To be honest, a thought about ending it all crossed my mind, but a more reasonable alternative seemed to be 'hey how about just leaving town? Running away? Starting life over, some place else?' You see, in political terms as well as human, here in Cincinnati, I was dead. But then in the, probably, the luckiest decision I ever made, I decided 'No! I'm staying put!' I would withstand all the jokes, all the ridicule. I'd pretend it didn't hurt, and I would give every ounce of my being to Cincinnati. 'Why in time,' I was thinking, 'you'd have to like me. Or if not like me, at least respect me.' And I'd run for council even unendorsed. And I'd prove to you I could be the best public servant you ever had, or I'd die trying. Be it as a mayor, an anchor, or a commentator, whatever it took, I was determined to have you know that I was more than a check and a hooker on a one night stand. But something happened along the way. Maybe it's God's way of teaching us. I don't know, but you see? In trying to prove something to you, I learned something about me. I learned that I had fallen in love with you. With Cincinnati. With you who taught me more about life, and caring, and forgiving, and also most importantly, giving. Giving something back. Which is part of the reason... I have been... Excuse me. So sad this week. why... Why it's so hard to say goodbye. God bless you, and goodbye.
    • his final commentary at NBC's WLWT in Ohio, January 1993
    • This American Life, Ep. 258, 01/30/04, Leaving the Fold; Act One.
  • I still do politics but I do it behind the scenes now. So that's still my passion. It's what I believe most strongly in, and I love that. Do I miss being in elective politics? Sometimes. This show is fun to do, my American show, and it's obviously silly, sometimes stupid. It gives me a good living and I enjoy it but I'm not passionate about it like I am about politics.
  • Hi, do you me? My face is seen around Cincinnati constantly. But when I travel, say across state lines people don’t know me, Jerry Springer, from Jerry Ford. That’s way I carry this, the American Express Card. It’s the card that good at thousands of clubs and motels across the river. I can even get hassle free check approval. For quick and enjoyable entertainment it can’t be beat, just like me.
    • WEBN spoof ad recored by Jerry Springer
    • This American Life, Ep. 258, 01/30/04, Leaving the Fold; Act One.
  • The overarching issue, as I see it, is the elitism of America's political system; the fact that regular, ordinary Americans aren't considered in policy debates or legislation, and regularly get shafted by the powers-that-be in Washington.
  • I opposed the war in Iraq because I did not believe it was in our national security interest, and I still don't. What we did was akin to taking a baseball bat to a beehive. Our primary security threat right now is terrorism ---and by doing what we did in Iraq, we've managed to alienate a good part of the world and most of the allies whose intelligence and other help we need to combat and defeat terrorism.
  • I'm not conflicted. Because I know. There's me, and there's the show.
  • I create this persona for the show. And that's what it is. I'm an act.
  • Life is what it is, and you take what's handed, and you work as hard as you can, and hopefully you'll be successful, but I just don't spend too much time worrying about that. I do my show and I've always said it's a stupid show, and I've had a wonderful life because of it and all that, but I've never for a second thought that it's important. It's trivial. It's chewing gum. I recognize that. Once you do something that's significant in life, all this other stuff is just a way to eat.
  • The Statue of Liberty means everything. We take it for granted today. We take it for granted. Remember the Statue of Liberty stands for what America is. We as Democrats have to remind ourselves and remind the country the great principles we stand for. This is a place of protection. This is not a country of bullies. We are not an empire. We are the light. We are the Statue of Liberty.
    • Speech given January 2003.
    • This American Life, Ep. 258, 01/30/04, Leaving the Fold; Act One.
  • Showbiz is a job. I never take it too seriously. I work hard, but I never pretend it’s life or death. I’m just incredibly lucky.
    • Interview with Rebecca Hardy, Daily Mail 'Weekend' magazine, 27th June 2009
  • The bias against the show is purely elitist. We’re all like the people on the show – the difference is that some of us speak better, or were born richer. There’s nothing that happens on my show that rich people don’t experience.
    • Interview with Rebecca Hardy, Daily Mail ‘Weekend’ magazine, 27th June 2009; he commenting here on The Jerry Springer Show.

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

File:Jerry Springer at
Jerry Springer

Jerry Springer is an American talk show host. He is host for the Jerry Springer Show. Springer is also a politician. He was born in 1944 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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