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Maury
MauryLogo.JPG
Maury logo used since 2009
Format Talk show
Created by Maury Povich
Presented by Maury Povich
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 2,900+
Production
Location(s) Hotel Pennsylvania
New York City
(1991-2009)
Stamford Media Center
Stamford, Connecticut
(2009-present)
Running time 60 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel Syndication
Original run October 14, 1991 – present
External links
Official website

Maury (formerly known as The Maury Povich Show) is a syndicated American television show hosted by Maury Povich. The show was created along the same lines as The Jerry Springer Show with the exception of the subject matter Maury discusses. Although Maury is similar to Springer, Povich discourages actual onstage physical confrontations, although he does seem to encourage verbal aggression among his guests. The majority of the show's episodes deals with issues of teenage pregnancy, sexual infidelity, paternity test results, unusual illnesses or makeovers, or "out of control" teenagers. Other issues discussed are disturbing moments caught on video tape, whether or not a person is a transgender man or woman, obese babies, little people, or unusual phobias such as a fear of cottonballs or pickles.

When the show first went on the air in 1991, the show was called The Maury Povich Show and was produced by MoPo Productions in association with Paramount Television. The show was revamped in the late-1990s as Maury, adopting its most recent name in 1998, when Studios USA (now NBC Universal) took over production. However, MoPo continues to co-produce with NBC Universal. Maury was taped in New York City for its first eighteen seasons; the current nineteenth season is taping at the Stamford Media Center in Stamford, Connecticut.[1] Maury is one of four NBC Universal syndicated properties to make the move to Connecticut, joining the former Chicago-based Springer and Steve Wilkos shows, which are taping at the same theater as Jerry Springer.

The newest season of Maury began airing on September 14, 2009.

On November 5, 2009, The Maury Show was officially renewed through at least the 2012 season. [2]

Contents

Common show themes

The Maury Show often revolves around a mother trying to prove or disprove her child's parentage through paternity tests. In fact, Maury popularized the catchphrase 'you are NOT the father' as the preferred method of revealing negative DNA results of paternity tests.

Who's My Baby Daddy?

This type of episode is the most common theme in the last several years. A mother will bring her husband or boyfriend onto the show after the male has denied fathering the child. While the male is backstage, the female will describe how he does not provide any emotional or financial support for her baby, and, often crying, will describe to Maury (more than often called "Murry" by the guest) how she is hurt that the man she once loved could deny their beautiful child and how she struggles to raise the baby without help. As in the infidelity episodes, a pre-recorded message from the male will be played, in which he explains why he does not believe that he is the father, giving reasons such as "She cheated", "She never told me she was pregnant", "She told me I'm not the father", or "I can't have kids". This video is almost always very hostile toward the mother, often including multiple vulgar insults such as calling her various names (e.g. "slut") to imply that the child could belong to virtually any male. Sometimes, the male is accompanied by his current lover or family member.

The wronged woman often discusses how she should be going to her prom and having fun and instead she is having to work to buy diapers, because he won't provide money for them.

The woman often cites as proof that the man is the baby daddy by declaring that "he signed the birth certificate."

After the video, with the female often further enraged or upset, the male will walk onto the set; he will usually be booed loudly by the audience even though he has not yet been proven to be the father of the child. The male will typically react in a "you-don't-know-me" mannerism, showing confidence that he is not the father. A picture of the baby juxtaposed with a picture of the male will appear on a video screen, to which the female will usually say how she thinks they look similar, and the male will say how they do not look alike at all. One common occurrence is that each person will claim that he or she is beyond 100% (often 200% or 1,000%) sure that the man is/is not the father, with figures sometimes reaching as high as 1,000,000% (the highest this has it gone is "infinity-plus 1 percent", in the show aired on November 20, 2007 when a participant named Natasha (surname unknown) claimed to be "infinity-plus 1" percent sure that a man was the father of her child (The DNA test then proceeded to prove her wrong). [3])

After further confrontation, and after Maury talks with both parties, he will be given a manila envelope containing the paternity test results and might say "Let's find out!", as a graphic reading "THE RESULTS ARE IN!" appears in the lower left corner of home viewers' TV screens. Maury will ask the man what he plans to do if the child is, in fact, his, and the man almost always responds by saying (often unconvincingly) that he will provide for the child in that (unlikely) case. Maury will ask, "Are you going to take care of that child/those children?" And the father will usually defiantly answer, "I take care of all my children!"

Usually when the man is shown to be the father, the woman gets up, chases the man, triumphantly declaring that she told him so and/or does the "give me yo money" dance in a very uncivil manner (including cash hand gestures). She then challenges him to follow through on his claim that he will provide support to the child; there is usually no follow-up episode to see if this actually happens, possibly due to the rather large number of cases that appear on the show monthly. Upon such confirmation, most men accept the fact that they are the father. Conversely, when the man is proven to not be the father, it is very common for him to celebrate by performing a smooth yet spontaneous dance routine onstage or by running into the audience to high-five audience members (the audience will suddenly cheer the man on, even though they have spent most of the segment violently booing him) while the woman walks or runs backstage crying, often collapsing (or sometimes even diving) to the floor in the fetal position. In such cases, the man rarely receives an apology from his accuser. Maury goes over to the woman, consoling her, saying something like "We'll help you find who the father is..." and dragging her back on stage. Meanwhile, the man is gloating to the audience about being right in a very uncivil manner. In the case of a cheating woman whose baby turns out to be the child of the cuckolded boyfriend/husband, in many cases the father is so elated that he embraces the cheating wife as if nothing were wrong about the relationship.

From time to time, the show also shows women making multiple appearances to find the father of their children. Some women have tested up to 17 men without finding the father[citation needed], while increasing their percentage of certainty with each guest. There are also variations where the man brings his current lover or a family member on the show to complain about the woman's lack of character, or two men are tested at once because either could be the father. On a rare occasion, a mother has gotten so mad that she threw a chair at Maury, thus making him angry. If the mothers are getting reckless, getting out of their seats and trying to hit the men, they may get expelled from the show.

The youngest person to get a DNA test on the show was a 12 year old girl, who tested a 13 year old boy (he was proven to not be the father). The record for most men tested for paternity on one episode by one woman was five, all of whom were proven to not be the father. Sholonda, a recurring guest on the Maury show, has given 17 men a paternity test for her daughter. She put the search on hold, but later appeared to confess to her husband that she cheated and that she didn't know if he was the father of another child (a paternity test proved him to be the father).[4]

In at least two instances, a mother has denied a claim that a certain man is the baby's father.[citation needed]

A video clip from the Maury show called "You Are Not the Father Dance" has been very popular on video-sharing websites. A man named Andrew is being tested as a potential father of a woman named Sabrina's second child. The clip starts with Sabrina saying she is "not ONE hundred, not TWO hundred, but FIVE THOUSAND percent sure." Maury then reveals that Andrew is, in fact, not the father, which causes him to jump out of his seat and start dancing onstage while Outkast's "The Way You Move" is played in the background (this was added to the video by the uploader of the original video) and convince the crowd to wave their hands like they just don't care. On one later episode, Maury acknowledged this clip had been downloaded half a million times. After the show, he mentioned that he hadn't been in contact with either Sabrina or Andrew since the show was taped.

On occasion, when it's discovered that the man in question is not the father, Maury will console the guests by telling them that he has a child who's not biologically his but whom he loves as if he were his own biological child.

Paternity Tests for Mothers Who Cheated

A woman will bring her husband or boyfriend onto the show to admit to him that she cheated on him in the past, and that their child might not actually be his. She will appear on set alone at first, with the male backstage. In these types of episodes, the male is secluded and cannot see or hear what Maury and the woman are talking about. The man was only told that his wife has brought him here to tell him a secret. However, due to Maury recently being so popular for paternity testing, one might wonder if the man finds it obvious what the secret is before being told.

The woman will talk to Maury about the "secret," and the audience will see a pre-recorded statement by the man, accompanied by heart-wrenching piano music, describing how he loves the woman very much and is shocked and hurt that she has been keeping a secret from him. The man will then walk onto the set and this time will be cheered by the audience. Maury will then tell the woman to face her husband/boyfriend, whereupon she usually makes some small talk such as "I love you.." before coming out and saying very slowly that she cheated on him and that the child might not be his. The men react in different ways, some more angrily than others, perhaps throwing the chair down and walking offstage, or just staring in awed silence. The man then consents to a paternity test, and the viewing audience rejoins the couple two days later where Maury again proclaims that "The results are in!" and reads (always according to this specific formula), "[In the case of/when it comes to] [age]-year old [childs's name], [name], you [ARE/ARE NOT] the father!" which, of course, results in various reactions. Some men will elect to care for the child even if they are not the father, whereas others will request a divorce or time to think it over. One man even slapped his wife several times after she revealed that he wasn't the father of her child.

In a number of cases, a teenager or adult will test a man who may be their long-lost father.

Family Sex Secrets Revealed

This is a category similar to mothers who cheated. It involves a guest revealing a shocking secret to his or her significant other or a family member. Maury discusses the secret with the guest while the loved one is secluded backstage and can't hear or see the show. That person then makes a recorded statement saying how he or she is shocked to be hearing a secret. He or she is then brought out from backstage to hear the secret, which results in varying reactions. One of the most common examples is a case in which a woman reveals to her sister or best friend that she's been sleeping with her man and, in some instances, may be the father of their child. Similarly, there have been men revealing that they have been sleeping with their wife or girlfriend's mother or sister. In one instance, a young woman revealed to her male cousin that she had been having a lesbian affair with his girlfriend. In another instance, a woman who suspected her boyfriend was cheating found out that he and her mother were having an affair and trying to have a baby. There have been variations of women appearing on the show again after forgiving their significant other for cheating multiple times, to reveal that they have also cheated.

Out of Control Teens

This topic involves young teenage girls between the ages of 13 and 16. The show commences with a crying mother (sometimes a father) who describes the horrible acts his/her daughter has committed, primarily using drugs, promiscuity, prostitution, having unprotected sex, shoplifting, watching pornography, gang fights, etc. The parent and Maury discuss the daughter's behaviour, while she is backstage. A pre-recorded message is then played which shows the daughter aggressively speaking to her family member. The messages are recorded before the main taping and are usually littered with censored profanity, their primary purpose being to rile up the audience as well as the concerned family member, and to brag about having sex or deny doing anything wrong, and that their mother is crazy and needs to mind her own business.

Maury then brings the teen out, and she enters stage right, getting booed by the audience (occasionally after striking a pose, assuming the audience will cheer for her). The teen will always systematically flip off and curse at the audience, the most frequently uttered phrases being "Y'all don't know me," "Don't hate!", "Y'all are haters!", "Sit down!", "Shut up!", "Get a job!", "Whatevah!" or "I'll do what I want!" The daughter walks to the center of the stage, yelling at audience members, and is then told to sit down either by Maury or the parent. A brief conversation ensues, with the parent urging the teen to quit her destructive ways and the teen being unresponsive and combative.

Children featured in these segments are usually dressed in a very minimal amount of clothing. Some of these out of control teens are trying to achieve pregnancy and will have sex as many times as they want, usually buying baby supplies to show off. Sometimes on the show they believe they are pregnant and ask for a pregnancy test, usually coming back with negative results.

This pattern then repeats as other concerned mothers introduce their out of control teens. In some shows, a lie detector test is given (see cheating section below), which, after every question, concludes in Maury holding a card saying "the lie detector test determined that's a lie," followed by a loud uproar from the audience and the teen's reaction of yelling and cursing the results. On rare occasions, the show may bring on teen parents for a paternity test, with the result always ending up negative (see paternity test section above). Some shows do not include these variations, but all episodes end with the appearance of a motivational speaker. One of these speakers includes Brenda Myers-Powell, a former prostitute who used to be like the teen girls, who tries to convince them to change their wild ways before it's too late. Another is motivational speaker (and regular guest) Duane West, who marches onto the stage as the audience applauds and as a police siren blares in the background. In the 2007/08 season, Raphael B. Johnson, another motivational speaker, joined the show. The teens will initially act defiant towards the speaker when they are told they will be going to a combination of the following for 24 hours: the Monmouth County Juvenile Correctional Facility, a boot camp, the slums, the Madison A. Daniels Funeral Home, or to take care of a real baby (baby boot camp). In early seasons, the teens used to be brought to a "half boot camp" backstage. In one episode, Steve Wilkos made a surprise appearance in the show to confront wild teenagers.

Footage is then shown of the girls entering jail (if they are sent there). They are frisked and searched, and then are brought into a room where the "hardcore female inmates" yell at the girls. The girls have mental breakdowns, and they become compliant with their superiors' commands. The show ends with a crying reunion between the mother and the daughter, with the daughter typically saying she has changed for good. Some, however may become even more out of control and even return three weeks later. Post-show updates used to be shown before the credits rolled, but this practice has ceased in recent years. If they have changed for the better, the girls may be brought back on the show in a future episode, at which time they are fully clothed in respectable clothing. Maury ends the show by saying, "Until next time, America."

One very notable example was a 15 year old girl named Victoria who claimed to have had sex more than 300 times trying to get pregnant. She was even quoted as saying "I'm a player, but that's okay, 'cuz I got it like that!" Two videos featuring her have been viewed on YouTube almost 5 million times as of March 4, 2008.[5]

Infidelity lie detector tests

A male or female guest brings his or her significant other to the show in order to settle suspicions that the other is cheating. The partner who is accusing the other appears on stage first, discussing with Maury why he or she suspects the other of cheating, and talks about the relationship, while the other is backstage. A pre-recorded video is played of the accused who denies ever cheating and is often accompanied with a very angry message and/ or a testimony to his or her love for the accuser. The accused partner then walks onto the set and is almost always booed by the audience. After a minute of small talk or arguing, Maury proclaims that the "results are in" and reads off a paper the question that the accused partner was asked (such as "Have you slept with anyone other than your girlfriend/boyfriend?"), the accused's response ("You said no"), the result of the polygraph test ("And the lie detector test determined that was a lie."), and sometimes an additional explanation ("the lie detector revealed you had sex with more than twenty women") or, if the polygraph's result is that the testee was not lying, (e.g. "And the lie detector test determined you were telling the truth") there is no additional explanation. There are times when the accused comes clean during questioning on the lie detector test (result, "You admitted to the lie detector administrator you've done so"), or will stop the test and a pre-recorded confession is shown.

In most instances, the accused partner is found to have lied about not cheating, and he or she reacts to the fact that he or she was caught in a somewhat apathetic way. The victim of the cheater usually runs backstage sobbing after the first or second result. In rare occasions, the accused will appear genuinely shocked and insist that the polygraph result is incorrect, which given the emotional nature of the questions and the generally unreliable nature of the polygraph as a "lie detector" is quite possibly true (the results are never questioned by Maury or the administrator of the test). On one occasion, a woman who was accused of cheating on her boyfriend walked off the set in rage and refused to come back to the set to hear the rest of the results after the test proved that she cheated; she even accused the producers for trying to split her family up. Sometimes, the lie detector administrator will appear and give more specific details about the results. Sometimes the accused will ask to take the test again. It is interesting to note that if the person being tested is male, he will most likely fail, whereas the females taking the test will almost always pass (females who cheat generally appear in Paternity Tests for Mothers Who Cheated episodes). In another variation on this theme, Maury will sometimes entrap the hapless males by employing "sexy decoys" who approach the suspected cheating spouse in front of hidden cameras. The suspected cheater almost always makes arrangements to meet the girls later, and some men actually begin to fondle the "sexy decoys." Some men claim that they knew that it was all a set-up but still fondled the "sexy decoys."

In February 2008, the topic received a makeover to capitalize on the Fox reality show Moment of Truth. The segment now has the accused cheater answering questions from several different categories. The accused may be asked if they still love the accuser, regret marrying the accuser (if applicable) or have lost physical attraction after the female accuser has given birth. Typical questions related to cheating are saved for the end. The lie detector may prove the accused is still in love with the accuser, but cheats on him or her.

Is This A Man or Woman

Maury exposes male-to-female (or occasionally female-to-male ) transsexuals by parading a bevy of beauties or hunks down a runway into the audience. These episodes consist almost entirely of a full hour of the audience yelling their guesses in a frenzy as Maury walks around with his microphone asking audience members individually. On one occasion an April Fools episode revealed at the end that ALL the guests were actually women. These shows tend to appear around certain holidays such as Halloween and Christmas A memorable part of these episodes is when Maury interviews a couple in the audience, when they disagree on whether they are a man or woman, Maury says "You mean to tell me that you guys came together and you cant decide who's a man or a woman?"

Disfigured people

People who look different are exposed. The deformities shown in the show may be the product of a birth defect, or the result of an assault (via battery acid, dog attack, fire, etc).

Overweight babies

In previous years, Maury has dedicated entire episodes to mothers and fathers who don't know what to do about their child (usually a toddler), who is astoundingly obese for his/her age and height. Criticism in the mainstream press, and near-constant exposure in magazines such as The National Enquirer caused Maury to impose a moratorium on such episodes, although he reintroduced the topic for shows in the 2005 and 2006 seasons. For many years, the "fat baby" topic and Maury's show were synonymous. In some cases, the mother is proud of her toddler, even bragging about the diet.

Less common themes

There are also a few less-raunchy themes that Maury explores on a recurring basis, usually on holidays.

I was Ugly... now I'm Hot!

High-school nerds and once-ugly girls reveal themselves to their one-time crushes (and occasionally, their tormentors) as hot and sexy adults. This set-up often involves the unsuspecting guest being blindfolded and subjected to a provocative dance before it is revealed who the temptress/temptor really is. Sometimes, a sex change is revealed.

Moments caught on tape

From police chases to brutal attacks caught on tape, Maury often invites hosts of investigative journalism shows or survivors of horrific events to share their stories on his show. Increasingly these segments offer voyeuristic snapshots of men fornicating with prostitutes (caught on tape), cheating spouses confronted after being caught on tape (from the show "Cheaters") and simulated footage of peeping toms. These segments are dubbed "Maury Sexposés." Much of the content is drawn from other viral video sites and presented by celebrity guests. Unfortunately the shows producers do not fully investigate the videos they present, and the conclusion of the video is incorrectly presented (a person who was injured fatally is often said to have recovered), such as a recent episode which aired an Indian man being fatally electrocuted atop a train.

Jack Hanna

Animal expert Jack Hanna comes to the show with animals.

Secret crushes

These episodes focus on people that may or may not have been obese and have secret crushes. The objects of their admiration are eventually introduced to their intended after Maury interviews them.

High school bullies

Former high school bullies are reunited with the people they victimized as teenagers. Usually, the victim was obese or "nerdy" and now has transformed into an "attractive" person. The formerly geeky woman appears on stage most often as a stripper or porn star, often with a whole new persona, including augmented breasts and assuming a stage name. If the victim is a man, he usually will be buff and attractive. He or she then goes backstage. The former bully will emerge onto stage, and Maury will question him or her about the victim, often showing a high school photo of the victim. The bully responds with sneering, laughing, or a general attitude of mocking dismay. The victim is then called back out stage, prancing out in a revealing outfit and showing off their assets. As the crowd cheers and hoots, the bully will appear shocked and sometimes displays an arrogance towards the victim. Other past reactions have been asking the victim out, complimenting them, scorning them or even kissing the victim's feet as a form of apology. A variation on this theme is transsexualism. Sometimes the victim is a transgendered male-to-female transsexual who reunites with a woman who was kind to her in high school.

Abusive Husbands & Teen Control

Women bring their abusive husbands/boyfriends on Maury's show, usually not in a confrontational manner. The women cry to Maury that they love their husbands/boyfriends and wish that they would stop beating them. Invariably the men walk onstage to the boos of the audience, yell a string of profanities, and brag about abusing their wives/girlfriends in great detail. Some of the husbands/boyfriends learn this behavior from their fathers and pass it on to their adolescent sons (maybe a younger child) to treat their wives/girlfriends the same way, causing great distress to Maury and the audience. Near the end of the show, they are yelled at by Raphael B Johnson and/or Dave Vitalli and are taken to a morgue where their wives/girlfriends await them lying in a coffin (the wives/girlfriends are acting). Most of the time, the men change their ways, but extremely rarely, they change for a short while but then start to be abusive again. There were at least two other cases where men appear on the show again having ended their abusive ways, but are now cheating. Since the 2007/08 season, the show now focuses mostly on abusive teen relationships instead.

Irrational phobias

Maury has interviewed individuals on his show who are thought to have irrational and slightly rational phobias and fears such as those of peaches, cotton balls, peanut butter, mustard, pickles, birds, or little people. The general reactions of these people even on the sight of said phobia throws them in a panic, often running all around the set while cast & crew shove the said phobia in their face. On an occasion, a female guest was so scared of mustard, she attempted to strangle a female audience member. The guests are helped by personal growth experts and life strategists Gary Coxe and motivational hypnotist Boris Cherniak.

Geek-to-chic makeovers

People are brought on to get makeovers which typically includes attire different from their normal which is considered odd or geek like, and haircuts for males with long hair. Typically the guests themselves feel no need for any change and are usually brought by a friend or family member who doesn't like their current style of dress.

Talented children

One of the least touched topics. Children from all the country who have amazing abilities (most of the time, musical) are featured. In one episode, boy band Dream Street was featured on the show.

Studios

Maury was taped at the Grand Ballroom of the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City. The studio audience obtain free tickets to the taping of Maury's program via the show's official website. Two shows are shot back-to-back and the studio audience is usually given sandwiches between the shows. The studio shared the facility in the Hotel Pennsylvania with The Sally Jesse Raphael Show until its cancellation in 2002. For many years, both shows were known to "share" audience members by shooting with adjacent schedules.

For the 2009-10 season, production was moved from New York City to Stamford, Connecticut, where the series is now taped at the Stamford Media Center, along with fellow talkers The Jerry Springer Show and The Steve Wilkos Show. Connecticut is promising 30 percent production-tax credit on annual activity and a 20 percent tax credit on infrastructure costs exceeding $1 million. Stamford has also been the longtime home of World Wrestling Entertainment, of which the wrestling angles helped inspired the crazy out of control segments of Maury, and many shows like it.

Criticism

Despite the seemingly compassionate attitude of Maury Povich toward his guests, The Maury Show is often accused by critics of exploiting dysfunctional families, minorities, and the poor, and for embracing and sensationalizing some of the worst stereotypes of American society and behavior.[citation needed] Although The Maury Show has a more serious tone and is less raunchy in nature, some critics denounce it as being even worse than other similar talk shows such as The Jerry Springer Show, due to what is perceived as an insincere sympathy for the guests and using their serious problems for the entertainment and humor of the viewing audience. Whitney Matheson wrote about the show in her USA Today column, "Povich's talk show is, without a doubt, the worst thing on television. Period. Don't be fooled by the pressed shirt and pleated khakis; Maury is miles further down the commode than Jerry Springer."[6]

References

  1. ^ Announced on air June 4, 2009
  2. ^ Breaking News -Tribune Renews NBCU’s ‘Maury,’ ‘Jerry Springer’ and ‘Steve Wilkos’ Through 2012 Broadcastingcable.com]
  3. ^ The Maury Povich Show, show aired on November 20, 2007
  4. ^ Maury "18 Tests Later! Will Maury Say "You Are the Father!"
  5. ^ YouTube - Maury Show - 15 Year Old has had sex OVER 300 Times!! YouTube
  6. ^ Matheson, Whitney (3 December 2002). "There shouldn't be a next time, America". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/life/columnist/candy/2002/2002-03-13-candy.htm. Retrieved 23 December 2009. 

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