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At a Glance

WHO IS SPRINGER?

Jerry Springer was born in London, England in 1944 in the midst of his family fleeing from the Holocaust. At age five, Jerry immigrated to New York City with his parents. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Tulane University in 1965, he went on to earn a law degree from Northwestern University in 1968.

His first job after college was working as one of Senator Robert F. Kennedy's presidential campaign aides. After Kennedy's death, Jerry joined a law firm in Cincinnati, Ohio and moved into the political arena himself. He was elected Cincinnati's Council-at-Large in 1971, serving five successive years. In 1977, Springer was elected Mayor of Cincinnati with the largest plurality in the city's history.

In 1982, Springer launched his career in broadcasting as a political reporter and commentator on Cincinnati's WLWT-TV. Two years later, Jerry became anchor and managing editor and was Cincinnati's number one news anchor until he relinquished the post in January of 1993. Springer received seven Emmy Awards for his nightly commentaries and was voted television's "Best Anchor" for five consecutive years by readers of "Cincinnati Magazine."

He launched the "Jerry Springer Show," a daily, one hour talk show, which premiered on September 30, 1991. Now entering its sixth season, the "Jerry Springer Show" is seen in over 150 U.S. markets and in over 30 foreign countries.

"We celebrated our 1,000th show in May of 1996," said Springer, "and I recently signed a contract to continue doing the show for another six years. I'm looking forward to celebrating show number 2000!"

--from the Jerry Springer
web site

Jerry Springer Anonymous

MICHAEL FERREIRA | Hi, My name is Mike and I'm a Jerry Springer fan.

That's the way I sometimes feel about it -- like I'm in AA or something. I watch "The Jerry Springer Show" almost every day at lunch, providing me with fresh plot-line to generously share with my co-workers.

At first I my comments were greeted by quizical looks and sarcastic remarks. Eventually, though, these were replaced with silence. Not a "caught on the edge of my seat, too caught up in the story to breathe" silence, but a silence that says "maybe if I ignore him completely he'll stop talking to me."

Watching The Jerry Springer Show is kind of like driving by an accident scene -- you just have to look, you can't help yourself. As a matter of fact, I got sucked into Jerry's world by accident.

I always leave work at lunch to eat at home. It had practically become routine: plop down on the couch, grab the remote and watch the "boob tube," as my father is fond of calling it. Boob Tube as taken to mean TV turns you into an idiot, not a giant breast -- although I suppose with the advent of Cinemax, the connotation could be changed. At first I'd flip from channel to channel aimlessly surfing until something cought my eye as I ate. Then I started watching COPS, but that got old real fast. One day I stopped breifly on The Jerry Springer Show and my life was changed forever. Now I go home at luhcn to feed my "dark habit."

The topic was "My lover hates my sexy job." The main story involved something called "butt bowling," so I had to watch -- curiosity, if nothing else, dictates that. I needed to know what "butt bowling" was. I had to know what "butt bowling" was. If I didn't it would eat at me all day long and I wouldnt get any work done at all. Beside, my co-workers would love to talk about "butt bowling" when I got back (who wouldn't?).

"Butt bowling," as it turned out, involves oiling up a naked or scantily clad woman's rear and then propelling her down an equally slick Slip and Slide -- fun the wole family can enjoy. Ever since that fateful afternoon I've been addicted. I'm so hooked that if I miss my daily Jerry fix, I have to catch The Jenny Jones Show just to get by.

There is a reason why college kids, along with millions of non-students, are glued to the television every afteroon -- it's the same reason people listen to Howard Stern on the radio -- love Ćem or hate Ćem, you want to know what happens next.

Now the first thing you have to understand is that every guest on the show is disfunctional. There are three major catagories of guests: Rednecks, Sluts and Freaks. There is are crossovers: Redneck Sluts, Slutty Freaks, but never Redneck Freaks, those are mutually exclusive. Quite often -- all right almost always -- the show revolves around sex.

My favorite episode involves a 77-year-old woman, who is old enough to be her husband's grandmother, and her battle to keep his ex-girlfriend out of the picture. She strutted around the stage like a proud, wrinkled Venus. Other outstanding episodes involved lesbian sisters who sleep together, a sister sleeping with her sibling's husband, and a woman who wants to marry her step-son on the show. They're all gems.

The great thing about the show, especially watching over my noontime meal, is the built-in excitement warning system. The second a fight breaks out the chant goes out, "Jerry, Jerry, Jerry!" As soon as one of day's guests starts taking off her clothes it begins again, "Jerry, Jerry, Jerry." That's my cue to hustle into the room to see what's going on. Of course everything risqué is blurred. At times the editing bleeps last so long that you can't follow the conversations. But you deal with that, because when the shoes start flying, things are just getting started. Nothing is more entertaining than a couple of 300-plus pound women fighting over a guy with six teeth. They charge at each other like a couple of pissed off rhinos looking to seriously maim one another. And Jerry lets it happen -- at least the first time. The show actually has bouncers to try to keep the guests in check.

Most people laugh when I tell them I watch "Springer" every afternoon. The hecklers are people who have never seen it. Fellow addicts swap stories of their favorite episodes. It's a tie that binds and holds forever. There's a certian comraderee that I feel towards fellow Jerry fans. We may not be using our time in the most productive manner, but at least we're enjoying ourselves. Besides if you can't laugh at a couple of rednecks fighting over a man with no job, a rat tail and less than half a mouth full of teeth, who can you laugh at.

I may be a Jerry addict, but at least I have one thing to be thankful for (and many of my co-workers who scoff at my Jerry stories can not honestly make this claim) I was never a Vanilla Ice fan.

"Next on Springer: My boss loves Vanilla Ice, so I torched his office."

JERRY SPRINGER:deconstructive element or quality entertainment?
Send your thoughts to us: kridolfi@renaissancemag.com


        

MICHAEL FERREIRA of Marlboro, MA, is a contibuting arts and entertainment writer for Renaissance Online Magazine.



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