April 18, 2024

It was confirmed on Thursday that Jerry Springer, one of the world’s most famous ever chat show hosts, has died at the age of 79 and the news will come as a blow to the entire entertainment industry.

Springer’s television career was as illustrious as they come and the TV icon was famed for his hit programme, The Jerry Springer Show, which was on screens for 27 years and racked up nearly 4000 episodes.

From screaming matches to full-on fistfights, The Jerry Springer Show quickly caught the world’s attention when it first hit televisions in the early 90s.

Thanks to Springer, talkshows were no longer a slow-paced, sleepy affair. Now there was chanting, tears and bodyguards a-plenty.

Of course, the fact that Springer totally transformed the face of television wasn’t lost on him.

Speaking in 2019, the English-born star said on an episode of Good Morning Britain: ‘It [gave a platform] to the people who make up the country.

‘I think that I’m proud it turned out to be a successful show, but the show was always nothing but a circus. 

‘Up until that time television was always upper-middle class white and everyone on television reflected upper-middle class living. It really was the first time we saw a slice of the people that make up the country.’

The show’s format was simple: Springer would enter the stage and be met by a cheering crowd, quite often chanting his name.

He’d shake a few hands then introduce that day’s topic and his guests.

Popular topics were infidelity and other touchy relationship issues, meaning oftentimes guests would lash out emotionally and sometimes physically at one another, at which point Springer’s security guards would step in while the audience made a whole lot of noise in the background.

Once Springer’s guests had got everything off their chests, they’d be invited to take part in a Q&A, which normally ended up being more of an exchange of insults.

Episodes that will go down in history include Sex Worker Loses Her Teeth (a woman who says she’s a sex worker gets into a punch up and loses her dentures), Breaking the Sex Record (the episode starred a woman named Annabel Chong who had sex with 251 men in 10 hours) and Chopped Off His Own Manhood (exactly what it says on the tin).

One thing’s for sure: Springer will be remembered as a cultural icon, not only for his TV work, but also for his time as the mayor of Cincinnati, not to mention his endeavours as a lawyer and an award-winning newscaster.

Springer’s colourful political career saw him become Robert F. Kennedy’s campaign adviser before he ran for Congress himself in 1970.

He also landed a role on Broadway, hosted podcasts, wrote books and even competed on Dancing with the Stars.

What’s more, Springer held a degree in political science from Tulane University and also earned a law degree from Northwestern University.

In 1971, Springer turned to local government and won a seat on the Cincinnati City Council. By 33, he was the city’s mayor.

His career as an anchor kicked off in 1982 when Springer signed with WLWT and his popular segments soon earned him loyal fans.

Over the course of his time covering news at WLWT, Springer racked up an impressive eight regional Emmys.

By 1991, he’d been offered his very own talk show and by 1998 was no longer a regional name, but one of America’s most popular commentators.

Between January 1998 and May 1999, Springer surpassed The Oprah Winfrey Show’s highest household rating.

Before long, Springer had his very own Madame Tussauds statue and had even featured in an episode of The Simpsons.

His career had well and truly gone stratospheric, and Springer not only made an appearance in Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me but was listed by Barbara Walters as one of her 10 Most Fascinating People.

In 2019, Springer launched his new show, Judge Jerry, in which he took on real-life small-claims disputes, hearing cases and rendering verdicts.

A family spokesperson confirmed on Thursday that Springer had been diagnosed with cancer a few months ago and that the star took a turn for the worse and died at his home in Chicago.

They said in a statement: ‘Jerry’s ability to connect with people was at the heart of his success in everything he tried whether that was politics, broadcasting or just joking with people on the street who wanted a photo or a word.

‘He’s irreplaceable and his loss hurts immensely, but memories of his intellect, heart and humour will live on.’

Springer – whose last TV appearance came when he was The Beetle on the last season of The Masked Singer – is survived by his daughter, Katie Springer, and sister Evelyn.

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