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Jerry Springer dies at 79
By Matt Meyer, Adrienne Vogt and Aditi Sangal, CNN
Remembering Jerry Springer: A politician and news anchor turned "ringleader" of daytime drama
From CNN staff
Jerry Springer, the longtime TV host and former Cincinnati mayor, has died at age 79, a family spokesperson said Thursday.
“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,” Jene Galvin, a lifelong friend and spokesperson for the family, said in a statement.
Springer's work was considered by both critics and fans as emblematic of the "trash TV" genre. He said in past interviews that he had no delusions about his show, with its topics such as “Trick or Cheaters,” “Confront this Dominatrix” and “Lesbians Come Clean.”
“I think (the show is) silly, crazy and has no redeeming social value other than an hour of escapism,” he said in 2010. “There is never anything on our show that hasn’t been on the front pages of newspapers in America. The only difference is that the people on my show aren’t famous.”
“It’s a show about craziness,” he added. “I know that going in every day.”
The product of Jewish refugees who fled Nazi Germany prior to World War II, Springer made his early career as a lawyer and politician. He served on Cincinnati’s City Council in 1971 and became the city’s mayor in 1977, serving one term.
In 1982, Springer ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for Ohio governor. After that he became a news anchor at WLWT in Cincinnati.
Springer’s anchor work led to a Cincinnati-based talk show that later became the nationally syndicated, “The Jerry Springer Show.”
Sally Jessy Raphael, who shared the daytime airwaves with Springer, shares condolences
Sally Jessy Raphael, who hosted her own tabloid talk show before the rise of "The Jerry Springer Show," and later shared the daytime airwaves of the 1990s with him, expressed her condolences following his death.
"I'm extremely sad at the news of Jerry Springer's passing," Raphael wrote in a statement to CNN. "He was a bright, funny man whom I considered to be a friend. He will be missed."
"I was hired to be a ringleader of the circus," Jerry Springer once told Larry King
From CNN staff
Jerry Springer, the former Cincinnati mayor and longtime TV host whose tabloid talk show was known for outrageous arguments, joined "Larry King Live" in 1998 to talk about his role on "The Jerry Springer Show."
King asked if Springer finds it embarrassing that his mention makes people laugh.
"I've become a cliche for crazy, outrageous, on-the-edge television," Springer told King. "People know me because of the show. So, I understand whatever identity I have is because of what we put on the show. And our show is a silly, crazy, outrageous, sometimes as stupid as you can get."
He pushed back when King asked about criticism of "The Jerry Springer Show."
"In fairness, it's the number one talk show in television now. So obviously, there must be people out there that really like it. I understand that critics are very vocal. That's fine," the host said.
Springer acknowledged the show was "not mainstream" and that a show with subjects that interest him would look different.
"If I wanted to do a show for me, I would have Yogi Berra on it every day. I would have politics on every day," he said. "I was hired to be a ringleader of the circus. I am hosting a show about outrageousness."
Marlon Wayans fondly recalls appearance on "Springer Show" in the 90s as a pop culture moment
Actor Marlon Wayans — who once appeared on "The Jerry Springer Show" with his brother, Shawn, in a true snapshot of 1990s pop culture — shared warm words for the late talk show host after hearing word of his death Thursday.
"So glad we got to do this classic episode with you in Chicago," Wayans wrote in a Facebook post, including a clip from the show.
"Rest well buddy. We will all be chanting JERRY! JERRY! JERRY!" the actor added, referencing the iconic chant heard by audiences of Springer's show over the course of its more than 4,000 episodes.
In the episode featuring the Wayans brothers, the two ended up "battling over Marlon's girlfriend," as the IMDb summary recalls. The episode served as cross-promotion for the brothers' sitcom on The WB.
Jerry Springer died peacefully at his suburban Chicago home after a brief illness, his family says
From CNN's Steve Forrest
Jerry Springer "died peacefully" at his home in suburban Chicago Thursday "after a brief illness," his family 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,” said Jene Galvin, a lifelong friend and spokesperson for the family. “He’s irreplaceable and his loss hurts immensely, but memories of his intellect, heart and humor will live on.”
Springer was "an entertainment and broadcasting icon," the family said, noting career through entertainment and politics. Springer had a lengthy career in government before becoming a staple of daytime TV — he served on Cincinnati’s City Council in 1971, became the city’s mayor in 1977 and tried for the Democratic nomination for Ohio governor and lost in 1982.
The funeral and memorial plans are still being finalized. In the meantime, the family has asked those who want to remember Springer to donate to a "worthy advocacy organization" or "commit to an act of kindness to someone in need."
"As he always said, 'Take care of yourself, and each other,'" the statement added.
Springer once said he didn't mind being called the "grandfather of trash TV"
From CNN's Lisa Respers France
Jerry Springer, who died Thursday at the age of 79, presided over an outrageous slice of daytime television that was often referred to — whether lovingly by fans or derisively by critics — as "trash TV."
"The Jerry Springer Show" ended in 2018, after more than 4,000 episodes and countless think pieces about Springer’s role in the decline of culture, if not civilization.
Springer said he had no delusions about his show, with its topics such as “Trick or Cheaters,” “Confront this Dominatrix” and “Lesbians Come Clean.”
He told CNN in 2010 that he did not mind being referred to as the “grandfather of trash TV."
“It’s probably accurate. I don’t know what the award for that is, but I think it is true that we were probably one of the first shows to present some of the outrageousness we have,” he said, as “The Jerry Springer Show” celebrated its 20th anniversary on the air.
Jerry Springer, former Cincinnati mayor and talk show host, dies at 79
From CNN's Josh DuLac
Jerry Springer, the former Cincinnati mayor and longtime TV host whose tabloid talk show was known for outrageous arguments, thrown chairs and physical confrontations between sparring couples and homewreckers, has died, his agent, Bradley Singer, said Thursday.
Springer was 79 years old.
Jerry Springer had recently hosted the TV show "Judge Jerry" for 3 seasons
Veteran talk show host Jerry Springer returned to daytime TV with "Judge Jerry," and hosted it for three seasons.
The former host of “The Jerry Springer Show” inked a deal with NBC for the show, where he hosted as a judge in a courtroom. (Think “Judge Judy.”)
If you’re wondering about Springer’s legal credentials, it turns out he earned a law degree from Northwestern University in 1968. He went on to have a career in politics, including a stint as the mayor of Cincinnati, before landing his longtime talk show gig in 1991.