'The Jerry Springer Show': The 20 Wildest Moments From 20 Years
by Kim Potts, posted Oct 27th 2010 2:10PM
TV Guide voted it the "Worst TV Show Ever." The show's own tagline was once, "An hour of your life you'll never get back." Whatever description you want to slap on 'The Jerry Springer Show,' you can't deny that the guy, and the scummy, scummy show, has longevity. And, if we're all being honest, we have to admit we've chuckled at an episode or two.
Today's 'Springer Takes Times Square' installment (check local listings for time and channel) of the daytime series finds Jerry -- and a round-up of celebs that includes Kathy Griffin, Perez Hilton, Maury Povich, the women of 'The View' and Rachael Ray -- celebrating 20 years on the air ... 20 freakin' years.
From the dude who married his horse and the woman who slept with more than 200 men in less than a day to the scores of 'Jerry' guests who've gotten freaky with their relatives and the even larger group who've necessitated that the Springer show have a sizable budget for guest dental work, we've combed through the 'Jerry' archives to recall 20 of the wildest moments in the show's history ... enjoy(?).
1. 'Hands Down, Our Best Show'
The wild and wacky moment: Even the 'Springer Show' is above using a title so literally ... "hands down" wouldn't really refer to a woman with a prosthetic arm, would it? If you're truly surprised by that, you're in for a doozy when we get to the 'I Married a Horse' episode. Yes, this installment really did revolve around Trudy, a woman who was being dumped by her jackass of a boyfriend because, as he explained, she didn't make enough of an effort to look attractive. "You leave your arm half all the time," David said. "You only put it on when your friends are around." If you're wondering why Trudy didn't just take her arm off and wing it at him, well, we direct you to the 2:55 mark in the clip below.
2. My Sister Is Sleeping With My Dad'
The wild and wacky moment: Christina is upset, because, "Jerry, my sister is dating my father." In sister Tammy and father Donnie's defense, Donnie is her Tammy's stepfather. We know, still icky. And it gets even ickier when Donnie drops to his knee and proposes to his stepkid, not only because she's his stepkid, but also because he's still technically married to Christina and Tammy's mom. Donnie does take the time to point out that even he has a floor: "Believe me, I don't live in a trailer park," he tells Jerry. Yeah, 'cuz that would be trashy.
3. 'My Husband Left Me For His Sister'
The wild and wacky moment: Charlie, a deaf stripper, tells Jerry that her husband has left her, after they were evicted from their home (because she didn't make enough money stripping and he, of course, has no job), and now lives with his sister, who, Charlie's been told, he is also having sex with. The really, really crazy part: Charlie wants her cheatin', incest-perpetrating hubby back, because it's not his fault: his sister, she claims, brainwashed him ... into incest.
4. 'A Very Klan Christmas!'
The wild and crazy moment: Jerry's old nemesis, KKK member J.D. Alder, returns to celebrate the holiday, and what does he have in tow: A new trainee (dressed in a swastika-covered Santa suit) to share his evil-mongering, and a Christmas tree, a white Christmas tree, adorned with a big red swastika. Jerry's reason for having the tools on the show: "So the whole world can see how absurd your philosophy is," he tells them. Good point, Jerry, though it certainly didn't make the buffoons any easier to suffer.
5. 'The Mole People'
The wild and wacky moment: Jerry goes without an audience for this episode, in which he and the cameras take a tour of Bernard's living quarters. Who's Bernard? A "mole person," one of those people, who some write off as an urban legend, who lives in a series of tunnels beneath the New York City train system. Bernard lives, specifically, in a tunnel under Central park, where he sleeps, cooks, cleans (very infrequently by the looks of things, as Jerry points out), brings dates and yes, goes to the bathroom. Also unlike most other 'Springer' eps, the episode isn't outrageous because of any guest shenanigans, it's shocking because it's real. Allegedly.
6. 'Mom, Will You Marry Me?'
The wild and wacky moment: "If your wedding plans include a stop at 'The Jerry Springer Show,' there's trouble brewing," says Jerry in an intro to this episode, which revolves around a wedding in which the father of the groom and the ex-husband of the bride are the same person ... yes, dude's trying to marry his mama. Okay, so she's his stepmama, his ex-stepmama at that, and the whole affair leads to a Springer-esque food fight, but there's an extra little bit of creepiness in this one: Even though marrieds-to-be Brian and Brenda are stepson and stepmom, they look alike ...
7. 'My Day as a Dog'
The wild and wacky moment: "A lot of women keep their men on a short leash, but not a lot of men drink right from the toilet," Jerry says of another episode in which the episode title turns out to be a literal explanation of what we're about to see. Chris crawls around on all fours, inside and out, scratching doors, being led around by his hair, barking, pretending to hike his leg to take a pee around the bushes, and he reveals that living a dog's life is his own private fetish. Well, it was private, before he took it to the 'Springer' show, of course. And before he told girlfriend Chrissie, who doesn't take the news well, especially after finding out that Chris hires a dominatrix to help him carry out his doggie delusions. "You lick her feet and then kiss me?!" Chrissie asks, shortly before Chris' dominatrix takes the stage and orders him to crawl through the audience to find another woman whose toes he can lick.
8. 'I'm Pregnant By My Brother'
The wild and wacky moment: After finding her long-lost father, Heather also found love ... with her half-brother. Not stepbrother ... half-brother; they share the same dad. They're also about to share a baby, because brother David has gotten Heather preggers, even though she's not in love with him anymore, and has moved on to another guy: David's big brother George, who, refreshingly, isn't a blood relative of Heather's, because he's adopted (and, P.S., bears more than a passing resemblance to one Dwight Schrute). The kicker to the whole drama: Babydaddy-to-be David is practically a baby himself, as he's just 16.
9. 'I Slept With 251 Men in 10 Hours'
The wild and wacky moment: Annabel Chong, a USC student and porn star, wanted to set the world record for the most sex partners in a one-day period, and proudly proclaimed to have done so in this 'Springer' installment, one of her big interviews after her infamous stunt. Tidbits: It was later revealed she didn't have sex with 251 men, but around 70 men, several of them multiple times, for 10 hours; and, after a documentary about her exploits became a Sundance hit, "Annabel" retired and resumed her real identity, Grace Quek, who is now living as a Web developer in California. Also, her record has since been broken.
10. 'I Cut Off My Manhood'
The wild and wacky moment: Men and women alike had to be squirming during this episode, from the shot of Jerry holding up a pair of huge gardening shears -- identical to the ones a man named Earl Zea used to cut off his own penis -- to the news footage that describes why he did it (he thought it would deter the unwanted attention he says he was getting from a gay man). And then there was the interview with Earl himself, who claimed Ronnie, the other man, had been stalking him for years, though Ronnie claimed he had had a five-year affair with Zea. Among the super icky details: Zea, who had planned his self-surgery by icing down his genitals and preparing a tourniquet, flushed his appendage down the toilet.
11. 'I'm Happy I Cut Off My Legs'
The wild and wacky moment: Then there was Sandra, the transsexual who cut off her own legs, with a power saw, which Jerry also happily displayed before introducing her story. To say Sandra has issues is, obviously, a massive understatement, but that doesn't prevent old Jer from joshing with her, like when he asks her whether or not she's seeing a psychiatrist after cutting her legs off because she "just didn't want them." Sandra says yes, in fact, she's seeing two psychiatrists. "One for each leg?" Jerry asks.
12. 'Kung-Fu Hillbilly'
The wild and wacky moment: This is the story of David, the titular kung-fu hillbilly, who takes care of his brother, Lil' Wayne (no, not that one). In return, David asks just one thing: That Wayne's girlfriend, Ashley, allow David to pimp her out as a hooker, with even Wayne being asked to pay for having sex with his own girlfriend. After all, David points out, keeping Wayne in bologna sandwiches isn't cheap, so the least he can do is pay David to have sex with Ashley. Jerry tries to tell David it might be easier if Wayne just bought his bologna sandwiches himself, but after doing two million shows that are variations on this basic theme, you'd think Jerry would have realized the futility of trying to come between a man, his brother and his brother's bologna. David would later return to the show in the cleverly titled 'The Return of the Kung-Fu Hillbilly,' in which he mumbled that Ashley had fallen in love with him after getting a glimpse of his homemade kung-fu video.
13. 'I'm Having Sex With Your Sisters'
The wild and wacky moment: The wackiest thing about this show isn't that a man is fooling around with, and impregnating, multiple sisters -- Jerry can knock those kind of stories out before the first commercial break. But in this episode, a tomcattin' man named Lamont is apparently so busy creeping around a group of sisters that he can't even remember the details well enough to 1) explain them coherently and 2) keep them straight enough to continue perpetuating his lies to the women. That brings a 'Jerry' producer to the stage, as she has to remind Lamont of his many misdeeds. And, because this is the 'Springer Show,' we shouldn't be surprised to find that Jerry's producer comes out in a pantsuit, with a belly-baring shirt underneath.
14. 'I'm Marrying My Sister'
The wild and wacky moment: Mario found love and made a family, and now he's come to 'The Jerry Springer Show' because he wants to make the whole thing legal with a wedding. The glitch: Mario's fiancé/babymama is also his sister. Not a step ... his half-sister, who, a second Mario sister, Otisha, points out, already shares his last name. Otisha isn't happy about Mario's marriage plans, even though he tells her, "You just can't kick love to the curb." But the real money quote came when Mario told Jerry how Otisha informed him of what he was doing with his sibling, Octavia (who he didn't grow up with, hence the fact that they were initially strangers): "And then my sister said, 'Hey, you know that's your sister?'"
15. 'Fateful Love Triangles'
The wild and wacky moment: Love triangles? Please! See the story above about the woman who had sex with at least 70 dudes in one day ... a triangle is nothing on the 'Springer Show.' But one particular trio on this episode did introduce us to the grandly-proportioned Mike, a man whose philosophy is, "the bigger the man, the bigger the lovin'." In Mike's case, it also means "the bigger the man boobs," as Mike whips his shirt off to reveal a shockingly large set of moobs, which he then proceeds to show off even further by taking a whirl around Jerry's stripper pole. It's a disturbing, disturbing sight, one that makes you wish Kramer and Frank Costanza really had produced a "manssiere," or "bro," after that famous 'Seinfeld' episode.
16. 'Jerry and the Vampire'
The wild and wacky moment: Jerry nearly singlehandedly wiped out the vampire craze with this show, in which he introduced us to Zach, a self-proclaimed teen vampire who drinks blood, has had his teeth shaped into fangs and, oh yeah, travelled to the show in a coffin (you know, the whole thing with vampires and avoiding daylight). Unfortunately, Zach hasn't been modeling himself after the hot vamps from 'True Blood' or 'The Vampire Diaries' or 'Twilight'; he's sporting a distractingly doofy haircut that's more reminiscent of Alfalfa than R. Patz. But he has managed to land himself a lady, Amanda, who, despite the fact that they meant in a graveyard, is not happy that her man is a vamp. Which, in no small part, is because Zach has "brainwashed" Amanda's friend Reba into living a vampy lifestyle, too, including allowing Zach to drink her blood every two weeks.
17. 'Grandma Gets Her Jerry Beads'
The wild and wacky moment: The act by which one obtains "Jerry beads" is similar to how one gets beads during Mardi Gras, which means a flashing of the breasts. On this particular occasion, the bead procurer is a 65-year-old Jewish grandmother, who, after telling the women on Jerry's stage that they need to "put some class in their a**," then proceeds to flash her boobs, several times, while dancing around and running onto the stage herself. Oh, bubbe!
18. 'Attack of the Ex-Lovers'
The wild and wacky moment: Kim and Shelly are fighting over Kim's husband, Jerry, who, Kim says, is constantly getting calls from his ex, Shelly, who wants to continue having sex with Jerry. Standard 'Springer' fare, of course, though it turns into one of the show's all-time best (worst?) catfights when Kim and Shelly go at it again and again. Hint: They both have long hair, though not quite as much as they once did by the time they leave the show.
19. 'Heartbreaking Secrets'
The wild and wacky moment: Say what you will about Jerry -- and plenty of people, including Jerry himself, have -- but long before Oprah was doing shows about men living on the down low, Jerry was providing his guests with a safe forum, well, a forum, to reveal secrets to their loved ones. Like John, who fell in love with a woman and had a child with her, but has brought her to the 'Springer Show' to tell her that he's just realized he's gay. And that he's also in love with another man. LaQueesha, John's babymama, does not take the news well, and both John and his boyfriend, Corey, feel the brunt of LaQueesha's anger, and her fist, as John tells her he still wants to marry her. Adding to the wackiness of this episode: the sound effects guy, who drops in strange noises whenever John says something remotely risqué.
20. 'I Married a Horse'
The wild and wacky moment: Here it is, the granddaddy of all 'Springer Show' episodes, which, obviously, is saying a lot. In this classic installment, we meet Mark, who has pledged his undying love to a horse, who he makes out with on the 'Springer' stage. With tongue. And no, "horse" is not a nasty euphemism for an unattractive woman; Mark is into his horse, Pixel, an actual equine, who he admits to having sex with. And Mark and Pixel are just one of several bestiality-themed "love" stories in the 'I Married a Horse' episode, a 'Jerry Springer Show' episode that was so shocking and distasteful that many stations that carry Jerry's show refused to air it. It also, of course, truly sealed what has been the former mayor of Cincinnati's profitable, long-lasting, but absolutely "gar-on-teed" (as Kung-Fu Hillbilly would say) trip straight to the netherlands of Hell someday.
What wild and wacky Jerry Springer moments are your favorites?