Thursday, April 27, 2023

Jerry Springer Has Passed

Jerry Springer has passed after keeping a cancer diagnosis private. He was 79. I wrote a retrospective back in 2018, when, "The Jerry Springer Show," officially ended. I discussed its impact on American culture and how edgy it seemed at the time. It made it apparent that even if you thought most people were, "Normal," that actually many of folks had kinks. In some ways, it contributed to normalizing frank discussion of sexuality. It also didn't get enough credit as a show for--as I discussed in my old post, It, "...spotlit things people didn't want to talk about that needed to be addressed. America's hidden little corners of Neo-Nazism and White Supremacy were covered by the program, with Jerry Springer himself almost once physically fighting a guest who made a disgusting comment about Springer's relatives who died in the Holocaust. Back before this current era where these people now sadly feel safe to emerge and spread hate, we needed a program like, 'The Jerry Springer,' show of all possible programs to shine a bright light on these horrible hateful groups and expose them for the morons they were." Sometimes the show was funny, sometimes it was shocking, and it was always engaging to some degree for the long period of time it ran (almost three decades). 

Springer wasn't just his show though. He worked for Robert F. Kennedy in his youth, served in political office himself (he was mayor of Cincinnati), and was an all-around smart and nice guy who at one point had a show he would readily admit was quite silly but also entertaining. Springer and the outrage he managed to cause in the 1990s almost seems quaint now compared to what pops up on television shows and social media streams. In some ways, he captured lightning in a bottle and managed to make himself a pop-culture mainstay for a whole generation that grew up watching him (even if many parents tried to forbid their children/teens from tuning in). Jerry Springer was someone who made an impact on society thanks to an, "Unapologetically brash," show and general playful attitude about life. He always told us, "Take care of yourself and each other." It still is some great advice from a man who oversaw a show all about people making bad decisions.