Jerry Springer: Era-Defining TV Host Dies at 79

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Springer’s longtime friend Gene Calvin described him as “irrepressible”.

Jerry Springer, best known for his raucous television talk shows, has died at the age of 79.

The controversial host hosted The Jerry Springer Show for nearly three decades, beginning in 1991.

Springer died peacefully at his home in Chicago on Thursday, his publicist confirmed to BBC News.

In a statement, Gene Calvin, Springer’s friend and family spokesman, described him as “unrelatable.”

“Jerry’s ability to connect with people was at the heart of his success in everything he attempted, whether it was politics, broadcasting or bantering with people on the street who wanted a photo or a word,” he said.

“He was irreplaceable and his loss is deeply saddened, but memories of his wit, heart and humor will live on.”

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Springer recently appeared as Beatle in the American version of The Masked Singer

Springer’s chat show became a symbol of low-brow television with its on-air spats, swearing and infidelity revelations.

Prior to his broadcasting career, which included roles as a political reporter and commentator, Springer was the mayor of Cincinnati and a political campaign adviser to Robert F. Kennedy.

Last October, Springer starred in the American version of The Masked Singer – one of his final television appearances.

Springer was born in Highgate, London, in 1944 to Jewish refugees from a part of Germany that is now part of Poland.

Launched in 1991, The Jerry Springer Show began life as a casual talk show, focusing on social issues and American politics, hosted by the then mild-mannered Springer.

But in an effort to boost ratings, Springer changed things up dramatically a few years later, focusing on pricey and outrageous content.

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The Jerry Springer Show was known for its portrayal of dysfunctional families

In most episodes, the guests came to talk about family problems and expose adultery and other transgressions.

Springer reportedly would try to mediate, but the meetings often ended in fistfights, with guests held back by security guards.

In the late 1990s, the show topped daytime television ratings in the US, beating even Oprah. Its run ended in 2018.

From 2007 to 2008, Springer hosted America’s Got Talent, and in recent years he hosted the courtroom show Judge Jerry.

Political commentator David Axelrod said: “Jerry Springer will be remembered as an embarrassing, tabloid-style TV show ringmaster.

“But I’ve met him before, when he was mayor and in my race as an insurgent progressive candidate for governor of Ohio. He’s funny, articulate and fierce.”

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