Jerry Springer, former host of “The Jerry Springer Show,” passed away at the age of 79 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. The show, known for its confrontational guests and rowdy audience, ran from 1991 to 2018 and became a cultural phenomenon. Despite criticism, Springer remained proud of his show and its impact on television.
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Longtime television personality Jerry Springer, known for his role as host of “The Jerry Springer Show,” has passed away at the age of 79. The show, which aired from 1991 to 2018, was known for its confrontational guests and rowdy audience, who often chanted “Jerry, Jerry, Jerry!” during on-set confrontations.
Springer, who was also the former mayor of Cincinnati, died from pancreatic cancer in suburban Chicago, according to his family spokesperson and longtime friend Jean Galvin.
Despite criticism from some who labeled his show as “cultural rot,” Springer remained proud of his program and its impact on television.
“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 Galvin in a statement.
“The Jerry Springer Show” became a cultural phenomenon, with its popularity rivaling that of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” during the 1990s. At the end of each episode, Springer would sign off with his catchphrase, “Take care of yourself and each other.”
Fellow daytime talk show host Maury Povich mourned Springer’s passing and called him “a unique showman.”
“I am shocked and saddened by the passing of Jerry. He was not only a colleague but a friend,” said Povich in a statement. “He was joyful, smart and, in his own way, a unique showman. I will miss him.”
Springer’s impact on daytime television and his legacy as a pioneer of confrontational programming will continue to be felt for years to come.
the journalist and Twitter influencer Yashar Ali said the weekday daytime slot Springer’s show held at the height of its popularity helped it make an indelible impression on American millennials.
“Jerry Springer wasn’t just a host,” Ali wrote on Twitter. “He was also the babysitter for many millennials who were home sick from school.”
KSI, a YouTube celebrity, said: “RIP Jerry Springer. You made my off days at school so much more entertaining.”
The show was taken off the air in 2018, years after its audience began to dwindle. Springer later hosted a courtroom show that was canceled after three seasons. From 2007 to 2008, he hosted America’s Got Talent.
Some credited his success with inspiring other critically panned ratings magnets including Real Housewives and 90-Day Fiance.
In November last year, Springer said he was “so sorry” for the cultural impact his show had at the turn of the century.
“I just apologize,” he told David Yontef, host of the Behind the Velvet Rope podcast. “What have I done? I’ve ruined the culture. I just hope hell isn’t that hot because I burn real easy. I’m very light-complected.”