Howard and Robin Remember Politician, TV Personality, and Stern Show Guest Jerry Springer

“Hopefully somewhere now in heaven all of the angels are chanting [‘Jerry! Jerry!’]” Howard says

May 9, 2023

Howard and co-host Robin Quivers shared heartfelt final thoughts Tuesday morning on the life and legacy of politician, TV personality, and repeat Stern Show guest Jerry Springer, who late last month lost a battle to pancreatic cancer at the age of 79. While Springer’s TV career included hosting three Miss World pageants and participating on hit competition series like “America’s Got Talent,” “The Masked Singer,” and “Dancing With the Stars,” he was best known as for his long-running and often uninhibited daytime program “The Jerry Springer Show,” which aired over 3,000 episodes from 1991 to 2018.

“At one time, I was almost addicted to it,” co-host Robin Quivers said Tuesday morning. “Every day I’d get off work and … I’d be like, ‘Turn on Jerry Springer,’ … and I’d watch those people go crazy.”

“I thought it was a fun show,” Howard agreed before playing a montage of clips, which of course included Springer’s raucous studio audience chanting “Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!” “There weren’t that many TV shows you could tune into where the guests were actually allowed to beat each other up,” Howard continued.

Born in a London subway turned bomb shelter during World War II, Gerald “Jerry” Norman Springer fled a war-torn Europe with his family at a young age and relocated to Queens. He became politically active in college and after graduating law school moved to Cincinnati, where he was elected to the City Council in 1971. Jerry resigned just three years later after revealing he’d procured the services of sex worker and paid her with a check.

The controversy didn’t derail his political career, however. If anything, his truthfulness earned him sympathy with voters which helped him become Mayor of Cincinnati in 1977. After a short stint as mayor and unsuccessful bid to become governor of Ohio, Jerry turned his attention toward TV.

“I was hired by the NBC affiliate to anchor the news in Cincinnati,” Jerry told Howard during a 2011 visit. “They were last in the ratings. There was nothing to lose.”

He was a hit, of course, and in 1991 he left TV news to develop “The Jerry Springer Show.” “The original contract was for six weeks,” Jerry told Howard during a subsequent interview. Little did he know, “The Jerry Springer” show would become a hit and run for the next 27 years.

How did he find success? He told Howard he initially competed with talk-show titan Oprah Winfrey for the middle-aged housewife demographic but quickly learned he could attract younger viewers by having on younger, wilder guests. “Young people were much more open about their lives and crazier, so every once in a while the show went crazy—but not all of the time,” he told Howard.

“Rest in peace, Jerry Springer,” Howard concluded. “He was a nice guy. Hopefully somewhere now in heaven all of the angels are chanting [‘Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!’]”