Jerry Springer says he’s “so sorry” for his controversial talk show, that ran for nearly 30 years and over 4,000 episodes.
The Jerry Springer Show featured guests airing their problems in relationships and family life in front of a live studio audience.
It gained notoriety and criticism for its profanity and real-world consequences, including the murder of a woman who featured on the show in 2002 and revealed that she was sleeping with her ex-husband without the knowledge of his new wife. The couple were then convicted of her murder.
Speaking on David Yontef’s Behind the Velvet Rope podcast, Springer shared his regret over the content of the series and the impact it had.
“I just apologise,” he told Yontef. “I’m so sorry. What have I done? I’ve ruined the culture.
Springer added: “I just hope hell isn’t that hot because I burn real easy. I’m very light-complected, and that kind of worries me.”
Of the progression of his career after being elected Mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio in 1977, Springer said: “After being mayor, I was offered the job to anchor the news for the NBC affiliate in Cincinnati. I did that for 10 years.
“And that was a kind of rational transition and then how the show happened was pure luck.”
He added: “The company that owned the station where I did the news owned talk shows. They owned Phil Donahue, Sally Jesse Raphael. Well, Phil was retiring. And so the CEO took me to lunch one day and said, Phil’s retiring, we are starting a new talk show. You’re the host.
“So I was assigned to it as an employee, and then all of a sudden, the show took off. So I wound up in show business through no thought of my own,” Springer said, noting that he doesn’t believe he has “any particular showbusiness talent.”
The Jerry Springer Show was cancelled after 27 years on the air in 2018. NBC Universal decided to quietly cancel the show with no official announcement, but producers said there was the “possibility” of more original shows in the future.