Breaking: Jerry Springer Dies at Age 79, Family Reveals Cause of Death
One of the most controversial, outlandish and ultimately influential personalities in all of television has passed away.
Jerry Springer, best known for spearheading “The Jerry Springer Show,” died at the age of 79 on April 27.
According to TMZ, which broke the news, Springer died after things took a turn for the worse in his battle with pancreatic cancer.
Springer had reportedly been diagnosed with cancer several months ago.
A family representative described Springer’s health issues as a “brief illness.”
That same representative added that Springer passed away peacefully in his Chicago-area home.
While Springer is best known for hosting his raucous show, the television icon actually first entered the public eye as a politician.
Indeed, Springer has a failed Congressional campaign and a term as mayor of Cincinnati to his credit, though both of those took place in the 1970s.
But while Springer had a relatively muted political career, the same cannot be said about “The Jerry Springer Show” — or at least what it eventually became.
Originally, as TMZ pointed out, “The Jerry Springer Show” started out as something of a political pulpit, where politics (and not paternity tests) were the topics du jour.
When that iteration failed to garner much in the way of ratings, they overhauled the show to what it is best known as now.
For the unfamiliar, “The Jerry Springer Show” rose to prominence on the back of raunchy content, scantily clad women (if not outright nudity), controversial topics (incest, polyamorous relationships, adultery), and the almost-iconic chant from the studio audience:
“Jer-ry! Jer-ry! Jer-ry!”
While Springer’s show eventually became a ratings success in its own right (there was a stretch in the mid-1990s where his show was regularly drawing more viewers than Oprah Winfrey’s massive show in certain cities), the most lasting impact of his show might be the “car crash television”-influence it wielded.
In short, Springer’s show tapped into the almost primal nature of people being unable to turn their heads away from a massive wreckage — whether that’s a car or the smoldering remains of someone’s life after learning that their father is actually their third cousin.
That influence could be seen in countless shows that followed Springer’s success — WWE pivoted to its raunchier “Attitude Era” during Springer’s peak, the slapstick “Jacka**!” show was almost a direct result of the zaniest that Springer had to offer, and sports debate shows almost uniformly pivoted to a louder, more divisive “embrace debate”-era following Springer’s success.
The iconic television host’s final television appearance was on Fox’s wildly popular “The Masked Singer” show, where Springer belted out Frank Sinatra while dressed as the “Beetle.”
WARNING: The following video clip contains content the viewer may find disturbing.
Springer is survived by his daughter, Katie Springer, and sister.
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