Jerry Springer opened up about his talk show success and the genesis of his nickname "the ringmaster."
"The Jerry Springer Show" is currently in its 21st season. When the show first debuted, Springer said that his program was like any other daytime talk show on television. "It was a normal talk show, boring but normal," he said in an interview with AOL.
Springer recalled that there were twenty shows on television that were all trying to be like Oprah. He highlighted Ricki Lake as being the first talk show host to come along and target her show towards a younger audience. Lake returns to the daytime talk show scene later this year. Springer decided that he'd rather compete with one other show to win over younger viewers, rather than compete with 20 shows to please an older demographic.
Springer said that over time, the show evolved into an unusual program. "The notion of 'the ringmaster' came about because it became clear after a few years that we really don't do a talk show. What we do is a circus," he said. Springer recalled a few particularly bizarre episodes, including the show that featured a man who married his horse. "We did it around the Kentucky Derby so he could relate to it," Springer said.
Springer attributes the show's longevity to the fact that it found its niche audience. "We're not competing with anybody," he said. "This show makes no sense, but it's a lot of fun."