‘Springer’ Hits 3,000: History & Highlights

May 8, 2006  •  Post A Comment


A young Jewish couple, Richard and Margot Springer, flee Germany and the persecution of the Nazis.


Margot gives birth to a son, Gerald Norman Springer, in London.


After saving their money and getting documentation, the Springers take the Queen Mary to New York. They immigrate to America under the Displaced Persons Act of 1948.


Watching the Democratic National Convention on television, Jerry is impressed with the congressman from Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy.


Jerry enrolls in Tulane University. He marches with supporters of racial integration in the schools.


While working as a deejay at the campus radio station, WTUL, Jerry learns about JFK’s assassination over the teletype. He confirms that it’s true and broadcasts the news over the radio.


Jerry interns at the Cincinnati law firm Frost & Jacobs.


He works on Robert F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign and graduates from Northwestern Law School.


Jerry, at 25, runs for Congress. His platform includes getting out of the Vietnam War and lowering the voting age to 19. He loses the election, but the Ohio Democratic Party sees him as a star on the rise.

w Jerry meets future wife Micki Velton.


Jerry wins a seat on Cincinnati’s Council-at-Large.


Micki Velton and Jerry are married.


After a vice squad raids a Kentucky massage parlor, it’s revealed that Councilman Springer was once a customer there. Jerry resigns his seat on the council.


Jerry comes clean to his constituents about his past indiscretions and wins back his seat in the next election.


Micki gives birth to Jerry’s only child, a daughter they name Katie.


Jerry is elected mayor of Cincinnati by the largest plurality in the city’s history.


Jerry runs for governor of Ohio and comes in third in a three-man race.


Jerry becomes news anchor for NBC affiliate WLTW-TV in Cincinnati. He goes on to win a handful of local Emmy Awards for his commentaries.


“The Jerry Springer Show” premieres in Cincinnati. The first show reunites Holocaust survivors with the people who hid them from the Nazis.


Hosting what is then a conventional talk show, Jerry does one-on-one interviews with guests, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Richard Simmons, Ali MacGraw and Sally Jessy Raphael. In September, the production moves from Cincinnati to Chicago, and Jerry commutes daily by air between his anchor desk in Ohio and his talk show in Illinois.


Richard Dominick takes over as executive producer of “The Jerry Springer Show.”


When low ratings threaten the future of “Springer,” it’s decided to aim the show at a younger demographic: college-age viewers. The ratings slowly begin to climb and the show is picked up for another year.

  • The first show involving the Ku Klux Klan is aired, called “7 & 9 Year Old Sisters Want To Join The Klan.” Another memorable episode is “Holiday Hell With My Feuding Family.”

  • Steve Wilkos joins the show as head security guard.

  • Jerry appears on “Married … With Children,” portraying himself.


    Jerry teams with Jerry Lewis to host the National Muscular Dystrophy telethon. He also releases the CD “Dr. Talk.”

  • Jerry is the opening act for Billy Ray Cyrus on the “Redneck Heaven” tour and appears as himself on “Roseanne’s” 200th episode.


    When the news director at WMAQ-TV in Chicago asks Jerry to begin doing weekly commentaries on the broadcast, anchor Carol Marin resigns in protest.

  • “The Jerry Springer Show” broadcasts for a week from spring break in Daytona Beach, Fla.

  • Memorable shows: “I Cut Off My Manhood,” about a man who used hedge trimmers on himself; and “I’m Pregnant by a Transsexual.”


    Jerry is chosen Grand Marshal of the Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans. “New Orleans is the ‘Jerry Springer Show’ of cities,” Jerry says at the time.

  • Jerry speaks at Oxford University in England.

  • For the first time, “The Jerry Springer Show” tops “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” according to Nielsen’s syndicated ratings figure.

  • Rolling Stone contends that “The Jerry Springer Show” stages fights. Jerry defends the show and explains that guests are thoroughly investigated and must sign a contract that obliges them to pay all production costs if it turns out they’re fakes.

  • Sen. Joseph Leiberman and former Secretary of Education William Bennett give a Silver Sewer award to “The Jerry Springer Show” and Howard Stern as the “leading purveyors of cultural rot.”

  • The “Treehouse of Horror IX” episode of “The Simpsons” features an appearance by the Simpson family on “Jerry Springer.”


    Barry Diller, chairman of Studios USA, producer of the show, vows to cut out all violent and sexually explicit behavior on future shows and re-edit past shows.

  • The Chicago City Council has a hearing to discuss whether the conflicts on “The Jerry Springer Show” are staged. Jerry testifies before the council for more than three hours, defending the validity of his show. He says, “I never watch my program. I’m interested in politics and sports. I’d much rather watch one of your council meetings.”

  • Forbes magazine names Jerry Springer No. 59 on its Celebrity 100 list.

  • Bill Maher hosts a Friars Club roast of Jerry Springer.

  • “The Jerry Springer Show” appears in the Mike Myers film “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.”


    The producers introduce Springer Cam to answer the question, “Where do you find these guests?” The homemade tapes from people who want to be on “The Jerry Springer Show” are as wild, raucous and depraved as anything ever broadcast from the Chicago studio. The Springer Cam is a big success.

  • Jerry hosts the 50th Annual Miss World contest from the Millennium Dome in London.


    Jerry makes his Broadway debut in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” playing the narrator.


    TV Guide selects “The Jerry Springer Show” as the worst TV show ever. “Awful television shows are a storied part of our society,” said TV Guide Editor in Chief Steven Reddicliffe. “Some of them actually are very successful and are great guilty pleasures. And no one has turned guilty-pleasure TV into more of an art form than Jerry Springer.”

  • In South Africa, Jerry hosts a late-night variety show called “Springer Saturday Night.” The profits are donated to AIDS charities.

  • Jerry releases a Christmas novelty song, “Pink Flamingos.”


    Jerry co-stars with Roy Scheider and Armand Assante in the film “Citizen Verdict.” Jerry’s character is Marty Rockman, a corrupt TV producer who creates a reality show on which viewers decide capital punishment cases. The movie has a limited theatrical release.

  • After considering it for months, Jerry decides not to run for a U.S. Senate seat.

  • An uncensored version of “The Jerry Springer Show” begins airing on pay-per-view.


    “Jerry Springer: The Opera” opens in England, with David Soul playing Jerry.

  • Jerry is elected one of 159 Ohio delegates to the Democratic National Convention. The Ohio Democratic Party names him Democrat of the Year.

  • USA Today names Ten Turning Points in Television History and “The Jerry Springer Show” is included.


    In England, department stores ban sales of the “Jerry Springer: The Opera” DVD. Also, Christian groups complain when the BBC broadcasts the opera.

  • Air America
    launches “Springer on the Radio,” a political radio show that airs every weekday morning.

  • Jerry is hired by the United Kingdom TV network ITV to host a British version of “The Jerry Springer Show.”


    “The Jerry Springer Show” celebrates its 3,000th episode, which is scheduled to be broadcast May 12.

  • Carnegie Deli in New York names a sandwich after Jerry.

    -Allison J. Waldman