Yes, There’s a Jerry Springer Opera and It’s Even More Controversial Than the Show
If you remember how The Jerry Springer Show ruled daytime talk shows for nearly three decades, you won’t be surprised to know the success of the show snowballed into something more. How exactly Springer and crew kept up with its shenanigans is where things get a little weird. Jerry Springer the Opera is a real thing and it’s quite the wild ride.
Jerry Springer’s wild talk show lasted 27 years
Daytime TV has never been the same since Springer broke through. The style of the show differed from others in its genre based on topics and outrageous guests.
Where others like Maury Povich might focus solely on “who is your father?” type of questions, equipped with DNA results to fuel the audience reactions, Springer took that idea and tossed it on its head with something like “is your father my mother’s secret lover?”
The controversial spin The Springer Show took set it far apart from other shows. While some claim the segments were fictitious or even exploitative, guests who appeared seemed to love the thrill just as much as the studio and at-home audiences.
More than 4,000 episodes were produced between 1991 and 2018 but its highlights live on through another art form.
Religious leaders called for less violence on the show
In 1998, Chicago religious leaders pressured Springer Show executives to “tone down the violence.” The fights that happened regularly on the stage are largely what garnered the biggest ratings,
“We don’t want to take away from the show — we just think that Jerry will be able to do this show a different way,” the chief executive of distributor Studio USA Greg Meidel told the Los Angeles Times at the time.
“It will still be confrontational, it will still be unpredictable, you will still sense the conflict. You will still see yelling and screaming. But we’re not going to show anyone getting hit.”
The show toned things down, but then a better idea came about.
Then came ‘Jerry Springer the Opera’
It’s not a huge jump to take the Springer Show to the opera stage in 2003, is it? The theatrical musical received rave reviews in London and remained there through touring the UK in 2006.
This event also didn’t come without controversy. Protesters stood outside the venue and picketed the shows which reportedly include “8,000 profanities…tap-dancers dressed as Ku Klux Klan members, and a showdown between Satan and a diaper-wearing Jesus,” The Guardian reported.
According to a BBC broadcast of the concert in 2005, over 45,000 viewers complained about the show’s material. In 2007, the Las Vegas production was led by Hollywood actor Harvey Keitel as Springer for two performances.
Despite the many complaints and protests, the show expanded. In 2019, it was still going strong in the UK with mostly positive reviews from critics. So, if you’re ever having a weird day just remember — a Jerry Springer opera exists somewhere out there.