I turned on the tube the other day to catch the start of my favorite television show: Jerry Springer. For some reason, the volume was too low to hear the words, but I could very easily imagine what was being said. “Today, on Jerry Springer: Watch as we throw a bunch of people with ridiculous problems in a room together, provide an extremely annoying catalyst and watch them verbally, and possibly physically, assault each other.” Now that, my friends, is entertainment.
Actually, to tell the truth, I don’t remember the last time I watched Jerry Springer for more than 60 seconds. It’s not because I have something better to do than watch trash like that, oh wait, it is because I have something better to do than watch trash like that.
If you’re reading this, and you’re a fan of Jerry Springer, please know that I have asked God to have mercy on your soul. Although I will admit, the episode “It’s Your Baby, and I’m Proving it on National Television Through DNA Testing” was riveting.
There are many reasons I don’t watch Jerry Springer or any other talk shows, such as a new favorite, Tyra. If you haven’t heard of this new show, allow me to fill you in. Tyra Banks, the incredibly attractive model, has a new show, where she attacks such all-important topics as the MySpace craze and unusual phobias. When I discovered this about a week ago, she immediately became less attractive.
Shows like this are everywhere, and I blame Jerry Springer and his garbage. I never thought I’d see a day when Maury ran a whole series on DNA testing to show fathers if a baby a woman was carrying was theirs. Seems unbelievable, but it happened.
These shows are annoying, the situations are absurd, and the people are just plain stupid. When combined with a host who is half man, half annoying, the result is a show that is so far out in left field it is impossible for one to take it seriously.
The most aggravating thing about the shows is how incredibly unintelligent the characters are. These people actually believe they are being taken seriously by someone other than the show’s equally dense host. I haven’t seen the application forms for participants, but I wouldn’t doubt if stupidity is a prerequisite.
What pains me about the situation is that the producers of the show have to be given some credit. They figured out a way to exploit stupid people in totally ridiculous, usually unrealistic situations and make serious money doing it. In much the same way, Mr. Springer himself has gotten rich by basically starting fights between raving idiots.
Usually, Jerry starts off a conversation with a participant by saying something like, “So, you’re upset at your husband because he has been sneaking around behind your back with your boss, your sister, your cousin and your mother? Little do you know, he is in the next room, and I have a chair here. Why don’t you go beat him with it?”
The ironic thing is that after he gets everyone fired up, he acts like he wants to help get things sorted out. “Alright, everyone just calm down. We’re going to get this figured out. We have employees backstage to help you cope with the emotional trauma.” I can’t wait to hear a semi-intelligent person respond by saying, “Hey man, five minutes ago you were telling me I should choke my neighbor because he’s been stealing my power tools.”
This might seem ridiculous, but it’s not that far off. According to the Web site, a current situation involves one man who is cheating on his pregnant girlfriend with another woman. He claims he broke up with the second woman, but she claims the affair continues and that she is now pregnant with his baby.
The rest of the story can be read in short at www.jerryspringertv.com, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Everything about the show screams stupidity, and it really makes one wonder: Who are the people in our society who support this filth enough to keep it on the air?
Dan Plate is a freshman business major from Ogallala, Neb. His column appears every Friday.