Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Jerry Springer Show Happened Out Of Pure Luck, According To The Host Himself

Influential TV host Jerry Springer has died at age 79, leaving behind a legacy defined by thousands of episodes of his long-running namesake daytime talk show. Of course, his lengthy tenure hosting "The Jerry Springer Show" wasn't all that he was. Springer aficionados might remember that before he transitioned to the career he's known for, he was actually the Mayor of Cincinnati — and as he told the podcast "Behind the Velvet Rope" (via Insider), the surprising career change was actually little more than a stroke of good fortune.  

"After being mayor, I was offered the job to anchor the news for the NBC affiliate in Cincinnati," Springer explained. "I did that for 10 years. And that was a kind of rational transition and then how the show happened was pure luck. The company that owned the station where I did the news owned talk shows. They owned Phil Donahue, Sally Jesse Raphael. Well, Phil was retiring. And so the CEO took me to lunch one day and said, Phil's retiring, we are starting a new talk show. You're the host."

Springer didn't consider himself a particularly talented host

Despite hosting a popular talk show for 27 seasons, appearing all over media, and boasting numerous acting and producing credits in his stacked résumé, Jerry Springer perhaps surprisingly didn't consider himself a particularly talented entertainer — possibly because of his semi-accidental start in the industry. "So I was assigned to [the talk show] as an employee, and then all of a sudden, the show took off. So I wound up in show business through no thought of my own," he summarized his origin story. during the "Behind the Velvet Rope" interview, he even jokingly apologized his show's detrimental effects to the cultural environment. 

Though Springer expresses some doubts about his showbiz powers, it's worth noting that a person who can keep a long-running TV show like "The Jerry Springer Show" on air for close to three decades probably isn't too bad at his job, whatever their personal feelings about the subject might be.