Jerry Springer on His Iconic Talk Show: ‘It Has No Redeeming Value’

Jerry Springer visits AOL Build to discuss 25 years of his TV show at AOL Studios In New York on May 19, 2016 in New York City.
Jerry Springer visits AOL Build to discuss 25 years of his TV show at AOL Studios In New York on May 19, 2016 in New York City.  Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Jerry Springer thinks his talk show is a “circus.” The longtime host of The Jerry Springer Show told Entertainment Tonight in a candid new interview that his show has “no redeeming social value."

The former politician was reflecting on his daytime TV show of 25 years and its usual content of wild fights, baby daddy drama and profanity.

"I just do it because it's fun to do,” Springer told ET when asked why he hasn’t called it quits yet. “And I'm not that good at golf. I think I'd go crazy [if I retired]. I’m always afraid not to be working. It's psychological, I'm sure. If I ever have nightmares about something, it's about not having a job, which is crazy, I know."

Springer joked to ET that when he dies he knows what he’ll put on his tombstone: “‘I won’t be right back.’”

While the longtime talk show host is dedicated to his job, he didn’t necessarily seek out the opportunity to star on his own show.

"I was anchoring the news in Cincinnati for the NBC affiliate there, and I had been doing that for 10 years," he told ET. "One day the CEO took me out to lunch and said, 'You know Phil [Donahue] is going to be retiring, and we're going to start another talk show, and you're going to host it,' and I was assigned to it, because I was an employee. They adjusted the pay and all that, but it wasn't anything I ever aspired to."

With guests including the man who married a horse and “adult babies,” the show quickly became must-see TV.

"The day I figured out, 'Wow! We're on to something,' there were two cultural moments that impacted me, and I think one was being on The Simpsons," Springer recalled. "And the other was being on the cover of Rolling Stone. That's honestly the first time I noticed that 'Oh my gosh! People are really noticing me.'"

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