Jerry Springer vs. Oprah Winfrey In the world of entertainment, TV shows have without a doubt has flooded all of daytime television. It all started with the simple and exploited topics on Sally Jessy Raphael and Geraldo. Anyone who tunes in to these talk shows know that they are very similar but vary in style and format. Many have enjoyed the trashy subjects that come on Jenny Jones (no longer airing), while others may like to watch more serious and light topics on the Maury Povich Show. This may be but no two shows can be on such opposite ends of the scale as far as content other then the Jerry Springer and the Oprah Winfrey show.
Jerry Springer is and has been for many years, known as the king of “trash talk. ” Every topic on his show is as shocking as the one the day before. For example, the show takes the worldly topics of love, lust, sex, sexuality, adultery cheating, guilt hate conflict, and morality views to a whole other level. On an old Springer show, they find women who have cheated on their boyfriends and are ready to confess. The boyfriends find themselves in for a bigger surprise when they find out that their girlfriends are not only cheating but they are cheating with other women.
Then to find out that these women who their girlfriends have been cheating on them with is waiting backstage. Then there is the story that is quite similar to the all time court case about John Wayne Bobbit, where a man cuts off his own manhood claiming that his homosexual neighbor was stalking him. This is all shocking day after day, but the list of material for the show goes on from dangerous love triangles, broken homes, pregnant strippers, teenage prostitutes, adult film stars, and the most popular and running theme about the Ku Klux Klan.
The Springer show is a display of exploitation of society’s morals yet people sit and watch this programming everyday. Oprah Winfrey was once a trash TV format, but her long running popular TV talk show has since been reformed. Like Jerry Springer, the Oprah Winfrey show takes talk TV to its extreme, but Oprah goes in the opposite direction. Oprah is probably the most immaculate talk show there is. It is unlikely that you will find guest on Oprah that have committed adultery, have sold their souls to the devil, or are part of a racist hate group. Instead, the how focuses on the improvement of society and an individual’s quality of life. Topics range from teaching your children responsibility, managing your work week, proper etiquette, getting to know your neighbors and entertaining interviews with celebrities. Not many talk shows are interested in taking time to teach children right from wrong, or give techniques to get along with people better, but it seems that the Oprah shows top priority is to educate first, and then entertain. Compared to Oprah, the Jerry Springer show looks like toxic waste being dumped on society.
Still, there are times when Jerry Springer has made an effort to help people on his show. The most notable is when he has helped extremely obese people get to the hospital and help them turn their lives around. The entire process is still taped for its entertainment value, but at least something good came out of it. Jerry also ends every show with a “final word. ” He makes a small speech that sums up the entire moral of the show. Hopefully, this is the part where most people will learn something very valuable. Even if Oprah is as squeaky clean as it is, the show is not for everyone.
The shows main target audience is working middle-class Americans. A vast majority of these people usually have the time, money, and stability to deal with life’s tougher problems. Jerry Springer, on the other hand, has more of an association with the young adults of society. These are your 18 -21 year-olds whose main troubles in life involve love, relationship, sex, pregnancy, money, peers and influence. They are the ones who see some value and lessons to be learned underneath the show’s exploitation. While these two talk shows are as different as night and day, both have ruled the talk show circuit for many years now.
Each one caters to a different audience while both have a strong following from many of their fans. Ironically, both could also be considered pioneers in the talk show world. Jerry Springer’s crude and vulgar topics may be looked down upon, but no other talk show comes close to the raw exposure of its guest. Oprah Winfrey was able to break away from the pack and create a unique and highly successful talk show. Only time will tell if anyone will follow in her footsteps. Even as these to talk shows stand on opposite sides of the spectrum, both have managed to stand alone to their highest extremes and are considered the best at what they are.