Jerry Springer, one of the pioneers of tabloid talk shows, has passed away, leaving a legacy and impact on pop culture never seen before his time.
He was as big a pop icon during the ’90s as Stone Cold Steve Austin, and their rule at the top of trash TV is recognized in many forms. For Springer, his legacy shines through his long-running television show, The Jerry Springer Show, and his litany of cameo appearances throughout TV and film.
Below, we look back at Springer’s most memorable appearances throughout the ’90s.
Which were your favorites? Let us know in the comments below.
A hodgepodge of Q-Anon and members of the Manosphere, Al Bundy (Ed O’Neill) creates a men’s rights group called No Ma’am to hijack Springer’s show and make demands — or else they’ll torture him with masculine programming. In his scripted TV debut, Springer portrays a talk show host with the same name but a different show and is referred to as the Masculine Feminist.
During the last season of Roseanne, which was known for its outlandishness (Hugh Hefner also cameos seconds after the host), Springer made his second scripted TV appearance. In this episode, Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) has a daydream in which she shares the story of her family’s lottery win on Springer’s show but manages to make it incredibly dull. She also interviewed him for her talk show at the time and got him to mediate a fight with her daughters, Jessica Pentland and Brandi Brown.
So, there’s a lot going on here. Despite making a cameo in this classic Season 5 episode of The X-Files, entitled ”Post-Modern Prometheus,” Springer is overshadowed by the abundance of bizarre events that take place. He shows up on someone’s television set in the first 2 minutes of the episode and is easy to forget about, especially considering the Cher “cameo” at the end. Although his guest on the show is a woman with a werewolf baby, Springer’s appearance is arguably the most ordinary aspect of the entire episode.
With all the celebrity cameos on The Simpsons, it shouldn’t be hard to imagine Springer going to Springfield. He made a cameo in its ninth “Treehouse of Horror” special. In this horror-themed segment, Maggie’s (Nancy Cartwright) first tooth grows in as a fang, causing everyone to question her true father’s identity (who happens to be an alien). The Simpsons subsequently appear on Springer’s show to sort out the matter.
Although the movie wasn’t a box office hit, it was still a pretty big deal seeing Springer get his own movie, Ringmaster, in 1998. His popularity was at an all-time high, and in this comedy, he played a fictionalized version of himself named Jerry Farrelly, who hosted a sensational talk show simply titled “Jerry.” The movie starred My Name Is Earl’s Jamie Pressly, Michael Jai White, and Wendy Raquel. Fun Fact: Springer also appeared on The Steve Harvey Show episode, where Raquel costarred. He later showed up on Harvey’s talk show.
In 1999, Springer made his TGIF debut by guest starring in an episode of Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, as a talk show host and warlock administered by the witches’ council to help settle magical-related feuds.
Probably Springer’s most known cameo comes in the movie Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. It was one of the most popular comedies around, and seeing Springer in it solidified his spot as a pop culture sensation right alongside the spy (played by Mike Myers). It all revolved around family squabbles involving Dr. Evil (also played by Myers) and his son (Seth Green).
Springer also showed up on an episode of The Wayans Bros. as himself, getting the titular Shawn and Marlon Wayans to confront each other about dating the same woman. It’s all played up to hilarity and ends in security getting involved.