“I Won’t Be Back”: 10 Jerry Springer Show Most Memorable Moments


It’s time to bid adieu to one of our favorite hosts and former Mayor of Cincinnati, Jerry Springer. The TV personality died in his Chicago home on April 27, 2023, after a battle with cancer. He was 79 years old. Jerry Springer wished to let people know: “I won’t be back” — he said in Entertainment Tonight that he wanted the phrase written on his tombstone. 

Let’s take a look at a few pivotal TV moments that transpired because of him and his show — 10 The Jerry Springer Show moments that entertained, confused, and shocked us.

Top 10 Jerry Springer Show Moments

1. “Klanfrontation”

Many tuned to The Jerry Springer Show because they can expect that chaotic brawls will ensue. And that’s exactly what viewers witnessed in an episode back in 1997 — Ku Klux Klan members and Jewish Defense League chairman, Irv Rubin were invited to the show. One KKK member mocked the chairman by showing the Jewish kippah beneath his hood. This resulted in a scuffle where The Jerry Springer Show security team had to intervene.

2. “Outrageous guilty pleasures”

“Domination” is a common fetish, regardless of gender. In a 2012 episode, The Jerry Springer Show invited a mother and her daughter to the show — and they called themselves a “mother-daughter domination team” where they purposely and consensually “humiliate” men for sexual arousal and/or climax.

Jerry Springer then invited a man to be dominated by the duo for the viewers to get a glimpse of what a dominatrix typically does — but that didn’t stop there. True to the show’s inclination for shock value, they then invited the man’s wife on stage — for her to “kink-shame” her husband, mostly.

3. “I’m happy I cut off my legs”

In 2007, a 48-year-old transgender woman named Sandra appeared on The Jerry Springer Show in a wheelchair. Sandra was an amputee who cut off both of her legs as medical experts — rightfully — “refused” to do it for her. Unfortunately, she took matters into her own hands and amputated them herself. Sandra said she simply just didn’t “want” her legs and tried to infect her legs several times prior to her severing them — she injected feces on her kneecaps to induce an infection. Sandra explained, “I didn’t want them. My brain just kept saying, ‘get rid of them.’”

4. “Kung fu hillbilly”

Diemon Dave was invited to The Jerry Springer Show because he was having problems with his roommate, Lil Wayne — not the Louisiana rapper (who also goes by Weezy), though. Diemon Dave is a self-proclaimed “Kung Fu Hillbilly” who “learned” the art of fighting by watching Chuck Norris and Jean Claude van Damme films in his trailer.

When Lil Wayne finally came out, the two roomies took their shirts off, and, well, let’s just say that watching action movies alone isn’t enough to train a person to fight — the films Diemon Dave watched may merely just be movies, however, the actors he looked up to still had proper martial arts training.

5. “My man slept with a stripper”

The Jerry Springer Show has lots of cheating revelation episodes. And this one episode is about infidelity as well: one man confessed to his girlfriend that he slept with a stripper. Naturally, the girl was distraught and started hitting her boyfriend. Her emotions intensified when the stripper came out and the two women also started assaulting each other.

The stripper, however, didn’t seem phased by the couple’s predicament. She claimed that, as long as she’s paid money, she’s not really bothered by other parties involved. She even flashed her breasts at the crowd and danced on a stripper pole on stage. Meanwhile, while she was entertaining the crowd, the girlfriend of the man was throwing up backstage — most likely from all the overwhelming emotions.

Finally, when Jerry Springer brought them all out again together on stage, to try to diffuse the situation — and solve the problem — the stripper wouldn’t stop talking (or yelling), so, Jerry Springer ultimately kicked her off the stage.

6. “I live in a box”

There was no shortage of odd people who appeared on The Jerry Springer Show. For instance, the man who lived in a cardboard box appeared on the show in 2001 because he was having marital problems since he…he decided to live in a box! When the wife refused to take him back, the man in a box told Jerry Springer, “I’m your problem now.” The man then told Jerry Springer that he will not leave the stage until his wife takes him back.

7. “I married a horse”

Not all couples who appeared on The Jerry Springer Show came there because they had problems with each other — one man, named Mark, had a “happy” marriage. His dilemma, however, was his neighbors were the ones unhappy with his marriage with his wife. Because his wife was a horse named Pixel.

When Jerry Springer talked about the episode during his Meredith Vieira Show, he said he didn’t know that Pixel was Mark’s wife. He recalled, “I’m thinking that his wife fell off the horse,” Jerry Springer added, “You don’t think, ‘Oh, gee, that’s his wife.’ So I’m going, ‘Oh, my God, someone check backstage.’”

8. “I spent it all on a hooker”

Let’s face it: we’re all guilty of laughing at something that shouldn’t be normalized as funny. Because that was the case for many of those who watched one 2010 episode of The Jerry Springer Show — where a couple and a sex worker appeared on the show. It was a “relatively” regular episode where a physical altercation between the three individuals ensued.

However, what makes this episode memorable was the sex worker’s dentures flew out of her mouth and one security team member had to fetch it and return it to its owner. When the sex worker was given a glass of water for her to drink, she decided to dunk her dentures there instead. The best part was the security personnel raised the glass to show the dentures — and the crowd hilariously went wild!

9. “You slept with my stripper sister”

Feuds between family members happen. It’s normal! But regular disagreements wouldn’t make good TV — at least not in typical The Jerry Springer Show fashion! That’s why he invited two sisters to the show as the two had grievances they needed to air out. Turns out, one of the sisters, Christina, wanted to confront her stripper sister for sleeping with her boyfriend.

Christina’s sister had apparently slept with her previous boyfriends before. And the incident seemed to be the last straw for Christina — the sisters then squabbled, and hair extensions went flying on stage. Lots of hair extensions!

10. “Naked peek-a-boo”

One could say that happy endings in The Jerry Springer Show are rare — but it’s not non-existent! In one episode, one man named Johnny was invited to the show, but he wasn’t told exactly why. Enter his best friend, Judah — who danced his way to the stage and subsequently rapped a marriage proposal. He then pulled out a ring from his pants to ask Johnny to marry him.

Johnny, however, seemed confused and looked quite annoyed. Everyone expected the episode to go down how The Jerry Springer Show episodes typically do. But Johnny said yes to the proposal and it ended with a kiss.

Beyond the Show: Jerry Springer as a Person

Jerry Springer was one of the most recognizable faces on TV. Many of us eagerly waited for The Jerry Springer Show that, at some point, even beat The Oprah Winfrey Show in ratings. The program ran for 27 seasons with nearly 5,000 episodes to watch. Therefore, it wasn’t hard to view the man, Jerry Springer, as a television host. However, before he became a TV personality, he was a Cincinnati Mayor who served the city from 1977 to 1978. Jerry Springer also served as a Cincinnati local news anchor.

Jerry Springer lived a life that catered to Americans — through public service and American television. But what may be surprising to many is that Jerry Springer and his family sought refuge in the United States when he was 4 years old. He was born in London during a time that the UK was critically fighting in World War II. Jerry Springer’s parents were of Jewish descent — and they needed to escape Nazi Germany. Both of Jerry Springer’s grandmothers died in the Holocaust.

When Jerry Springer was interviewed on Who Do You Think You Are?, he opened up about his past. He explained, “My family [were] victims of anti-Semitism for the last 150 years, but there he was at the centre of it, fighting back,”

Off-screen, Jerry Springer was a loving father to his only daughter, Katie. His daughter, though born without nasal passages, is deaf in one ear, as well as blind, told Hollywood Access in 2006, “I’ve heard this story that when I was first born and they heard about all these problems, they just said, ‘We’re never going to treat her different, we’re going to make sure she knows she’s not different,’

“Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!”

Jerry Springer peacefully passed away at age 79. The celebrated television personality entertained millions of Americans with his The Jerry Springer Show. The program, however, showed the harsh realities of what many Americans deal with and suffer from up to this day — racism, discrimination, mental health problems, and many more.

Without Jerry Springer, many of us wouldn’t have even been aware of these problems. Moreover, as it turns out, Jerry Springer has always known — he’s a firsthand witness to some of the horrifying realities of life. He may have said that he won’t be back. But his contribution to the country won’t be forgotten.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting the Village Voice and our advertisers.