Jerry Springer, longtime talk show host of ‘The Jerry Springer Show,’ has been reported dead at age 79, as reported by TMZ. His career included many run-ins with rock and metal bands, including this pretty insane Type O Negative appearance below.
In a time before reality television dominated cable listings and social media took over our lives, bored saps clung to the daily talk shows of the 1980s and 1990s for their regular doses of drama and human misery.
Usually sandwiched between afternoon soap operas and/or small claims court programs, these hour-long depositories of degradation gave just the right kind of serotonin boost to those of us who yearned to gawk at celebrity exploits, lurid criminals, and other people whose less-than-polite antics allowed us to feel just a little bit superior to them.
These shows were not entirely unlike today’s programs hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, Kelly Clarkson, and Drew Barrymore, but it was more a trip to a human zoo than the light-hearted banter with big named stars that contemporary audiences are used to.
For those who enjoyed the veneer of civility, there was Oprah. If you liked your exploitation to be just a little bit more obvious, there was Donahue and Sally Jessy Raphael. A little further down the scale, we had the tabloid antagonism of Geraldo and the testament to birth control of Maury. The dried diarrhea at the very bottom of the barrel of shit were outright circus sideshows like Morton Downey Jr. and the most notorious of all, Jerry Springer.
Hosted by the former mayor of Cincinnati, Jerry Springer was initially focused on political discourse but switched format to tabloid in its second season due to low ratings. Topics ranged from bestiality and incest to self-mutilation (including amputation), with a constant peppering of drug-fueled romances in turmoil, hate groups, and non-stop on-air violence. Among his more notable guests were bombastic rock and roll personalities such as GG Allin, Gwar, El Duce from the Mentors and Type O Negative’s Peter Steele.
Shot in 1995, Peter Steele’s segment occurred while he was being marketed as a sex symbol and loosely coincided with his feature in Playgirl. He blesses himself with the sign of the cross which dovetails into a chin flick towards the audience.
The interview itself mostly focuses on how Peter responds to groupies, including a wild story of a naked woman showing up unannounced at his mother’s house on Christmas Eve. He talks about the band as a job and a means to pay the bills, but pleads the fifth when asked if he ever slept with a fan.
Watch the segment below: