Jerry Springer - Host
Jerry Springer serves as host of "America's Got Talent," NBC's summer reality competition series, which brings the variety format back to the forefront of American culture.
Throughout an illustrious career, Jerry Springer has become a cultural and civic icon. In addition to hosting a talkshow, he has been the mayor of Cincinnati, political pundit, lawyer, award-winning newscaster, country recording artist, international Emcee, TV personality, movie star, Broadway actor, progressive talk-radio broadcaster, and most recently, he won America's heart - at least older America's - with his ballroom dancing, becoming a fan favorite.
Today, because of the lasting popularity of his talk show, Springer is a favorite guest speaker throughout college campuses in the U.S. In recent years, Springer was welcomed at Harvard, Yale, Georgetown, Northwestern, University of Miami, University of Southern California, San Francisco State, Emory, George Washington, American University, and his undergraduate alma mater Tulane, as well as other academic institutions. In 2000, Springer was personally invited by the Oxford Union of Oxford University to participate in their guest lecture series, during which he broke all attendance records for that longstanding series.
"Ringmaster," hit bookstore shelves in November 1998, penned by Springer, it was a personal account of his experiences, along with remembrances from his childhood and professional career. Also in November 1998, Springer made his first venture into feature films starring in "Ringmaster," a fictionalized movie chronicling his television talk show. In 1999, Springer thoroughly enjoyed working with Mike Myers, where he portrayed himself in the hit movie "Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me."
During the 2003 Cannes Film Festival, Springer appeared to promote his starring role in the feature film "Citizen Verdict." Springer played the producer of a courtroom reality TV show which co-starred Armand Assante and Roy Scheider.
Everyone knew Springer had "arrived" as a true cultural icon when he was the featured character in "The Simpsons' 1998 Halloween Special." He has also graced the cover of Rolling Stone, Esquire, New York Magazine and Sarasota Magazine and he was recently featured in Vanity Fair's "Vanities." Barbara Walters chose Springer as one of the "10 Most Fascinating People" in her 1998 special.
Springer, born in London, England, travels back to the UK frequently, doing a variety of late night shows there.
A parody of "The Jerry Springer Show," "Jerry Springer The Opera," played in London to soldout crowds at the prestigious National Theater and garnered awards akin to the Tony Awards. The Opera is now on tour throughout England and is coming to America in May.
Additionally, he hosted another variety show in South Africa on M-Net. The program in South Africa, broadcast in more than 40 African nations, featured interviews with celebrities, monologues and skits in front of a live studio audience, and ranked among the most popular television shows in South Africa. All proceeds from the show went to AIDS charities.
In addition to recording two CD's in Nashville, one aptly titled "Dr. Talk," Springer has twice served as the master of ceremonies for the Miss World Pageant and added a Broadway appearance to his distinguished list of achievements, starring for a week in the production of the "Rocky Horror Show Live."
Born in London in 1944 just after his family fled the Holocaust, Jerry Springer immigrated at age five to New York City with his family. For Springer and his family, America represented a place where people could live without persecution. His family knew all too well what happens when liberty is denied.
His college years took him south to Louisiana, where he earned a degree in political science at Tulane University. He then received his law degree from Northwestern University in Illinois. But in 1968, his life changed during a dinner meeting with then New York Senator Robert Kennedy, who was running for president behind the force of social change. Springer signed on with the Kennedy campaign, but shortly thereafter felt the horror of Kennedy's assassination along with the rest of the world. That moment in history compelled him to the political action he has never abandoned.
After joining a law firm in Cincinnati, he spearheaded the movement in Ohio to lower the voting age from 21 to 18, which culminated with his Senate Judiciary Committee testimony supporting ratification of the 26th Amendment to the Constitution. He ran for Congress in 1970, nearly beating the entrenched Republican incumbent. In 1971, he won a seat on Cincinnati City Council and served five terms before becoming mayor at the age of 33 with the largest plurality in the city's history.
After an unsuccessful bid for governor of Ohio in 1982, Springer was courted by the big three networks, ultimately signing with the then last placed Cincinnati's NBC News television affiliate WLWT. As their anchor and Managing Editor, Springer took WLWT to first place. It was his nightly commentaries, the precursor to his now legendary "Final Thought" that landed him seven Emmys. Springer was voted television's best anchor for five consecutive years by readers of Cincinnati Magazine.
Springer became a morning radio talk show host with the debut of "Springer on the Radio" on January 17, 2005, which was broadcast in approximately 85 markets including Air America. Of the show, Springer says: "For too long, the radio airwaves have been dominated by conservative talk." Jerry ended the radio show after two years, but enjoyed the opportunity to offer a progressive voice.
Jerry is looking forward to hosting "America's Got Talent" as well as pursuing new endeavors after being a hit on the 2006 season of "Dancing With The Stars."