The sounds of "Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!" may still haunt Jerry Springer.
The talk show host offered up an unexpected apology following The Jerry Springer Show's almost three decade run. During a Nov. 8 appearance on David Yontef's Behind the Velvet Rope podcast, Springer said he was "so sorry" for how his show went on to impact TV.
"I just apologize," he said. "I'm so sorry. What have I done? I've ruined the culture."
He then quipped, "I just hope hell isn't that hot, because I burn real easy. I'm very light-complected."
The Jerry Springer Show, which ran between 1991 and 2018, became popular thanks to its tabloid-esque content and profanity-prone guests. And while the chat show may've been a dream career for some, Springer told Yontef that he was "just a schlub who got lucky."
"There was never a thought in my mind growing up that I'd be in show business," he said. "I mean, I'm a lawyer. I started out being a lawyer and working for Bobby Kennedy. And, in other words, my background is political and legal."
Yet, after a stint as Cincinnati mayor between 1977 and 1978, Springer turned his career path to TV. "I was offered the job to anchor the news for the NBC affiliate in Cincinnati," he continued, "and I did that for 10 years. And that was a rational transition, you go from politics to reporting to news to anchoring."
So how did he end up the host of his own talk show? According to Springer, the same company that he worked for as an anchor handled daytime TV shows and he was asked to fill the void left by Phil Donahue's retirement.
"I was assigned to it as an employee," he recalled, "and then all of a sudden the show took off."
After 4,000 episodes, the syndicated series quietly came to an end in July 2018. Springer did return to TV in 2019 with Judge Jerry, a reality court show, which ran for three seasons.
For Springer's full appearance on Behind the Velvet Rope, click here.