The dh is a huge Jerry Springer fan. He’s watched the show just about every day for at least the past ten years. So, for his birthday this year, I decided to send for Jerry Springer tickets. I figured it was something different, the tickets were free, and it would give me an excuse to get away for a day.
If you don't live in the Chicago area, you're required to write or email your ticket request. As it happens, they only tape from September through April, so I couldn't get tickets for his birthday, which is on the 4th of July. But, I thought, what the hell. I'll send for them anyway. And I did.
In February I asked for tickets to attend a September taping. Since I was told they would get in touch with me sometime in August and that the tickets were issued on a first come, first serve basis, I put in my request then forgot about it. Then, the last week of August I received a call from the show asking for my confirmation. Apparently, I got my tickets.
On Monday, September 10, 2007 we left Michigan and drove 5 1/2 hours it takes to get to Chicago. We were to attend the Tuesday, September 11, 2007 12:00 pm taping of The Jerry Springer Show, and, we learned, the theme was "HILLBILLY SMACKDOWN." OMG, what an experience!
We entered the city around seven o'clock and inched our way through the horrific Chicago traffic. Then, before we found a motel for the night, we decided to locate the NBC studio so we'd know how to get there the in the morning.
The next day after breakfast, we made our way to the city limits and looked for a parking spot. The NBC Studio parking lot was full, so, we had to find another place to park. After driving in circles for about an hour, to our relief, we finally found a parking structure with an open spot. Once we parked, we walked the five or so blocks to the NBC studio and took our place in line.
After retrieving our tickets and going through security, we found our seats and eagerly waited for the show to start. To begin, Todd who is Jerry's new right-hand man (Steve has his own show now-what a surprise), came out and tutored the audience on the correct Jerry Springer etiquette. He gave us instructions on how to react to his signals and when.
When he claps, Todd informed us, we clap (and we were instructed to clap for 30 seconds unless he said otherwise). When he gives us the signal to laugh, we laugh. When motions for us to shout the famous "Jerry, Jerry" chant, we chant. And, we were told, to "make sure it's LOUD."
Todd also informed us that we weren’t to ask for Jerry Beads until the end of the show, and when you did ask for them, you were to flash completely and do a full circle so that everyone could see, or you wouldn‘t get your Jerry Beads.
He informed us that if the hoe-down music started to play, the audience was to go on stage and dance (which it did but we didn‘t). He told everyone to be as silly and obnoxious as they wanted, and, he added, if anyone was offended, he suggests they go two blocks down and one block over to the Oprah Winfrey show.
After our tutorial, we settled in to enjoy the show. Jerry made his entrance by sliding down a fireman's pole and cracking a few jokes. He shook a few hands and made a couple of snide remarks about Todd, then he got down to business.
His first guests were two brothers. One of the brothers had a girlfriend that the other brother, and their family, hated. The brothers argued a few minutes then got into a fist fight, which, by the way, wasn’t an act. You could actually hear the smacks and see the red marks on their bodies (they'd pulled their shirts off for the fight).
Next, the parents came out and the whole family, mother, father and two grown sons, proceeded to get into a screaming match. The mother even slapped the son with the girlfriend. Then, you guessed it, they brought out the girlfriend and the mother and the girlfriend got into a scuffle. Nice, clean, family fun, wouldn’t you agree? That episode ended with Jerry counseling the family and then it was on to the next guests.
Next up were two best friends and long-time fishing buddies. One was married, the other was single. When the married friend got drunk, took off in his car to get his pregnant girlfriend a snack, he got into a car accident and was incarcerated. While he was away, his friend and his girlfriend hooked up. Of course, the two fishing buddies immediately got into a fist fight, then, you guessed it, they brought out the girlfriend.
Jerry did his little talk and gave his advice, then asked the girl to choose which guy she wanted to be with. She chose the first one, the father of her baby, and the second guy proceeded to cry. The audience laughed and jeered at the him and the effects guy played a baby crying sound while the audience continued to make fun of the poor, heartbroken man. Then the audience was allowed to ask questions and put in their two cents.
When a man in the front row made a rude remark, the first guest came to the end of the stage and mooned him. A young couple in the first row just inches from his bare behind apparently didn't appreciate that and followed Todd’s advice to go down the street to the Oprah show, because they got up and left. Then the hoe-down music began to play and the first three of four rows in the audience went on stage to square dance.
After the dance was over, Jerry came into the audience to ask questions and a few girls got their Jerry Beads. Jerry then gave his final thoughts of the day, and the show was over and everyone filed out, single line.
Phew, what an experience! The only thing we can complain about besides the traffic and the parking, is our seating. My husband can't hear very well and we were seated in the back and over to the side, so he continually asked me what was said.
All in all we had an...interesting time. Just the alone time with the dh was worth the trip. My husband says never again, but I'm sure I can change his mind if I want. Now that we know what to look for, what NOT to look for, and a little about the area, it won't be so bad if/when we decide to do it again. However, I do believe we'd visit some place other than the Jerry Springer show if we did go back to Chicago. Once, in my opinion, is enough.
According to the Jerry Springer website, our show will air on Tuesday, 10-03-2007. If you decide to watch the show that day and happen to see a bearded, biker type guy and a auburn-haired woman sitting side by side in the audience, that’s us.
And there’s a good chance we may be seen, too. Jerry talked to a woman right in back of me, and talked to another woman (one with a pair of hanging balls who ended up on the pole-lol) right in front of us and the camera was right there, so we just might be on television. Superstars. lol
It won’t be our proudest moment, but hey, what the heck!