Media Circus: Totally naked book wrestling

Pregnant lesbian strippers and unrepentant impotent bigamists debate the classics on Jerry Springer's Book Club!

By David Futrelle

Published December 22, 1997 8:00PM (EST)

He's back! The last time we heard from Jerry Springer, you may recall, he was retreating, tail between his legs, from a short-lived second job as news commentator on a Chicago station, an embarrassing episode that left him, at least for a few days, the most hated man in the Windy City. But he survived this temporary setback -- and he's returned stronger than ever.

Springer's show, after punching up its already-sleazy guest list (and inspiring its already-sleazy guests to punch up each other) is now getting its best ratings ever. "While other gab shows talk about cleaning up their respective acts, Springer's ... program -- notorious for an endless parade of brawling, big-chested strippers, naughty nudists and brazen adulterers -- has actually become more outrageous than ever this season," noted Josef Adalian in the New York Post. "The result: ... a stunning ratings surge." Springer's new, even tawdrier show closed in fast on Oprah Winfrey during the October sweeps, and actually beat Oprah for the week ending Nov. 30, leaving the Jerrmeister standing briefly atop the talk-show ratings world.

We are thrilled with Jerry's comeback, but we think he can do even better! Indeed, with all due respect to Oprah, we think he can grind the Queen of Daytime Talk into ratings powder.

Publicly, Jerry shows Oprah nothing but the utmost respect. ("Oprah's the best there is," he recently told a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer.) But we know in his heart of hearts he'd love to vanquish her once and for all.

And we know how he can do it. What does Oprah have that Jerry doesn't have? Only one thing: a book club.

Why can't Jerry get one of his own?

We know what you're thinking: "But Jerry's guests can't read." Actually, that's not true at all. Studies show that cross-dressers, for example, are extremely avid book-purchasers. And while white supremacists are, for the most part, illiterate, the majority of pregnant lesbian strippers have at least some college education -- and a startling 35.2 percent have advanced degrees!

So we say: Jerry -- You Go Girl!

Think of the possible topics for the show: "Cold Mountain, Hot Lesbian Strippers!"; "Angela's Asses"; "The God of Small Penises"; "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Crouching Down in the Bushes, Naked, with Binoculars."

And imagine the edifying exchanges that could result once Jerry's Kids throw themselves into the serious study of literature.


Jerry: So what did you think of "The Turner Diaries," Bruno?

Bruno: I thought they rocked! A kick-ass defense of our glorious Aryan heritage. And I loved all the race war stuff, just loved it. After reading it, I felt like blowing up a Federal Building. A big "Heil Hitler" for this book, Jerry!

Jerry: And how about you, Rabbi?


Lonya: Toni Morrison is one nasty-assed bitch.

Jerry: But, Lonya, you didn't even read the book! Why do you say that?

Lonya: Well, why she call herself Tony, like she some sort of Italian dude? That's nasty.

Jerry: You're Lonya's mother -- what do you think, Mrs. Johnston?

Mrs. Johnston: Guido, Jerry. Call me Guido.


Jerry: So, Tom, what do you think of the book?

Judy: Don't ask him. He didn't even read the book -- he was doin' the nasty with the baby sitter!

Jerry: Is that true, Tom?

Tom: Nah. I was readin the book with her.

Judy: Naked?

Tom: I'm not ashamed of my body.

Jerry: That's great. But why do you even have a baby sitter? Your baby isn't even born yet.

Tom: She's not a baby sitter, Jerry. She's an adult baby sitter.

Jerry: She baby sits adults?

Tom: No no -- she's an adult baby. Um, and she sits around.

Judy: Sleeps around, more like.


Jerry: This week on the book club we're doing a modern-day classic: Kathryn Harrison's "The Kiss." And to discuss it we have two guests: Eddie Rex and his friend Jocasta. Now, Jocasta, it's fair to say that you and Eddie are boyfriend and girlfriend?

Jocasta: Oh, yes, Jerry. I'm carrying his baby. We're gonna get married next month.

Jerry: But you're also his mother.

Jocasta: Well, yeah.

Chorus of audience members: Slut!

Jocasta: Well, listen here, [beep]heads, it got awful lonely after his poppa, the late Mr. Rex, God bless his soul, got killed by them highwaymen. [To the Chorus] You'da done it too, you dirty [beep]ers!

Chorus: You're the [beep]ing whore, bitch!

Jerry: Eddie, before we get to the book, you've got something you want to tell your mom about that night, don't you?

Eddie: Well, yeah. Me and pops was drinkin, and we had a little bit of a disagreement and ... well, let's just say that one stroke of my good staff flung him clean out of the trailer home and laid him prone, right where them three roads meet. I whomped him but good!

Chorus: Ooooooooh!

Jocasta: You wretch, in birth, in wedlock cursed! I'll poke your damn eyes out, you [beep beep beep]er!

[Jocasta jumps on him, gouging out both of his eyes before being wrestled to the ground by Jerry's security guards.]

Eddie: Dark, dark! The horror of darkness, like a shroud, wraps me and bears me on through mist and cloud! Damn, mom! I can't [beep]ing see [beep]!

Chorus: "Jer-ry! Jer-ry!"

David Futrelle

David Futrelle, a regular Sneak Peeks contributor, has written for The Nation, Newsday, and Lingua Franca.

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