Jerry Springer brings the trademark humor and wit from his talk show to “Jerry Springer Presents WWE Too Hot for TV.”
The new series -- premiering April 27 on WWE Network immediately following “Monday Night Raw” -- reflects on some of the most outrageous moments in the company’s colorful history.
Springer, who initially signed on for 10 episodes, serves as the ringmaster each week and reacts to the clips shown during each half hour. Viewers can expect such themed shows as “Love Hurts,” “All in the Family” and “Wedding and Funerals.”
The celebrity had his own share of memorable segments during his past two appearances on Raw. The most recent one involved trying to reconcile the Bella Twins in September and was a hit with those involved.
A meeting pitching the idea for a project led to Springer jumping on board.
“WWE, as well as I, realized we have the same audience,” he said. “There is a great symbiotic relationship here in terms of entertainment. It’s a natural fit…Someone realized in their vault and all the shows they have over the years, they have some incredible episodes. It’s not just a sporting event. It’s also comedy and drama. It’s showbiz. Just like the television show ‘Talk Soup,’ which runs clips of the various talk shows and then makes jokes about them. Why not do this using the shows WWE has put on? We thought, ‘Why didn’t we think of this before?”
Springer’s partnership with the company is built from the mutual respect he has for WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. The recognizable figure who has established his own brand also appreciates a savvy businessman.
“He is an icon in the whole concept of entertainment,” Springer said. “He knows exactly what his audience is and what he wants to do. In show business, that is rare. Everybody strives for that. To find a niche and keep focused on it and not branch too much outside your comfort zone, I mean he knows what he wants. He knows what works. He knows his audience.
“He has built this empire. The first time I met him was about two years when I was first on Raw. He was a nice guy, friendly. He gets it. There are so many people who want to be successful, but to actually be successful is hard.”
Springer marvels at the abilities of the WWE superstars and divas every time he attends an event.
“Vince uses incredible athletes,” he said. “That shouldn’t be overlooked with all the talk about how wrestling is crazy and what is real, but the thing that is real above anything is these are world-class athletes that do things that regular people couldn’t even think about doing and surviving. Vince turned it into entertainment other than watching just an athletic event and thinking something was a good move. He turned it into show business, and that’s very difficult to do. Other people wouldn’t even know where to start.”
Springer’s role on his own show is to be funny and engaging. It’s what the audience has come to know and love from him in 25 years of entertainment. He says he never knows what each of the shows is going to be about. The only thing written on the cards is the guest’s names. It’s up to him to ask what he feels people want to know and go from there. With his “WWE Too Hot for TV,” it’s a similar concept in a different environment. Although a fan growing up, Springer admittedly isn’t that familiar with the product today.
“I’m 71 years old. So I’m not the prime audience. I don’t’ watch my own show,” he said. “In college, there was no question I would watch both. My interests aren’t in this area. I see this as a profession. I enjoy doing it, but I’m more interested in politics and the Yankees. I’m not going to say I never miss an episode… Everyone there at WWE, the whole crew has been totally helpful.
“What is so great about them is when I go there, they are not assuming I’ve seen every wrestling match for the past 50 years. They are very respectful of what my comfort zone is and don’t put me in a situation of having to talk about things or do things I’m not comfortable doing.
“They’ve been great to work with. They were great to work with when I was on Raw a couple of months ago with the Bella Twins. They let me live, which was awfully nice of them. When the Bella Twins were on top of me in the ring, I turned over and said to one, ‘You have 25 minutes to get off me.’
These words give you a sense of what fans will find tuning into WWE Network.
“I love watching baseball,” Springer said. “With the success of ESPN, they show highlights from ball games and joke around a lot. There is a lot of humor mixed into it. If I’m a fan of ‘Monday Night Raw,’ why wouldn’t I want to see some of the craziest moments and joke around about it? It’s a natural thing. That’s why these shows are successful because you are starting out with a built-in audience that loves it to begin with. Now you are seeing the highlights of the funniest parts, the most dramatic parts or outrageous parts. That makes it work.”
- “Jerry Springer Presents WWE Too Hot for TV” is a 30-minute show with new episodes added each week to the WWE Network video-on-demand library immediately following “Monday Night Raw” (about 11 p.m. EST), starting April 27.
- Follow Jerry Springer on Twitter @JerrySpringer
- Follow me on Twitter @smFISHMAN
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