jerry springer

Happy 70th birthday to the great Jerry Springer!

For 23 seasons, you’ve blessed this world with a top-notch daytime television program that manages to be a racist, transphobic shitstorm while still making room for casual misogyny and outdated slurs for little people. While one could certainly argue that The Jerry Springer Show is a horrible instruction manual for human relationships, I’m willing to admit that you’ve shaped me into the barely dateable woman I am today. In honor of your birthday, here are 23 lessons I’ve learned from half-watching your show in waiting rooms and other people’s houses.

  1. The more you scream at each other, the more likely you are to get positive attention from onlooking strangers.
  2. If your partner isn’t your cousin, you’re already off to a great start.
  3. Strippers ruin EVERYTHING.
  4. Not being a father is usually great news.
  5. Especially if you’re also the baby’s uncle.
  6. Go ahead and attack each other– a large man in a headset will appear out of nowhere to hold both of you back.
  7. If you’re sleeping with your girlfriend’s mother, the only respectable thing to do is to confess to it before a studio audience.
  8. Same goes if you’re sleeping with your boyfriend’s father.
  9. Or having a threesome with your mother’s sisters.
  10. You should probably wear a latex catsuit while you’re at it.
  11. Go ahead and marry a horse, but DON’T expect it to behave well on national television.
  12. If you’ve been arguing for half an hour, it might be a good idea to let off steam for a few minutes by taking your top off.
  13. If you can’t get your sister pregnant, it’s like barely even incest.
  14. Quoth Jerry himself, “Your sister can be a part of your life, but she doesn’t need to sleep with you.”
  15. Don’t cheat on your husband with a stripper.
  16. Don’t cheat on your stripper with your husband.
  17. Don’t cheat on anybody ever, maybe?
  18. Steer clear of dating anyone named Mistress Delicious.
  19. Or anyone who suggests that you go on Jerry Springer to work through your issues.
  20. Your partner will take you more seriously when you’re ripping your competition’s hair out.
  21. Save some time. Before you get married, ask your partner if they have a shocking secret past.
  22. Stop it.
  23. Just… stop.

Photo: NBCUniversal