Yes they’re tacky, sleazy and pretty classless. Some of them may or may not have been listed as the worst TV show ever — *ahem* The Jerry Springer Show. But, that doesn’t stop millions of viewers from tuning in daily to get their dose of trash TV. Everyone has dirty laundry, but some people’s laundry is so goddamn filthy that the only way to air it out is on live television. Thank God for that or our weekday afternoons would be a total bore.
Leave it to hosts like Jerry Springer, Maury Povich, Steve Wilkos and Jenny Jones to find the raunchiest guests imaginable. Whether or not many of the storylines on their shows are actually authentic is debatable. Real or not, their bizarre guests and ridiculous situations they allegedly get themselves into are a riot to watch unfold. Brawls, devastating family secrets, cheating spouses, mystery baby daddies — these are all situations we would never want to find ourselves in, but hey, if someone else does and wants everyone to watch it go down, let’s grab our popcorn!
Trash TV storylines could be something along the lines of “I Married My Daughter’s Boyfriend,” “My Grandma Is A Pimp” or “Will The DNA Test Prove I Have 10 Kids?” But have you ever wondered what the ultimate controversial moments are of all of trash TV history? If so, not to fear, we’ve divulged into hours of YouTube to find out that very question. Check out our top 10 picks for the most controversial segments in talk show history.
10. The Never Ending Cheating Saga (Maury)
Married couple Joe and Shelley managed to find themselves on The Maury Show six different times. One of the most entertaining things about this couple was their overdramatic emotional outbursts — begging for forgiveness, rolling around on the floor crying and even gagging. Over several appearances, Joe revealed he had cheated on his wife with over 30 women and even their live-in babysitter, who he may have impregnated. For whatever reason, Shelley continued to find it in her heart to forgive Joe over and over again. After the fifth appearance Joe had sworn he was a changed man and had never cheated again.
On the couple’s sixth appearance, Shelley decided she had a secret to reveal to Joe. SHE had been cheating on HIM with two different men. BOOM! Although in most situations we can all agree cheating is bad, I think most people in this scenario were thinking, “You go, girl!” I suppose Joe and Shelly’s way of dealing with an insane amount of infidelity is airing it out on television. Who needs therapy, right? To each their own I suppose.
9. Bad Ass Kids (Maury)
There is something oddly intriguing about children acting like train-wrecked adults, am I right? The Maury Show thought so too. On earlier seasons of the show we were introduced to the baddest of the bad kids when their teary eyed parents reached out to Maury for help. Smoking, drinking, drugs and violence these were ankle-biters gone wild.
Notable guests were ones like seven-year-old Jesse who smoked weed and whose favourite drink was whiskey. The young fellow walked out into the audience in an adorable pair of overalls — while greeting them with “Shut the f**k up!” On another episode, little Candice, at the tender age of nine, had already chosen her career path, “When I grow up I’m going to be a stripper and make a lot of money.” We also met a seven-year-old girl who would slap her mother around when she was not allowed to wear sexy clothes. She claimed to have been dating three different boys at the same time, “I may be seven, but I have the body of a 17-year-old woman.” That little tyke came out to the audience in a short skirt, a training bra and scolded the audience for booing her — with her infantile speech impediment and all.
8. 16 DNA Tests For Five Kids (Maury)
Marisol, mother of five, was in quite the pickle, she had no idea who the fathers were of any of her children. She had 16 different men DNA tested—eek. If that concept isn’t humiliating enough, how about airing the entire saga on live T.V.? Marisol became a regular on The Maury Show and had been appearing as a guest for almost 10 years. Over the 16 DNA tests she found the biological fathers of three of her children, however the other two remain a mystery. Here’s to hoping 10 years of DNA tests has taught Marisol a lesson about contraception.
7. Married To Your Dad, But Want You Back (Jerry Springer)
Ryan was dragged onto The Jerry Springer Show by his ex wife. The once happily married couple were torn apart when his wife decided to have an affair with his dad, and then proceed to marry him and have a daughter with him. However, a recent change of heart had this woman wanting her ex back. In a hilarious exchange between the two, Ryan gets his message across, “HELL NO.” I mean, not only would she be almost impossible to forgive, but by getting back with her, his sister would then become his step-daughter and who wants to deal with that mess?
6. Fight Over The One-Legged Lover (Jerry Springer)
A woman came on The Jerry Springer Show to convince a one-legged man named Chris, who she’d slept with, to date her. The only problem is that Chris was set to marry her friend Niecy, and he had no intention of leaving her. To gain a bit of leverage and perhaps change his mind, this mistress decided to take Chris’ prosthetic leg hostage.
When Chris has the chance to speak his mind, he tells us the bizarre yet somber narrative of life without his prosthetic leg, “You got me hoppin’ around the city! I gotta hop around the grocery store! Hop to my car! I can’t even take my damn kids for a walk!” Still refusing, Chris threatens to take her to court to get the leg back. Jerry then tells Chris not to worry, and that they’ll get the leg back for him. After all, the poor guy wouldn’t have a leg to stand on in court — ha ha.
5. Mom And I Play More Than One Guy (Jenny Jones)
15-year-old Heather and her mom Cathie displayed their very unique mother-daughter relationship on Jenny Jones. Cathie was a stripper who wanted her young daughter to follow in her footsteps by teaching her how to give lap dances and play guys for gifts and money. Cathie already had a set of breast implants and claimed the two were on the hunt for “some sucker” to buy Heather a pair. Most mothers might want their daughters to become doctors, lawyers or business owners but Cathie declared this controversial scheme as “the easy way out.” Mother of the year, ladies and gentlemen!
4. Hooker Ditches Dentures (Jerry Springer)
Although the back story to this segment is slightly entertaining, it would not have made our list. However, what happens mid-screaming match between a wife and hooker on The Jerry Springer Show is what really pulls it off.
When a wife confronts her cheating husband’s hooker they of course have a typical Jerry Springer boxing match. But, the best part of all is when the hooker’s false teeth go flying out of her mouth. Does that stop her? Oh no, the brawl continues. She even hands over the dentures to a security guard for safe keeping while the two continue to go at it. Trash T.V. gold.
3. Cheap Date (Maury)
Nicole came on The Maury Show seeking help with her 14-year-old out of control little sister Angelique. Angelique was known for her violent and promiscuous ways, even boasting about selling her body and having a pimp. Most 14-year-olds might be proud of graduating from elementary school, or going on their first date or getting a job babysitting. Angelique on the other hand loved to brag about the time she slept with a man for a double cheeseburger with bacon. Not exactly what you expect to hear out of the mouth of a 14-year-old, then again what else is expected from Maury?
2. Father And Daughter Incest (Steve Wilkos)
The difference between Steve Wilkos and other trash T.V. hosts is that he genuinely seems interested in helping his guests. When you see a segment titled “Father And Daughter Having Sex” you gag a little, and then think “Where the hell do they find these people?”
18-year-old Brittany met her biological father when she was seven. After years of no communication the two reconnected when Brittany was 16 over MySpace when her dad creepily commented a smiley face on explicit photos she had on the site. After that, the two got into a romantic and sexual relationship. Steve brings the father-daughter couple out on stage where they proceed to make-out while the audience tries to hold down their lunch. After trying to offer psychological help and guidance, the two seem uninterested and walk offstage holding hands to live happily ever after as everyone else picks their jaws up off the floor.
1. Grandma and Grandson Incest (Jerry Springer)
Unsurprisingly, it is a segment on The Jerry Springer Show that tops our list. If you thought a father daughter incest relationship was messed up, how’s a grandmother and grandson for you? The concept is extremely nauseating, and Jerry brings up some pretty valid (and hilarious) points.
When Jerry asks the grandson,“Would you sleep with your mother?” he replies, “I don’t know, it depends on how good my dad says she is.”
When Jerry asks the grandmother if she was attracted to her grandson from the moment he was born she replies, “I thought he was adorable the first time I ever saw him.” Which is something most grandmothers would say about their grandchildren, but hearing that from THIS grandma’s mouth is just revolting.