The 90’s marked a decade of being able to flip through daytime television and see one talk show after another. Many talk shows focused on serious issues while many were just at the start of going down the road of what is now known as “trash television.” Many of the following talk shows are no longer around, leaving many viewers left to wonder what happened to that host? Here are nine of the most popular talk show host of the 90’s and what they are doing now.
Sally Jesse Raphael
Best known as the talk show host with red glasses, Sally Jesse Raphael hosted The Sally Jesse Raphael Show from 1982 to 2002. The popular talk show made its debut on October 17, 1983 and six months later it was offered for national syndication. Raphael’s show was a huge success and by 1989 over 170 stations in the United States carried the show, some also airing in Canada and the United Kingdom. Raphael not only carried her talk show, but she also continued on with her radio talk show for Talknet. She received over 17.5 hours of TV and radio time per week making her the only woman in broadcasting with that much air time. Despite the cancellation of her show in 2002, Raphael continues to host a celebrity interview show on LogoTV.com and she has a program called Sally Jesse Rides on NewNowNext.com.
Talk show host, Jenny Jones hosted her show, Jenny Jones from 1991 until 2003. Jones’ show first aired nationally on September 16, 1991. It made television history as the #1-selling new first-run talk show. The blonde, talk show host was able to set a new standard in daytime television as her show was the first talk show to feature popular musical acts such as Usher, Ludacris and Nelly. Jones’ show was also the first show to feature outdoor concerts. Although, Jones won the title of “makeover queen” as her most popular shows featured turning guests from “geek to chic.” Currently the former talk-show queen has launched Jenny’s Heroes, which is a program that donates money to individuals who use it to improve their communities. Jones has also released a cook book, hoping to inspire people to eat healthier.
Actress, Ricki Lake landed her first talk show at the age of 25, making her the youngest host in talk show history. In September 1993 Ricki Lake made its debut and in its first season became an instant hit, just trailing behind Oprah. Viewers seemed to enjoy Lake’s personality of holding nothing back and tackling heated issues such as, sexually transmitted diseases and infidelity. In 2004, after 11 seasons on air, Ricki Lake came to an end. In 2012, Lake tried to revisit her talk show host duties with a new show, but it was cancelled a year later. Since then, Lake has competed on Dancing with the Stars and has created a new documentary titled, Breastmilk.
Sensationalist reporter, Geraldo Rivera began his first daytime talk show in 1987, Geraldo. The show began what many call “trash TV” as there were often tasteless topics and fighting between guests. Rivera even had his nose broken in a scuffle between guests. In 1998, after ten seasons of being on air, the show called it quits. Rivera has not said goodbye to television as he joined Fox News Channel in 2001. However, he received more controversy when in 2003, while covering the Iraq war, Rivera reported troop positions and military plans and was then forced to leave the country. That couldn’t stop Rivera though. In 2005, he returned with his own show, Geraldo at Large.
It is best to say that Jerry Springer holds the title as “king of trashy daytime TV.” Springer’s show, The Jerry Springer Show, first aired on September 30, 1991. A surprise to many, the daytime talk show did not begin as trashy as it ended up. The show was actually politically driven, discussing topics on gun control and homelessness. Although things changed in 1994, when a new producer was brought in to engage a younger audience. Hot topics discussed on the show began to include “my boyfriend turned out to be a girl” and what types of breasts are sexier, large or small. By 1998, Springer had landed himself on Barbara Walters‘ “10 Most Fascinating People” list and the show had reached more than 6.7 million viewers. Currently, Springer is nearing 70 years old and the show will soon begin its 25th season.
Arsenio Hall is best known for his late night show, The Arsenio hall Show, which aired from 1989 to 1994. Hall made his mark in television by becoming the first black late-night talk show host and he opened up the doors in being able to feature hardcore rap and hip-hop artists, for the first time ever. His main audience was young and hip with guests that included Bill Clinton, Diana Ross and Paula Abdul. In 1994, as ratings began to drop from Jay Leno beginning to appeal to younger audiences, Hall decided to walk away from the show in order to explore other creative outlets. Since then, Hall attempted to make his way back into late-night television with the return of The Arsenio Hall Show in 2013. Unfortunately, the show did not have the same success as previously and it was not picked up for a second season.
Maury Povich is best known as the host of his own daytime talk show, The Maury Povich Show. It first aired in 1991 and was produced by MoPo Productions. The show changed its title to, Maury in 1995 and began to enter into the “trash TV” category. Povich, who was once an anchorman for a local news station began to cover controversial and risqué topics on his daytime show and has become best known for its paternity test scandals often titled, “Who’s the daddy?” In 2012, the show was on its 22nd season and in 2013, Maury was renewed for another three years, lasting until 2016.
Leeza Gibbons is best known for her role as the host of her daytime talk show, Leeza. It first aired in January 1994 and lasted until 2000. Leeza, stuck out from the competition in daytime television, as the show did not go down the smut road, as most shows were beginning to do. Gibbons kept her show focused on women’s issues. Leeza, had been nominated for 27 Daytime Emmys, including outstanding talk show host and won three. Since then, Gibbons continues her hosting duties on the TV news magazine show, America Now and she is a New York Times bestselling author.
Montel Williams hosted The Montel Williams Show for seventeen years, making himself the first black man to have a daytime television show. The Montel Williams Show was another daytime show that stayed above the trash that was being aired on daytime television. Williams drew viewers in by his charisma and compassion for his guests on the show. He was the only talk show host to employ a full-time psychologist for his guests and launched an aftercare program to help struggling guests pursue treatment. Williams won an Emmy for outstanding talk show host in 1996. Since then, Williams has been outspoken about his diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS), which he received in 1999. He has raised awareness of the disease and launched The Montel Williams MS Foundation.