Happy Birthday, Jerry Springer! | EW.com

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Happy Birthday, Jerry Springer!

Yes, February 13 may be the inimitable Stockard Channing’s birthday (also shared by Peter Gabriel and Robbie Williams), but have any of them inspired the most crass-to-class opera in history? (Click here for EW’s own Melissa Bernardo reporting on the recent Carnegie Hall debut of Jerry Springer the Opera.)

While minions presumably stack the towers of money his syndicated talk show has earned him, Springer has always claimed to be more than a TV ringleader blamed for the dumbing down of daytime. Who remembers that Springer was once mayor of Cincinnati? Okay, that’s no secret. But you may not recall that he also ran for governor of Ohio in 1980, in a campaign apparently characterized by classic Springer chutzpah. In this ad, he candidly confronts scandalous accusations, calmly conveying that pursuing a career in public service and being serviced by a prostitute years earlier are unrelated matters, irrelevant to his qualifications for office. You tell ‘em, Jer.

To Jerry: We hope your birthday wish isn’t to make this relic from your political past disappear. It’s just too fascinating to forget. I suspect that, if I’d been an Ohian over 18, I’d have voted for him after seeing such an atypicallystraightforward (for a politician) display of articulatelevel-headedness. Anyone else agree?