y’all don’t know!

Oh, my God. Jerry Springer is still on the air? It’s like I paused 1997. The same crew, the same bald bouncers who stand in between fighting couples who have more tattoos than teeth. I can’t believe this is still on. Jerry paved the way for Fear Factor, The Swan and any television show starting with the word “Judge.” Because we couldn’t believe how watchable the redneck rodeo could be, we dumbed television down to a place from which we may never recover.

As much as Jeff and I loved watching the unfortunately short lived Carnie (oh, man, that girl was crazy), Chuy and I would watch Jerry Springer together, drinking beer with judgment chasers. The only other show we loved like that was South Park, which seemed like the best kept comedy secret for the short time between an internet short where Jesus and Santa fight and Cartman Gets An Anal Probe.

Here’s where the temptation to go on about how impressive South Park is, in what it’s become, is tempered only by the fact that I’m not going to say anything here nobody’s ever thought of on their own. I guess I was startled by the sight of a crowd chanting “Jerry,” something I thought we left back in the last century. I would think this was a syndicated rerun, but someone in the crowd just made a Bush joke, prompting the crowd to chant “U.S.A.” and then immediately, surprisingly, “Vote For Kerry! Vote For Kerry!”

No, seriously. They just started chanting “Vote For Kerry.”

Okay, and now when a woman stood up to make fun of someone’s hair, the crowd began chanting, “Take off your shirt!” Which she did. With a huge scowl on her face.

Now they’re back to chanting “Jerry,” which is what they chant when they all approve of something. Someone threw the girl a string of Mardi Gras beads, which she’s now putting over her grumpy face. Now she’s kissing and hugging Jerry, which the crowd approves, while the woman with the bad hair is calling the flasher fat.

Another woman stood up and told one of the… what do you call them? Guests? Anyway, told her to buy herself a bra. More chanting of “Take off your shirt!” from the crowd. She thought about it, grabbing the ends of her blouse for a second, but then sat down instead. The crowd boos. So every girl who speaks has to flash her boobs to the…crowd of angry… democrats… making gay jokes…who call women “whores.”

Did you guys know about this? Why can’t I stop recapping Jerry Springer?

“Why don’t you try the dress on?” one angry father said after an audience member picked on his son in women’s clothing. “See how it feels?” Was that a threat? The crowd doesn’t care. “SIT DOWN! SIT DOWN! SIT DOWN!”

“I got a question for the old hillbilly,” says a guy with a stiff, blonde Caesar cut. “Are you trying to be Ted Kaczynski?” Man, if they’re still scripting every episode of this show, they need a better comedy team. That joke’s from the first season.

Jerry wants everyone to know that while he understands a man’s desire to wear a dress, he also knows that in order to have peace on this planet, we must be respectful to the feelings of our significant others. He suggests that if you need to wear a “blue spaghetti-strap dress with pink pumps” that you should do it when you’re alone, or at Mardi Gras, or with “other people who are okay with it.” At any other time, it’s a selfish act that will make you a lonely outcast. That’s his final thought.

And — no kidding — the show closed with a skit.

Wow.