APRIL MOVIE THON DAY 25: Ringmaster (1998)

Despite what that VICE Dark Side of the 90s would have you believe, Jerry Springer didn’t invent his show format. Morton Downey Jr., Geraldo Rivera, Phil Donahue (who he was a clone of at first) and Wally George had all been there and done that, but Springer ended up hitting the cultural zeitgeist at the right time and knew early on that he needed to hire pro-wrestling-connected talent bookers to keep bringing in worked storylines to keep the machine moving.

For some reason, Springer isn’t himself but Jerry Farrelly. Was he embarrassed? After all, this is the one-time mayor of Cincinnati who paid for sexual favors with a personal check. Regardless, his show has three different storylines:

You Did WHAT With Your Stepdaddy?: Angel Zorzak (Jaime Pressly, who deserved and got better) is sleeping with her mother Connie’s (Molly Hagan, Code of SilenceThe DentistSometimes They Come Back… Again) husband Rusty (Michael Dudikoff, so deserves so much more, so go watch American Ninja or Avenging Force and think kind thoughts for him) while she’s sleeping with Angel’s boyfriend Willie.

My Traitor Girlfriends: Demond (Michael Jai White, Spawn) is cheating on Starletta (Wendy Raquel Robinson) with her friends Vonda (Tangie Ambrose) and Leshawnette (Nicki Micheaux).

The third is Jerry himself, who much like Chuck Barris in The Gong Show Movie, is afraid of the career and life that he has made.

Director Neil Abramson and writer Jon Bernstein have a major issue to deal with: any sort of fake real episode of Springer’s show is more interesting than what they could invent. Roger Ebert shared that he heard Springer once said, “I know I’m going to go to hell for doing this show.” I don’t think he will for this movie. It’s too boring for eternal damnation.

You can watch this on Tubi.

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