Now, generally speaking, I don’t really like to apologize for my lowbrow tastes. However, one soft spot that I’ve never quite been able to justify in my head is my love for daytime talk shows. I’m not talking about shows like “Ellen” or even “Oprah” (although I used to dig the Rosie O’ Donnell show back in the day), but what’s more commonly referred to as trash TV. Yes, I’m talking Ricki Lake. And Jenny Jones. Jerry Springer used to be a favorite of mine back in the day (but now it’s so obviously fake that I can’t watch it anymore). If you lived in the tri-state area, you had to check for the Richard Bey show (quite possibly the most intentionally hilarious of any of the morning talk shows). However, my softest spot is reserved for one Maury Povich.
It’s not Maury himself. As far as talk show hosts go, he’s pretty bland. It’s the guests, and more importantly, the crazy ass stories they come to the show with. Ridiculous paternity tests and confessions of infidelity are chief among them. Honestly, I can’t explain why I even enjoy watching this stuff. I guess seeing people act a fool on national television makes me smile. Sometimes, the stories are legitimately touching, but more often, the stories revolve around some slut that can’t keep her legs clothed and is giving multiple people paternity tests to figure out who the father of her kid is (I legitimately do feel sorry for the kids, though). Or they revolve around some backwoods man-ho who gets busted in the show’s green room admitting to a “sexy decoy” that he’s slept around on his girlfriend or wife with some outrageous number of women. While this seems like a prime opportunity for me to go on a tangent and talk about black folks clowning each other on talk shows and how demeaning it is to the race, I’ve gotta admit that Maury seems to embarrass folks on a fairly equal-opportunity basis.
Here are some Maury show classics:
Some dude says “I never cheated on my wife. I was kidnapped!”…and during a clip retrospective, Maury reveals that he couldn’t keep it together during their segment.
Here’s a mother accusing her daughter of screwing her ex-boyfriend. Gross, huh? This one has to have been scripted.
Lord have mercy indeed. Even clergymen get down.
Now, before anyone gets on my case about laughing at people’s misfortune, let me say two things. First off, some of these stories are very obviously staged or at the very least embellished for entertainment. Secondly, these people put themselves out there. While I have no problem airing some of my dirty laundry on a blog (where I can at least retain a little bit of anonymity), these folks put themselves on blast on NATIONAL TELEVISION!!
(and can I be mad because Maury always seems to take the female’s side, even when she’s slept with multiple men and can’t tell who the father of her child is?)
While this column and it’s title should be taken with a grain of salt (I really don’t have much shame), The Maury Show is one of only a few things that I legitimately consider a guilty pleasure.
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