Talk Show 1 Talk Show English 2 (ENGL0205) Essay Sonia Manyie (0801A65704)
Talk Show 2 Talk Show: The Jerry Springer Show verses Late Night with David Letterman How do you define the talk show genre? If you were to ask someone whattheir definition of a talk show is, it probably would be a conversation between twoperson.After a thorough research on this genre, in-depth explanations will be providedspecifically on the tabloid talk show and late night talk show. According to Shoshana(2008), (as cited in Thornborrow, 1997), the display of spoken narratives are often thestructure of talk show conversations which are coconstructed between the guests andhosts with varying degrees of arrangement by the host. However, before proceeding,it is vital to know a brief history of the talk show genre. The history of talk show is acycle related to changes within the broadcasting industry whether it is a culturalinfluence or an economic development. There are three major subgenres of talk showsdeveloped over time. These are the late-night entertainment talk show, the daytimeaudience participation talk show and the morning magazine-format show (Timberg,2002). Due to their popularity, these subgenres have influenced many other forms oftalk on television such as the tabloid talk shows. Focus will be given on theconstrasting points between “The Jerry Springer Show” which is a tabloid talk showand “Late Night with David Letterman” which is a late-night entertainment talk show.What is a tabloid talk show? A quote for Springer’s show who was dubbed “King ofTrash TV” could probably explain the subgenre: “Crazy” is one of the kinder terms that has been used to describe Springer’s circus. While television today us awash in tasteless, over-the-top “reality” programming, in its early years “The Jerry Springer Show”- with its chair-
Talk Show 3 throwing, hair-pulling, name-calling, sexually promiscuous, occasionally naked, invariably profane guests-was a shock to the public’s system. (Cottle, 2003, p.20).Due to its violent content, Springer’s show which is taped during the day is onlyallowed to be aired during the night. However, it is still considered a daytime talkshow which is a contrast to “Late Night with David Letterman”, which is taped andaired during the night just as its name suggests. Besides that, major difference can be seen from the shows’ guests. Springer’sguests are often outrageous “everyday people” while Letterman focuses more onentertainment and “Hollywood”. Some claimed that Letterman was not a talk showand it is more of an “interview show” as it did not focus on one particular issue,features primarily celebrities and did not present people’s problems (Mittel, 2003). Anexample of outrageous guest is from an episode whereby a guest was invited toSpringer’s show and spoke about her infidelity in which she cheated on her fiance’with a woman. The woman came onto the stage and a fight erupted between the guestand the woman as the guest said she made a mistake and would not leave her fiance’.To make matters worst, the guest’s fiance’ was invited and all hell breaks loose.Furthermore, another contrast can be seen from the shows’ audiences. Brooke (1998)states that Springer only attracts, a low rent, trailer park troupe if claims byconventional wisdom are to be followed. However, the show has its followers andmany may claim that they watch the show for “pure entertainment” purposes. As thesaying goes, “One person’s trash, is another person’s gold mine”. In contrast,Letterman’s shows are envisioned to be appealing to a fairly, broad sophisticatedadult audience, middle class with a college education besides being predominantlywhite (Mittel, 2003).
Talk Show 4 Another contrasting point of the shows’ are its environment and content.Letterman’s environment gives a classier feel and less motivated by “spectacle”which is the main focus of Springer’s show. Despite its success, Jerry Springer hasbeen criticized for its content. According to Rubin, Haridakis and Eyal (2003), theprogram was too violent and was reported by Independent Television Commission(ITC) to be engaging in “victim entertainment” as there are constant verbal andphysical violence performed by the guests (Rubin, Haridakis & Eyal, 2003).Furthermore, authenticity of the content for Springer’s show may be questioned.According to (Cragin, 2010), although Springer does play it “straight”, he and theguests sometimes have trouble keeping straight faces when presenting the guests as ifthey have a serious conflict. For example, during topics like “I’m Pregnant By MyBrother”, it is often unclear whether the guests are serious or the episode was“staged”. In contrast, there are no antics for Letterman’s show as the focus is mainlyon the conversations between him and his guest who are primarily celebrities. In conclusion, television talk show is governed by guiding rules or principlesthat makes it different from other form of television such as drama series or realitytelevision. However, with all its limitations, television talk show is part of modernsociety. Core principles of talk show remains the same which will be host-centered,spontaneous but highly-structured.
Talk Show 5 ReferencesCottle, M. (2003, March 17). Is Jerry Springer rabid enough? Virtually normal. The New Republic, pp.20-23.Cragin, B. (2010). Beyond the Feminine: Intersectionality and Hybridity in Talk Shows. doi: 101080/07491409. 2010. 507585.Grabe, M., E. (2002). Maintaining the Moral Order: A Functional Analysis of “The Jerry Springer Show”. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 19(3), pp.311-328.Gamson, J. (1998). Freaks Talk Back: Tabloid Talk Shows and Sexual Noncomformity. Retrieved from http://books.google.com.my/books?id=rtXcAvu5klAC&printsec=frontcover& dq=history+of+talk+show&source=bl&ots=SC8swlagje&sig=JMUcNlVgw0d 0IEQO5srD9yoeSs&hl=en&sa=X&ei=3MWHUPyvCcbTrQehwICoDQ&ved =0CEAQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=history%20of%20talk%20show&f=falseMittel, J. (2003). Audiences Talking Genre. Television Talk Shows and Cultural Hierarchies. Retrieved from http://ehis.ebscohost.com/eds/detail?vid=2&hid=26&sid=bcbe3c7f-b68a- 486c-a9d7- f76db44ad93e%40sessionmgr114&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2N vcGU9 c2l0ZQ%3d%3d#db=edsbl&AN=RN130933725Munson, W. (1993). All Talk: Talk Show in Media Culture. Retrieved from http://books.google.com.my/books?hl=en&lr=&id=pUzVBt2pYbwC&oi=fnd &pg=PR9&dq=talk+show+definition&ots=viCxIYlm4Z&sig=2V0lZ1D_eJx VGrUKyFj_DR5Hc9M#v=onepage&q=talk%20show%20definition&f=false
Talk Show 6 ReferencesRubin, A., M., Haridakis, P., M., & Eyal , K. (2003). Viewer Aggression and Attraction to Television Talk Shows. Kent, Oh: EBSCO.Timberg, B., M. (2002). Television Talk. Retrieved from http://www.utexas.edu/utpress/books/timtel.html