CELEBRITY

TV chat show hosts: Where are they now?

They really could talk a good game.
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They captivated America with their talk shows…

WATCH: MAFS’ Cyrell talks about being the next Jerry Springer

… but where are some of the most influential talk show hosts now?

Keep scrolling to find out.

jerry-springer
Jerry Springer (Credit: Jerry Springer/Getty)

Jerry Springer

One of the most controversial shows ever on the box, Jerry Springer debuted in 1991. Hosted by Jerry, a former mayor of Cincinnati, viewers became hooked on the explosive confrontations – and occasional chair throws!

Now 78, Jerry has said producers quickly realised the fights and scandal were ratings gold. But even they were completely unprepared when a fight broke out on-set for the first time. 

“The first time it went crazy it was scary, because we didn’t have any security,” Jerry said.

After the show ended in 2018, Jerry headlined another daytime series, Judge Jerry, as well as hosting two seasons of America’s Got Talent.

In March, Jerry announced he was stepping back from TV “while I’m still healthy” – although he still hosts a weekly podcast.

“I don’t have to make a living. I want to enjoy life,” he said.

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Maury Povich (Credit: Maury/Getty)

Maury Povich

Maury Povich’s name will forever be synonymous with the five-word catch phrase: “You are not the father!” After 31 seasons on-air (24 seasons of Maury and seven seasons of The Maury Povich Show) Maury finally announced this year that he’s “ready to retire”. At 83, Maury revealed that he had actually planned to retire years earlier, but agreed to fulfil his contract, which ends in 2022, out of “loyalty” to his long-time network and staffers.

Maury departs holding the record as television’s longest daytime talk show. But interestingly, he already had a long and distinguished on-air career prior to finding fame on his titular shows. Maury was an esteemed news reporter and sportscaster who worked in numerous US cities including Chicago, San Francisco, New York and LA, which is where he met his wife and fellow broadcaster, Connie Chung.

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Ricki Lake (Credit: Ricki Lake/Getty)

Ricki Lake

Her eponymous show has been off the air for almost two decades, but we can still hear the chants of “Go Ricki! Go Ricki! Go Ricki!” clear as day.

Ricki Lake shot to stardom in the lead role of the 1988 film Hairspray – and quickly became a Hollywood star. By 1993, Ricki was offered her own talk show and at just 24 years old, she was the youngest host in history.

Ricki Lake tackled serious issues such as same-sex relationships, parenting, AIDS, discrimination and welfare. But in between there were lighthearted segments featuring celebrity impersonators, wish-granting and practical jokes – and the audiences couldn’t get enough.  

The host eventually called it quits in 2004, announcing she was stepping down to spend more time with her family. (The show was briefly rebooted as The Ricki Lake Show in 2012, but was cancelled after just one season.)

Ricki’s on-camera career continued with appearances in numerous TV shows and films. She’s also competed on The Masked Singer and Dancing with the Stars.

Nowadays, Ricki, 54, is best known for championing women’s health and mental health issues, as a result of her own personal lived experiences. In 2020, she went public with her 30-year battle with alopecia.

Earlier this year, mum-of-two Ricki married her third husband, Ross Burningham.

Go Ricki!

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Sally Jessy Raphael (Credit: Sally Jessy Raphael)

Sally Jessy Raphael

Sally Jessy Raphael and her signature red glasses were a daytime television staple for almost two decades.

By the 1990s, the talk show landscape had changed dramatically. As a result, The Sally Jessy Raphael Show took a ratings hit, prompting producers to push it into more scandalous directions until it was cancelled in 2002.

Now enjoying life as a doting grandmother, Sally Jessy, 87, reflects fondly on the glory days, saying: “What makes me proud is the number of people over the years who say I helped them. I changed their lives.”

david-letterman
David Letterman (Credit: David Letterman/Getty)

David Letterman

After stepping away from his 33-year late-night career,  David Letterman made some big life changes – namely growing a beard that would make Santa Claus envious and prioritising time with his only child, Harry, who he shares with his now-ex second wife, Regina Lasko.

Recently, Harry, 18, left for college and David, 75, admits he was taken aback at how emotional he got.

“The separation of the kid leaving home, I thought it would be nothing, but it’s devastating,” he says.

Luckily, he’s got his popular Netflix show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman to keep him occupied. The fourth season premiered in May.

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