In 2009 the state of CT offered incredible tax breaks for Jerry Springer, Steve Wilkos, and Maury Povich to move their shows to Stamford. Naturally, I wanted to go. In the summer of 2010, Vincent and I ventured down to Stamford for a taping of The Jerry Springer Show.
The taping of TJSS was fairly disappointing. They play previous shows on their monitors while you wait to psych you up. Strippers, little people, transgendered guests danced across the tv monitors. The show we watched was love triangles where no one fought and everyone left fairly happy with a clear understanding of which relationship still existed at the end of the show. Boring.
Thursday night Frank, Kamille, Vincent, and I drove down to Stratford, CT where we crashed with one of Frank’s friends and ate Mac and Cheese with Bacon Pizza. The next morning we drove the remaining 30 minutes to Stamford, grabbed some breakfast, and began waiting to enter the first taping of the day for The Maury Povich Show.
We easily sauntered through security and sat in their waiting area watching a looped episode of “Fantasies EXPOSED!” Seating in the studio was first come, first served and thankfully we were numbers 23-26.
Pump up music blared through the studio (my favorite being Beyonce’s “Run The World (Girls)”) as people were sat. We nabbed third row center! Frank was lucky enough to nab a seat right behind the psychologist.
The supervising producer came out once we were all seated and said the two magic words that we wanted to hear: PATERNITY TESTS! Already, this was better than Jerry Springer.
“Okay, so what we’re going to do now is tape audience reactions. Does everybody want to be on tv?”
“Then look straight ahead and react appropriately. There is a really cute baby on the screen!”
“The man that is claiming not be that babys father comes out!”
And so on.
“Now, Maury is going to come out,” he continued. “And when he does you all need to jump to your feet and clap and cheer. He will motion for you to sit down, but don’t sit down! We will tell you when to sit down.”
Maury comes out to a raucous round of applause let by the four of us. He motions for us to sit down. We stand and cheer. He again motions for us to sit down and some people get a little weak kneed, but we continue to stand. He again motions for us to sit down and more people squat down to take a seat. A stage hand runs up behind Maury and asks us all to stand back up and cheer. This uncertainty about sitting and standing went on until Maury spoke. At the point the stage hands flapped their arms wildly for us to sit down. I’m already exhausted and we haven’t even seen the first guest yet.
Unlike Jerry, Maury didn’t really interact much with the crowd. Jerry did a whole question and answer forum before he started taping, but Maury was all business. We saw a series of five guests and the paternity revealed that all the men were in fact the baby daddy. We had it all…
Story #1: Woman had baby. Man denying baby. Man’s father upset with how man is denying paternity even though the Woman had told the Man her first baby was his and it was not. Man is the father.
Story #2: Sensitive topic with teenagers. 15 year old girl had sex one time in a closet at school with 16 year old boy. She didn’t know she was pregnant *until she had the baby* – mother and boy denying paternity because he used a condom. Girl maintained she only had sex with boy once and no one else. Boy is the father.
Story #3: A girl meets two men online. Has sex with both in a five month span. First Man called Maury to solidify his paternity. Second Man was the father.
Story #4: Woman had baby. Man denying baby by stating that “That baby isn’t mine because it doesn’t have my last name. It doesn’t have my first name either!” Man has no idea how people work. Man is the father.
Story #5: Woman had twins with fiancee. Her own grandmother was denying that the fiancee was the father and stated that Woman slept around “with 20 different men in the last year.” Obviously, she did not and the Man was the father.
My favorite was story #5 – the grandmother looked like the penguin and the Woman had the funniest voice I’d ever heard. Even the stage hands couldn’t stop laughing. How Maury keeps his shit together sometimes, I will never know.
Even though I was secretly hoping that one man would not be the father, you know, just to change it up a bit, I’m glad that all the paternity cases were solved and there was no major drama to report.
They offered to let us stay for the second show which was “cheating men,” but after a brief group discussion, we decided to head over to Frank Pepe’s in New Haven for some pizza. We got what we came for.
And Frank *really* got what he came for because he caught a shirt in the audience!
#8 Attend a Taping of The Maury Povich Show – completed 2/10/12