Jerry Springer: The Opera is a British musical written by Richard Thomas and Stewart Lee, based on the television show The Jerry Springer Show. The musical is notable for its profanity, its irreverent treatment of Judeo-Christian themes, and surreal images, such as a troupe of tap-dancing Ku Klux Klan members.
The main characters of the show are:
- Jerry — The talk show host.
- Jonathan Weiruss/ Satan — Weiruss, the warm-up man whom Jerry fires for incompetence.
- Steve Wilkos — Head of Security at the Jerry Springer Show.
- Dwight/ God — Dwight, a guest on the show who is cheating on his fiancee with two other people. God appears in Act III.
- Peaches/Baby Jane — Peaches, a guest on the show, who is Dwight's fiancee. Baby Jane is an adult baby in Act III.
- Tremont/Angel Gabriel — Tremont, a guest on the show, who is a male-to-female pre-op transsexual, having an affair with Dwight. Angel Gabriel appears in Act III.
- Zandra/Irene/Mary — Zandra, a guest on the show, is the best friend of Peaches, and is having an affair with Dwight. Irene is Shawntel’s ashamed mother. Mary appears in Act III.
- Montel/ Jesus — Montel, a guest on the show, enjoys dressing as a baby and fouling his own underwear. Jesus appears in Act III.
- Andrea/Archangel Michael — Andrea, a guest on the show, is Montel’s lover. Archangel Michael appears in Act III.
- Chucky/Adam — Chucky, a guest on the show, is Shawntel's redneck husband, who does not approve of her career desires. Adam appears in Act III.
- Shawntel/Eve — Shawntel, a guest on the show, dreams of becoming an exotic dancer, but her husband, Chucky, disapproves. Eve appears in Act III.
This show provides examples of:
- Ass Shove: Jerry's primary motivation in Hell is to not be "fucked up the ass with barbed wire!"
- Back from the Dead: Jerry comes back just long enough for his Final Thought.
- The Conscience: Jerry is haunted by his "Inner Valkyrie"
- Cruel and Unusual Death:
Jerry: "Accidently shot by a man in a diaper, trying to kill a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Not exactly the epitaph I was hoping for. Still, it might look good in Latin..."
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: Poor Steve Wilkos
- Dragged Off to Hell: By Satan himself
- Dying Declaration Of Hate: Even though he's technically dead at this point, Jerry gets a variation of this before he's to be condemned to hell.
Jerry: " in conclusion... fuck you. Fuck you all!."
- Fire and Brimstone Hell: Where Jerry is sent. Complete with a terrifyingly charred version of The Jerry Springer Show's set. The audience are even chained up behind cracks in the walls.
- Greek Chorus: The trailer-trash studio audience fill this role.
- Precision F-Strike: Somewhat surprisingly, the show is famously rich in profanity which should dilute its impact, but the song "I just wanna dance" manages to pull off a Precision F Strike with full emotional effect.
Shawntel: I wanna do some living, 'cause I've done enough dying. I just wanna dance. I just wanna fucking dance.
- Take That:
Ensemble: "Who'll speak for us when you are gone?"
Jerry: "You've got Oprah Winfrey!"
Ensemble: "She's too tame"
Jerry: "Sally Jessy Raphael?"
Ensemble: "She's too old"
Jerry: "Dr Phil?"
Ensemble: "He's too shit!"