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YMMV / Jerry Springer: The Opera

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  • Acceptable Targets:
    • Plenty, to the extent the show might as well be called "Acceptable Targets: The Opera". Mostly though, it seems to poke fun at the types of people who typically watch the (real) Jerry Springer Show and the whole "cult of personality" that can occasionally be built up around such hosts. Also the Ku Klux Klan.
    • In the Director's Commentary on the DVD, the writers Stewart Lee and Richard Thomas also make several scathing remarks about various hardline Christian groups. note 
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  • Awesome Music: "I Just Wanna Dance". It's the one moment in the show that seems genuinely sincere and the fact that it's been claimed as an anthem of the LGBT+ community has only boosted its popularity.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Even for a show as insane as this, there are three that really stand out:
    • The first is the appearance of the tap-dancing Ku Klux Klan, which mainly just serves as a cover to laugh at them and provide Jonathan with a cover of getting Jerry shot;
    • The second and third are both during the sequence in Purgatory: when the guests are all saying what's become of them, Andrea has a verse that implies she's a victim of domestic violence which wasn't even hinted at before then (even the writers declare that this makes no sense in the commentary); and the third comes from Irene leading a brief chorus of "howling at the moon". Granted, both of these help to increasingly freak out Jerry and Steve but still...
  • Broken Base:
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    • Typically, fans of the show can be split into three main camps: those that find the first act hilarious but think the religious angle of the second act was unnecessary baiting; those that mostly enjoy it but think there are several moments in both acts where it goes too far; and those who enjoy the entire thing.
    • There's a minor one on whether or not Jonathan is actually the same person as Satan or whether it's just Jerry's brain conflating the two as with the other religious figures sharing resemblances to the guests in Act One. It doesn't help that various lyrics support either interpretation.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The entire show basically relies on this trope. Especially once religion enters the picture - it's basically impossible to find a moment in the second act that doesn't fit this trope.
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  • Draco in Leather Pants: Satan, to the extent where it's uncertain whether it was intentional. It's mainly thanks to his Large Ham tendencies and total glee at the prospect of forcing Jerry (and Steve) to give him his own edition of the Jerry Springer Show.
  • Ending Fatigue: A relatively minor case, but still... Jerry unites Heaven and Hell, then he gets a moment to realise he's actually really about to die, then the crowd makes him give his final thoughts, he does and dies soon after, then the crowd sing his catchphrase for four minutes.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Shawntel is probably the most well-loved of the guests, thanks to her status as The Woobie and the fact that her major song happens to be the Awesome Music mentioned above.
    • Steve who, despite having only one line, is onstage throughout the majority of the show and is essentially the Gromit to Jerry's Wallace.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Not everything wrong with your life can be easily solved, and people will always find something to disagree on. And that's a good thing.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Jonathan telling Jerry that he could run for President is treated as an obvious attempt to suck up to him, and Jerry even calls him out on it. Thirteen years afterwards, a big reality TV host did end up running for President...
  • Jerkass Woobie: Jonathan of all people. His "secret song" tells how, before he came to work for Jerry, he felt like he had nothing and was even contemplating suicide. Then, just as he's done finishing up about how he's now a "vital member of Jerry's team", he gets fired.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Somewhat ironically, the Purgatory sequence is more this than the Hell sequence is. Pretty much everything to do with Purgatory can be classified as this at least until Satan shows up: the nurses, the guests, Baby Jane pulling a wrench out of her head... Even Steve gets freaked out by the end of it.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Despite the show portraying him being something of a Jerkass to his employees and the fact that he dies, Jerry Springer saw and endorsed the original London production, with his only criticism being that they'd got some of the timing of his career moves wrong (which were then corrected).
  • Noodle Incident: Most of what's discussed in Purgatory, including (but not limited to) Shawntel setting Chuck on fire, Dwight killing a man, Baby Jane being killed with a wrench (possibly by Andrea), and Andrea being a victim of domestic violence.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: Basically what happened to the show when it first opened. Christian groups instantly took offence to it thanks to its profanity and lampooning of religious figures (Satan, Jesus, Adam, Eve, the Virgin Mary, and even God). Several campaigns were launched to close the show down - despite many protesters not even having seen it - and the UK National Tour was eventually cancelled as a result.
  • Space Whale Aesop: Discussed and lampshaded during the Purgatory sequence. The Aesop being presented is "Going on a talk show will get you murdered, drive you to suicide, turn you into a murderer or generally ruin your life". Jerry then subverts it by pointing out that all the guests have made their own decisions and neither he nor the show itself did much to influence them.
    Jerry: Let's get one thing straight here. You all wanted to come on the show. ... You all knew the risks, you signed the disclaimers, so stop breaking my balls!
  • Values Dissonance: Intentionally invoked. The chorus regularly utilises slurs to refer to the guests but it's part of their backward trailer-trash personalities.
    • An more straight example with the character of Tremont, who is referred to as a "transsexual", when she's really transgender. It still counts as being Fair for Its Day though, since the show was written in the early 2000s and, while still not a pleasant person, Tremont is still one of the more sympathetic characters (see the Woobie entry below).
  • The Woobie: Shawntel is implied to have been the child of rape, is regularly abused and neglected by her husband and put down by her mother. And all she wants is to be a pole-dancer.
    • Tremont: A trans woman in a highly transphobic society, she announces her love for Dwight and is immediately and very publicly rejected and humiliated by him. Plus, if what occurs in Purgatory is true, she ended up trying to commit suicide but failed, leaving her essentially as a vegetable. Ouch...
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: If you interpret Jonathan and Satan as one and the same, he fits this trope. As stated under the Jerkass Woobie entry above, Jonathan may be a crass obnoxious jerk but he's also extremely lonely and suicidal - and then as Satan, all he wants is an apology for being cast out of Heaven. Sure, he doesn't exactly go about getting it in the best way, but still...
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