Shortly after Oprah took her low budget Chicago talk show national in 1986, she quickly emerged as the richest woman in entertainment, and then the richest African American of all time, and would eventually become, for several years, the only black billionaire on the planet (excluding a Canadian Blasian billionaire and a Saudi Arabian Blarab billionaire, both of whom seemed less than 50% black). As a compassionate social Darwinist, I watched in great fascination as arguably the biggest brained member of both her race and her gender, emerged as the World’s richest black and the World’s most influential woman.
Many in the industry were shocked that an overweight black woman could be the most successful talk show host in America, and acquire so much wealth, fame and power in the process. Today blacks are considered hip and cool, but back in the 1980s, there was enormous stigma to being black because it meant your ancestors were from Africa, so seeing a dark skinned black looking black woman on TV was incredibly taboo and shocking to people, and it was even more shocking when she started making so much money.
People probably thought, if a black woman can make all that money hosting a sassy talk show, it must be easy, and so pretty soon, the industry exploded with Oprah clones, each one, more sensational than the one before, until the sight of a drag queen became more common on daytime TV than a cooking segment.
Oprah was not pleased that so many people were entering her industry, trying to get a slice of her lucrative pie. “The reason there are so many talk shows, is people came specifically looking for the Oprah deal. They wanted the bucks,” she fumed.
Furious that others would dare think they could compete with her, Oprah watched with glee as as a platoon of competitors bit the dust. It didn’t matter if they were white or black, male or female, fat or thin, everyone who tried to compete against her got clobbered. At her peak, her ratings were an astonishing FOUR TIMES her nearest competitors. It seemed to me her huge brain size was giving her an ability to come up with witty comments, and down-home folksy wisdom that kept the audience entertained. For example when a couple mentioned they had sex on a golf course, Oprah asked “any particular hole?” When a jailed alcoholic praised himself for not drinking for years, Oprah said “I never heard of alcohol being served in prison.”
By the time Oprah was in her 40s, she was disgusted with all the sleaze on daytime TV and vowed to take the high road. No more shows about one night stand reunions, cheating husbands, and Satanic worshipers. More shows about spirituality, Toni Morrison, and Maya Angelou. Her ratings initially slipped, but she was so rich and so far ahead of her competitors that she could afford to pursue prestige over profits.
Then out of nowhere came a young hip Ashkenazi Jewish New Yorker named Ricki Lake, who was rapidly emerging as the fastest growing talk show of all time. She was only 26, and while Oprah had decided to take the high road, Lake was doing shows about taboo sensational sexual topics, that just came across as fun to her young audience, who would chant “Go Ricki! Go Ricki! Your topics, are icky!” Lake’s Ashkenazi genes gave her the verbal IQ to further entertain her audience with one liners like “Dump that zero and get yourself a hero”
Lake quickly beat every single talk show in America, except for Oprah, but was rapidly gaining on her. Oprah was beginning to get pestered by the media, one of whom said something like, “your ratings are down 25%, Ricki’s ratings are up 75%.”
“That means nothing,” Oprah replied. “My ratings are twice hers”
“So you don’t care about ratings. You just want to do a show that uplifts people?”
“That’s right. I’m surprised you got it!”
Still Oprah, was feeling the heat, and she came back from summer holidays with a hip hairstyle and a Beverly Hills 90210 Valley girl persona, to adapt to the young competition:
A few weeks later, Forbes magazine stunned the World by announcing that Oprah’s net worth had hit $340 million, allowing her to replace Bill Cosby as the only black on Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans, and was well on track to be a billionaire! Everyone already knew Oprah was the richest woman in entertainment, but to suddenly make the ultra prestigious Forbes 400 put her in a whole new category. For she was now the richest black in all of America, beating out everyone, even Ivy League mulattoes and quadroons. Oprah’s star had risen so high, Lake faded into TV history, but a new Ashkenazi rival was emerging. But first, would come Rosie O’Donnell
By the last 1990s, a gentile named Rosie O’Donnell (who incidentally has a head circumference almost as large as Oprah’s) was rapidly emerging as Oprah’s big threat in the ratings, because like Oprah, she could relate to the struggles of gaining weight, and like Oprah, she was acquiring a wholesome family friendly reputation, and on top of that, as a stand-up comic, she had the quick wit to entertain millions.
Many were predicting Rosie would be the new Oprah, so the last person anyone ever expected to emerge as the real threat to Oprah’s empire was some boring nerdy mild mannered lawyer in his 50s, but 900 years of intense natural selection for high IQ Jewish genes seemed to give Springer the mental ability to adapt to any challenge. He entered college at a young age earning a Regents scholarship, and went on to get a degree from prestigious Northwestern law school. Jumping from one leadership position to another, Springer began his career as an ultra liberal aid to Robert Kennedy, turned mayor of Cincinnati at only 33, then adapted to a new career in television, becoming Cincinnati’s number-one anchor, winning ten local Emmy Awards for his articulate commentaries. Finally, he was given a nationally syndicated talk show.
At first Springer was too low on the totem-pole for Oprah to even acknowledge, but suddenly he was catching on like wildfire. Exploiting the fact that the Christian right had scared other talk shows out of doing sleazy topics, and Oprah had by now totally abandoned sleaze, and was competing with Rosie to be as wholesome and family friendly as possible, Springer shrewdly adapted; filling the sudden market void, taking sleaze to the extreme with shows about one night stands, interracial sex with drag queens, and having black women pull out each-other’s weaves on national television. And unlike other hosts who had tried to push sleaze to the extreme such as Geraldo and Morton Downey Jr., Springer did not act like a tough guy; instead he stayed true to his cerebral nerdy personality, hiding cowardly in fear behind audience members when the angry black women on his stage got too violent.
The contrast between angry violent low IQ guests beating eachother up, as the nerdy cowardly Springer giving cerebral philosophical commentary from a distance, proved enormously successful. Although Springer’s large cranial capacity was nowhere near as big as Oprah’s or even Rosie’s, as an Ashkenazi Jew, he may have carried unique IQ genes related to Tay-Sachs, Gaucher’s and Niemann-Pick, involved in the storage in nerve cells of special fats called sphingolipids, which form part of the insulating outer sheaths that allow nerve cells to transmit electrical signals.
This superior neurological efficiency may have been what made Springer especially articulate and witty off the cuff. For example, when a young woman in his audience offered to pretend to be bread if Springer would be the butter, Springer joked “the trouble is, at my age I’m toast.” When a naked woman on his show complained that her conservative parents had their panties in a bunch over her nudist life style, Springer said “at least they have panties”.
After each of his witty comebacks, the young audience would chant “JERRY! JERRY! JERRY!”.
The explosive combination of sleaze, nudity, violence, mixed in with Springer’s articulate commentary and witty punchlines, proved incredibly successful, with entire college bars watching Springer every afternoon, even at prestigious universities like Oxford. And then in the late 1990s, the unthinkable happened: Springer made television history by beating Oprah in the ratings, knocking her off the number one spot she held since 1986.
Oprah must have been furious that he was beating her. She didn’t have the option of adding trashy topics to her show, because having publicly abandoned such topics in 1995 for more inspirational shows, turning back would have looked like a hypocritical ratings grab that would have damaged her unique prestige. Thus Oprah had little choice but to wait for the media to shame Springer out of doing sleaze, however Springer’s high Ashkenazi verbal IQ made him especially adept at deflecting criticism.
When reporters would complain that his show was exploiting people, bringing on the poor, disenfranchised, and black, and letting them beat each-other up for the entertainment of rich white college kids, Springer would say he thinks news exploits people, because news forces the camera into the face of people who don’t want to be in the headlines, unlike his show where people beg to come on. He would even paint himself as a kind of liberal crusader who was providing a forum for the black underclass.
Finally Oprah decided to take action. She went on TV and started reading from the Bible, then turned to the audience and said “Springer’s having fights, we’re reading the Bible.” The audience applauded, but more drastic action was needed, so Oprah gave an interview where she threatened to quit television:
I am all talked out.My contract has two years left, then I am getting out of such shows, because I feel they are going to burn themselves out…I am in disbelief about things that are happening on television talk shows. How low can it get? Can public taste keep on sinking? Yes, it can. I have to get out…Up until a few months ago, I felt that Jerry Springer was giving us some serious competition. But I don’t think it is sustainable because his show is such a vulgarity circus.
Unless you are going to kill people on the air, and not just hit them on the head with chairs, and unless you are going to have sexual intercourse – and not just, as I saw the other day, a guy pulling down his pants and pulling out his penis – then there comes a point when you have oversaturated yourself.
As usual, Springer cleverly used his high Ashkenazi verbal IQ and high social IQ to adapt. Realizing it would be bad optics to get into a slug-fest with such a beloved black woman, Springer adapted by becoming self-deprecating while praising Oprah. “She’s the most talented person there is in this business,” he would tell reporters. “I’m a bright guy, but I’m not cut out for this business like she is. She’s unbelievable…Let’s face it, she’s the best there is…She’s the best there ever was. Ten years from now, everyone will remember Oprah, no one will remember me…so she doesn’t like my show, that doesn’t make her a bad person. My own mother would have hated the show, and I love her!”
But big brained Oprah wasn’t falling for his shtick, and neither were her fans, and Springer came under pressure to not have so much violence on his show. His ratings began to drop like a rock, and Oprah regained her status as the number one talk show in syndication, and would soon emerge as the World’s only black billionaire.
As the 21st century began, it became apparent that no one, no matter how bright, funny, talented, or famous, would ever again have a syndicated talk show that could rival Oprah’s, but another Ashkenazi Jew with a legal background, brilliantly adapted, not by hosting another talk show, but through an entirely new genre of daytime TV: the court show.
The fast talking, quick thinking Judge Judy utterly dominated the court show genre with one-liners like “don’t pee on my leg and tell me its raining” and at her peak, by some estimates, got more viewers than Oprah. Yet unlike so many Ashkenazi Jews, Judy seems to lack the entrepreneurial skills to turn her huge success into a billion dollar empire. She earns about $45 million a year, a truly astonishing figure, far higher than virtually any in TV history, yet still dwarfed by the $315 million a year Oprah was reportedly raking in during the final years of her talk show.
In addition, Oprah parlayed her talk show gig to become a truly iconic figure, one of the ten most worshiped people in American history. Judy has yet to make the leap to that kind of status, but like her co-ethnic Jerry Springer, she is incredibly verbally skilled, and the two of them go down in TV history as the only two syndicated personalities to ever beat Oprah in the ratings.