Inside a studio in Stamford, Conn., a person and a lady had been at one another’s throats.
Tashima and her live-in boyfriend, Darnell, had been battling after he accused her of infidelity throughout their three-year relationship, together with sleeping with the mailman. Darnell’s declare that he was probably not the daddy of their younger son infuriated Tashima, who demanded he step up, be a mother or father to his youngster and “put a ring on it.”
“Look at him! Look at him! You know you lying!” Tashima screamed, gesturing to a big image of the younger boy and singling out his resemblance to Darnell. The solely factor louder than the yelling was the gleeful response from the packed studio viewers.
As the trend escalated, Maury Povich, host of the daytime collection “Maury,” tried to calm the couple down, asking them about the way forward for their relationship. He then reached for a sealed envelope containing the outcomes of a paternity check. The viewers cheered with anticipation.
“When it comes to 3-year-old Andro,” introduced Povich as he learn the outcomes, “Darnell — you are NOT the father!”
As the viewers roared, Tashima sprinted off stage. “Oh my God. Oh my God. I can’t live like this!!” she howled as she collapsed backstage, pounding the ground in anguish as Povich and Darnell tried to consolation her. “I’m here, I’m not going anywhere,” Darnell stated, embracing his girlfriend.
Although one disaster was resolved, one other one — and one other — could be launched after the industrial break. And in every occasion Povich, with a mixture of knowledge, authority and heat, was the calm on the middle of the storm, taking up the function of TV’s symbolic father determine, one he’s held for greater than three a long time.
Until now. The 83-year-old host, who introduced earlier this yr that he’s lastly bringing the curtain down on “Maury,” has opened his final envelope. Original episodes will stop to air when the present season involves an finish in September.
The full information to dwelling viewing
Get Screen Gab for weekly suggestions, evaluation, interviews and irreverent dialogue of the TV and streaming films everybody’s speaking about.
You could sometimes obtain promotional content material from the Los Angeles Times.
Povich, a former newsman and “A Current Affair” anchor, has outlasted a gentle stream of rivals amid shifting viewer tastes to grow to be the longest-running daytime discuss present host in broadcast TV historical past. Premiering in 1991 as “The Maury Povich Show,” “Maury” has carved out its personal distinctive area of interest as a circus of human drama starring outrageous characters and showcasing volcanic disputes amongst warring households, dishonest lovers and deadbeat fathers.
The syndicated collection has continued to be a stable performer, attracting a day by day common of 1.2 million viewers. Povich’s signature catchphrase (“You are/are not the father”), theatrics, backstage tantrums and the “baby daddy dance” carried out when contributors are happy with paternity check outcomes have delighted followers and impressed numerous GIFs. The present has additionally drawn fireplace from critics who say its photos are exploitative and offensive.
“I have no more mountains to climb,” Povich instructed The Times as he relaxed in a Beverly Hills resort suite earlier this month. A couple of hours later, he would obtain the Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award from the National Assn. of Television Programming Executives. Presenting him with the glory was his spouse, famed TV journalist and former CBS News anchor Connie Chung.
While many may label “Maury” as lowbrow and disposable, Povich is undeniably pleased with the present: “I was able to get as close and intimate with my guests, my audience and my viewers as anyone who has done this type of show. I appreciate the faith and trust they had in me.”
The present additionally fulfilled his life’s ambitions: to inform tales and assist individuals. “Every single story deserves attention, and I search for the unique quality in that story,” he stated. “I’ve always been a good reader of people and getting to the heart of what’s most important about them.”
He quipped that viewers won’t actually get an opportunity to overlook him. The collection, which counts 3,600 episodes, has already been offered in repeats. “My viewers will continue to see me for a long, long time.” (“Maury” airs weekday afternoons on KTLA Channel 5.)
As he mirrored on his profession and the success of “Maury,” Povich projected the identical good-humored geniality that’s on show throughout his present. He continues to be gratified (and stunned) on the collection’ longevity, saying, “the great part is when people come up to me and say, ‘I watched you as a kid. I watched you as a grown-up, and now my kids and grandkids are watching you. It’s down to three generations.’”
He is the final survivor of the tabloid-flavored daytime discuss present period that hit its stride in the course of the Nineteen Eighties and Nineties and was dominated by the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Geraldo Rivera, Jenny Jones, Jerry Springer, Sally Jesse Raphael and others.
“Since this show started in 1991, there are 75 daytime talk shows in the graveyard,” Povich stated. “That’s how difficult daytime talk is. And it gets more difficult every year because the audience is shrinking.”
He can also be amused by how popular culture has appropriated among the present’s over-the-top parts. “There are so many GIFs out there. And when I see a Christmas card that says, ‘Joseph, you are not the father…’” Povich’s sentence ends with a shrug and a chuckle.
On “Maury,” which options episodes with titles like “I Can’t Make Girls … Your Daughter Isn’t Mine,” “Stop the Sex and Fighting … You’re Only 14,” “You Begged for a Baby, Now You Want a DNA Test?” “Is My Sister’s Boyfriend or His Brother My Baby’s Dad?” and “I Tested the Wrong Guy Before … Give This New Man a DNA Test!,” onstage battles are accented by flashy graphics, coloration filters and fast-paced enhancing. Raucous studio audiences cheer their favorites and boo the unhealthy guys.
Many of the friends come from decrease socioeconomic backgrounds. Some have appeared on the present a number of occasions, making an attempt to get solutions to questions of paternity or infidelity. The collection additionally offers common updates on former friends.
The attraction of the present transcends racial and gender traces. Young individuals of coloration who seem as friends greet Povich as if he’s an previous buddy. Povich stated viewers tune in for varied causes: “A lot of people watch for entertainment. Others watch for information. Then there are those who feel, ‘There but for the grace of God go I.’ They’re in the same boat.”
Asked about his wildest “Maury” moments, Povich recalled an occasion when a lady accused a person of being the daddy of her twins: “I opened the envelope, and he’s the father of one twin but not the other. The twins were fraternal, and in that case it’s possible for two different fathers if the mother is rather active during a certain period of time. It’s a billion-to-one shot, and it happened on my show!”
Several reveals in previous years featured friends with weird phobias. An 18-year-old waitress with an intense concern of pickles fled the stage in terror when a staffer introduced out a tray full of pickles. Another with a concern of kittens nearly had a nervous breakdown when somebody on stage began petting a white kitten.
One of probably the most weird — and extremely publicized — episodes aired final yr when famous person rapper Lil Nas X (“Old Town Road”) mentioned his love for his music video co-star Yai Ariza, revealing that he was unaware Ariza was married to a lady and had a toddler. The triangle was performed out on stage in what was later revealed to be a stunt by the entertainer to advertise his new album.
Among those that’ve lashed out towards the present up to now is rapper Chuck D of Public Enemy, who charged Povich and his fellow daytime hosts of exploiting their friends, notably younger Black individuals. Povich has been questioned commonly by interviewers about his ethics and method.
While acknowledging the over-the-top formulation of his present, Povich stated there’s a deeper function to “Maury.”
“Yes, there are some theatrics, and I accept it because I have a goal in mind,” he stated. “I’ll take it because I’m looking for the truth. If I can prove someone is the father of this child, that child will have a better chance in life with two people, two parents.”
He went on: “I’ve had these critics over the years say I’m exploiting these people, taking advantage of them. They can take that tack. But I feel there’s a [greater] good. And I prove that. I bring these guests back 15 years later and find out that the guy did get into the kid’s life, got together with the mother and they had more kids and the child ended up with a good job.” The daytime host added: “There are a lot of good endings with these stories. I’m not saying it’s the majority of them. But a significant amount shows that the stories and results have been helpful.”
Povich has been plotting to step away from the present for six years. But executives at NBCUniversal, which syndicates the collection, wouldn’t let him, saying it was too helpful. When he instructed them two years in the past he needed to retire, they requested for one final extension, including that this may give his program the title of longest-running TV daytime discuss present ever. “I said, ‘Good. That’s when I’m hanging it up.’”
In a separate interview, Chung mentioned how followers of “Maury” is likely to be stunned by his off-stage pursuits.
“He’s a voracious reader — our New York apartment is just crammed with books,” she stated in a cellphone interview from the couple’s Montana ranch. “He reads everything — history, biographies, novels. If you ask Maury anything about history — an obscure European war or a past presidency — he has the answer, chapter and verse. It’s equally impressive to me and” — she added with amusing — “extremely annoying.”
She had inspired him up to now to alter instructions: “I’ve asked him, ‘Why don’t you do an intelligent interview show instead of a talk show where you’re determining the paternity of every child in America? You’re so smart, and you have this body of information in your head that you can pull up like a computer.’ And he’ll look at me and say, ‘As long as you know that, I’m fine.’”
Povich is already planning life after “Maury.” He intends to grow to be extra concerned with the Flathead Beacon, a weekly newspaper in Montana that he and Chung personal. The publication is a tribute to Povich’s father, the late Washington Post sports activities columnist and reporter Shirley Povich. He will even spend extra time on the golf course.
But one factor is definite: He’s accomplished with tv.
“My hero throughout my entire career was Johnny Carson,” Povich stated. “I knew him a little bit. The way he went out was the right way. He was never seen again. I have no desire to be on TV again. This is the end of a great job, and there’s no reason to try something else. We’ve seen too many athletes try to hang on too long. I don’t want to be in that company.”