Day 16: The Maury Povich Show (My Guilty Pleasure)

Written by Don P on . Posted in Challenge #10

(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes) - Maury Povich

The Maury Povich Show was originally created in 1991 to help families who were struggling with domestic problems until Maury said, "Hey, what's that Springer guy up to? Let's do that, but tone it down so we're taken seriously. How about a PG-13 version of The Jerry Springer Show without the boob flashing and coldcocks to the face?" And thus, a television masterpiece was born.

Today, the show simply known as Maury is like any other shitty daytime talk show, providing Maury Povich a medium in which to bitch slap countless young men with concrete DNA evidence of their past mistakes on national television. This allows you to simultaneously feel better about yourself in comparison to the guests on the show, while plummeting you into a deep depression upon realizing you're spending countless hours watching daytime programming. Let's check out the topics:

Strange Phobias

Maury would sometimes have an episode showcasing people who are scared of some really crazy shit. I'm not talking about logical and common fears like death, spiders, snakes, or panty thieves — I'm talking about balloons. That's right. Motherfucking balloons. Other hellish, pants-shitting objects include chicken, cotton, gum, Jell-O, pickles, mustard, and birds. Well, birds can actually be kind of scary.


You may have played this game at a bar once or twice in your life; Maury just makes it look more fun. These episodes center around a fun game appropriately titled, "Man or Woman?", where members of the audience attempt to correctly identify the gender of catwalk-strutting guests.

Obese Children

What happens when you stuff a kid full of butter and sugar and shun exercising? Hilarity, that's what! Maury brings on fat kids — and lots of them — to discuss with a "specialist" (maybe a doctor or maybe some guy promoting his new weight loss book) how bad it is to be less than 3 feet tall and weigh 400 pounds. Thanks, Maury.

Out of Control Teens

Speaking of kids, why not bring to light kids who drink, use drugs, are sex-crazed lunatics, and don't get along with their parents; otherwise known as "teenagers." But according to Maury, these teens are WAY out of control and he needs to bring in extra artillery: "D" West. D-West's main objective was simply to scare the living shit out of pre-teens and adolescence by locking them in an actual prison cell with and screaming in their faces for hours. No word yet on if he actually took them into the shower for the full prison experience, ensuring total rehabilitation.

Cheating Spouses

One of the most common tools of the show was Maury's polygraph test to catch cheating spouses. As everyone knows (if you don't already, research it) polygraph tests are almost 100% unreliable and produce a false reading from the nervousness and pressure of being interrogated, rendering them very useful to anybody who has mastered the art of lying. But he continues to use them anyway. A much more effective approach is his use of a "Sexy Decoy" who, more or less, uses the ancient art of entrapment to get an unsuspecting guest to cheat on their spouse or significant other right there backstage in the studio. The "I tripped and my dick went in" defense doesn't exactly work when Maury has you on camera gracefully positioning your hips.

Paternity Tests

Here it is, the paternity test: Maury's meat and potatoes; his bread and butter; his dog and pony show; his rape and pillage if you will. They're the five words — "You are NOT the father" — that has changed the landscape of daytime television. There he stands, like a geriatric Julius Caesar, holding the fate of some poor bastard in his liver spotted hand. After a brief back story and a terrible math calculation from the mother ("I'm 1,000,000,000,000% sure he's the father"), the alleged father (or "baby daddy") is heard from, typically to the soundtrack of boos and jeers from the audience. Maury then opens the envelope to turn one guest's trip into a pleasant one, and the other a very, very sad one. If we're lucky, this reveal could have been preceded by the answers to a lie detector test if one of the guests happens to be extra slutty. Guests sometimes have to make a reappearance on the show (or multiple reappearances) if they fail to find the father child support check of their kid on the first try.


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