In Chicago, trashy television talk shows were made famous.

Chicago Was The Capital Of Trashy Television Talk Shows

Robert Feder is a longtime newspaper writer in Chicago. His specialty is reporting on the media news in the Windy City. Since I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and work in radio, I have read his column for years.

In a recent article from his website,, he had this to say about the history of television talk shows in Chicago.

"Chicagoans are justifiably proud of their role in propelling Oprah Winfrey to national stardom and serving as hometown boosters of her phenomenally popular and socially conscious talk show for more than 25 years."

"But many of us would prefer to forget a more shameful side of Chicago’s recent past as the daytime talk show capital of America. For the better part of a decade, the city also was an incubator for the worst excesses of trash TV — from mindlessness to mayhem culminating in an off-screen murder of one guest by another."

It is funny because when I saw this story, I had just watched a new documentary series on Vice TV about this very subject. In fact, Feder was interviewed for the show.

Famous Television Talk Shows Filmed In Chicago

Television studios decided back in the day, that Chicago was a good place to film talk shows for television, especially the daytime ones.

Of course, Chicago is known for Oprah and all the good things she did with her show but there are many others that are not highly regarded.

When creating your line-up card, Jerry Springer and his daily trash fest knocks out all the good Oprah did.

There was Phil Donahue. His program was not trashy like Springer but it did go into some controversial subjects.

Jenny Jones, Bertice Berry,  Danny Bonaduce, and Steve Wilkos were all following the Jerry Springer lead with their guests and topics.

Rosie O'Donnell was not trashy but it was not good either.

That was just naming a few. There have been several through the years.

New Documentary Series Features TV Talk Show History In Chicago

Vice TV is a channel that flies below the radar but it is definitely on my rotation. I originally found them through a show called "Darkside of the Ring" which is about the behind-the-scenes and brutal life of professional wrestling.

Video: DARK SIDE OF THE RING (Trailer)

That led me to the next series called "Darkside of Football," which went behind the scenes of the world of NFL football. Another good program. I am a huge fan of the sport, so I enjoyed it too.

Video: DARK SIDE OF FOOTBALL (Series Trailer)

Now, that brings me to their latest, "Darkside of the '90s." That was an important decade of my life, so I am definitely interested in it too.

Video: Dark Side of the 90s (Trailer)

In the season premiere of the series, they cover Trash TV and talk shows. The shows from Chicago are a big part of the episode.

Check out the show for yourself.

Video: How 90s Trash TV Became Deadly | Dark Side of the 90s

It is pretty weird to think about now. They were the "in" for a little while.

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