The Maury Show is a daytime talk show hosted by Maury Povich.
The Maury Show most often covers paternity tests, usually where a woman is testing two or more men for the paternity of her child. However, other themes recur in the show, such as transsexuals, lie detector tests to determine infidelity, abusive husbands and boyfriends, shocking sex secrets, strange phobias, people with deformities, makeovers, and out of control teenagers. Guests are tracked for progress after the show, and often return to the show to tell Maury Povich how things have changed since the initial appearance.
Paternity tests Edit
A mother appears on-air attempting to prove (or disprove, in some cases) that a man is the biological father of her child or children. Often the mother will bring the child or children to the studio to prove her claim's validity to Maury, the audience, and the accused father. She will often say "I'm 100%/1000% (or some other high amount) sure he is the father!" Images of the father and child are displayed on the screen. She is occasionally accompanied by her mother who is furious that her grandchild is being denied. In most cases, the accused father is hostile towards the accusing mother, giving various reasons (such as infidelity and sterility) why the child cannot be related to him, often saying "The baby doesn't look like me" and sometimes "I can't have kids", "She never told me she was pregnant", or "She cheated on me". Sometimes the accused father believes that the accusing mother is just after money. The accused father is occasionally accompanied by his current girlfriend, fiancee, wife or other family member to support his claim.
After the mother tells her story to Maury, the father in question then comes out on the set being loudly booed by the audience while being greeted by Maury. The man tells his side to Maury, who then reveals results of the DNA test which was performed prior to the show's taping. Maury asks the man what he plans to do if the child is, in fact, his, and the man almost always responds by saying that he will provide for the child in that case. Maury then says "When it comes to (age and name of child), (man's name), 'You are the father!' or 'You are not the father!'" After the results are revealed, the parties react accordingly; when the man is proven to be the father, the mother often will celebrate, whereas if the man is proven not to be the father, he celebrates, occasionally high fiving audience members while the mother runs backstage crying with Maury following her to console her, saying "We'll be glad to help you find the father". A follow-up episode often checks up on the story weeks or months later. Mothers often return on future episodes to test more men.
Lie detector tests Edit
A guest who suspects his/her partner is cheating describes to Maury the suspicions he/she has. The accused individual is attached to a polygraph machine prior to the show's taping and asked questions about the topic in question. A video is shown of the accused partner denying the accusations and he/she comes on the stage being loudly booed by the audience.
When the results are revealed by Maury, he typically says "You were asked if you had sexual intercourse with any other woman during your relationship with (significant other's name). You said no, and the lie detector determined that was a lie (or 'You are telling the truth')". On occasion, Ralph Barberi, the lie detector administrator, will appear and explain that the person had "significant reactions" to one or more questions. In rare circumstances, the accused individual would admit his/her affairs while being tested (result: "You admitted to our lie detector administrator you've done so."), or if the person refuses to answer a specific question. Other times, an individual will maintain their innocence despite the test results and ask to re-take the lie detector test.
In some cases, Maury and the show's producers would settle the accused in a "green room," where either a buddy or a sexy decoy would appear as another guest of the show in order to get to the whole truth.
Some episodes in the series also deal with abusive relationships (where men delusionally and arrogantly believe it is their God-given right to control and abuse the women they say they love). In these episodes, women currently in relationships with controlling and abusive men appear on the show for help. These men often say things such as "This is a man's world!", "Women were created to wait on and serve men hand and foot!","I love her, and that's why I control her.", "Women should speak only when spoken to!", "I'm proud that I treat my wife like a dog! All women are dogs!", "According to the Bible, I have the right to control and reprimand my wife!", or even "She's my property; I own her!". Some men say they were raised by their fathers and/or grandfathers to control and enslave women in marriages, and are teaching their children to do the same thing. A lot of the times they will emotionally, psychologically, verbally and physically abuse women if they feel that the women are not following their rules and orders (i.e. when they can and can't see their family and friends, not allowing them to see other men, how they are to serve the men their food, how the men are to be addressed as, when and where they can sleep, etc.). In some episodes, the men may also inspect their woman's body on a consistent basis to make sure their wife or girlfriend does not cheat on them. These men are also brought to the studio and publicly rebel against their girlfriend, fiance, or wife and refuse to listen to their pleas. They also rebel against and insult the host or, if possible, the women in the audience.
In order to help both parties involved, the men are then transported to a location in an attempt to scare them into acting differently; mostly the place was a funeral home (the abused women are in coffins to appear as if they are deceased); other times the place was a homeless shelter. In one episode, the place was a prison. Usually, the tables are turned and the men are forced to follow the rules set out by Dave Vitali and Jeff Gardere (i.e. serve the women food in a different manner than their abusive manner, clean bathroom and kitchen floors, set a table, etc.). A guest named Gregory and another guest even misused Scripture in the Bible to justify his abuse, another named Mike delusionally said that women who hyphenate their last names after marriage are sluts, and that the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution was "one of the biggest mistakes in American history" because women stopped staying in the house being subservient to their husbands. (Dr. Jeff Gardere explained that Mike was suffering from a delusional system set up in his mind where he views himself as being an ever-important person, creating these ideas and beliefs to put himself in a position of superiority to his girlfriend Karen and to all women.)
When the men return to the studio, they often apologize for their behavior or (rarely) continue the abuse and mistreatment. Occasionally, couples return because the men, who stop the abuse, are suspected of cheating on the same women they beat and mistreated.
The controlled women are often given several names by the controlling men, including:
- Property (usually preceded by "my")
- Queen (in the case of one abuser named Anthony, who kept referring to his wife LaToya as this because he kept hubristically referring to himself as "a king")
Guest updates Edit
Maury periodically updates viewers on past guests and reveal what happened to a guest after the show (i.e., if a man is still raising a child proven not to be his, or if a couple stayed together after a partner was proven to be cheating)
At the end of each year, Maury does a top 10 countdown of the most memorable guests of the year with updates on each guest.
On the Maury Show, people will often do the following:
- Run backstage after receiving unpleasant news. The cameras and Maury often follow the person backstage.
- Dance upon realization that a man is not the father (sometimes, when a man wants to be the father, he will dance as well).
- Move his/her chair away from a person he/she doesn't like.
In Fall 2012, a Maury Show spinoff called The Trisha Goddard Show, will air in the United States, following the format of her old talk show in the UK.