Television’s toughest judge, Judy Sheindlin, will soon return to the bench for the 16thseason of “Judge Judy,” and while the robed one will no doubt still strike fear into the hearts of small-time baddies, even she admits she’s changed a bit over the years.
Oh, sure, Sheindlin still has her courtroom pet peeves that are likely to spark her temper. But she still loves her job. The daytime TV leader opened up about all of that during a Wednesday morning interview on TODAY.
“It’s still fun!” Sheindlin said of her ongoing gig. “Because everybody tells you how terrific you are. Nobody says to you, ‘You have to work harder.” Nobody says to you, ‘You look lousy today.’ Everybody tells you that it’s the best performance you ever did. In my old job, at the family court, you were lucky if you got toilet paper that wasn’t scratchy. Really, nobody cared about how you felt. You did your job. You know, it was a dirty job. But this is a fantasy world.”
While the behind-the-scenes crowd heaps praise on Sheindlin, she doesn’t get quite as much respect from the faces in front of the camera.
“What gets my juices going is people who don’t dress appropriately for court,” she told TODAY’s Matt Lauer. “(They) come thinking they’re going to the beach and all of the sudden they come and somebody puts a microphone in front of them. You came from Omaha. Where did you think you were going when you got on the plane? That gets my negative juices flowing.”
Of course, it’s not all negative for Sheindlin.
“The positive part is that I think people are subliminally learning a couple of lessons,” she said of her show. “Maybe getting a message of responsibility — you know, you make a mistake, learn from it, put a period (on it) and move on. People see the good guy winning, and see the bad guy getting smacked around.”
And while she still plans to smack those bad guys around, judicially speaking, Sheindlin also admits, she’s softened up a bit over the years.
“I think my temperance for different behavior has expanded over the course of my judicial career,” she confessed. “I used to say, ‘Well, this is right and this is wrong.’ As you get older, children get older, they, you know, sometimes make mistakes. You have grandchildren. They get older. The subtleties — you incorporate them, because you’re just a person. You incorporate that into who you are.”
Which is good news for anyone entering her courtroom, assuming they’re not sporting beachwear.
“Judge Judy” viewers, have you noticed daytime’s toughest judge softening up over the seasons? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.
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