No One on The Corner Has Swagger Like… Maury?


Published: April 2, 2009

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. “Swagger” is played out. That’s precisely what I was telling my friend Brent in the cafeteria just a few weeks ago. But that was before I experienced an event that changed me in a deep and profound way. An event that is indelibly etched into the memory of everyone who was fortunate enough to be in attendance on one fateful March morning. That was before I saw The Maury Show live.

If you’re looking to earn a Master’s degree in Swagger, look no further than these four crucial lessons I learned from observing Maury Povich. (Courtesy of NBC)

I arrived at 15 Penn Plaza at 8 a.m., joining a line of hundreds waiting to enter the studio for the 10 a.m. taping. After about an hour, I heard a loud roar coming from the back of the line, and as I turned my head I got my first glance at the man, the myth and the legend himself. Little did I know that this is when my education in swagger would truly begin.

LESSON #1: It’s never too early to let the swag out.

Even though Maury made this entrance at just after nine in the morning, he did not do so without swagger. He strutted through the front entrance of the lobby personifying “fly,” wearing a humble black trench coat and winter hat, as if he was “one of us.” Though security tried to usher him along quickly, he made a point to shake hands and high-five many of us on his way in.

By analyzing this seemingly ordinary entrance, we can all learn an invaluable lesson: It’s never too early to let the swag out. Maury admirably gets up early each and every day and gets his shine on. You can do so, too. Even though you might not be a morning person, why voluntarily look like hell just because of laziness? Too often, we go through our mornings in a zombie-like, or even worse, grumpy state. But who knows? If you embrace the morning like Maury does and are willing to put yourself out there from the get-go, you might just have passengers on the rush-hour subway or that hottie in your 8:30 a.m. class jockin’ your fresh.

LESSON #2: Swagger can render any shortcomings meaningless.

The results are in, and they’re as reliable as the show’s paternity tests: Maury’s a pimp. As we awaited Maury’s official entrance, the producer invited any and all ladies in the audience to dance onstage. It wasn’t long before Maury joined the droves of college chicks in getting down with his bad self. Even though Maury may never be mistaken for a graduate of Alvin Ailey, there’s no denying his dancing ability. His moves are not particularly mind-blowing. In fact, he basically repeated the same two-step with a little twist. However, his self-confidence (read: irrefutable swagger) more than compensates for any shortcomings he might have on the dance floor.

Let’s face it. We all have shortcomings. Many of us are self-conscious because we can’t dance, sing or hold our liquor. Many of us feel we’re too short, too tall, too fat, too skinny, too blonde—you name it. Next time you encounter these feelings, ask yourself this: What would Maury Povich do?

And, by the way, if your particular shortcoming is “an unusual fear or phobia that’s ruining your life and you want help to overcome it,” go to

LESSON #3: S.W.A.G.G.E.R. is an acronym for: Sensitive, Willing to Assist, Gracious, Giving, Educated and Remarkably gangsta.

Maury proved to be all these and more throughout the tapings. Two “wild teen” guests on the show were a couple, 14 and 15 respectively, who were having unprotected sex up to six times a day in order to have a baby as soon as possible. When Maury asked them how they plan to support a baby on their own, the boy claimed that he had it all figured out: when he turns 15, he will get a job at Chuck E. Cheese to support his child.

You see, Maury was Sensitive enough to hear them out and Willing to Assist them by Graciously Giving them an Education about what child-rearing is all about, which is Remarkably gangsta. He explained that, even at 15, the boy could only work part-time, not earning nearly enough money to raise a newborn.

You may be wondering, “How does all this apply to me?” Well, aren’t these the qualities that we all invariably look for in a prospective mate? Point blank, if you get these basics of S.W.A.G.G.E.R. down, you’ll never again spend another Saturday night alone in your sweats, watching “Dinner: Impossible” on the Food Network.

LESSON #4: Take care of your peeps.

Finally, Maury understands the importance of being a hospitable host. Our tickets promised us some kind of lunch between tapings, and we didn’t know what to expect. For quite a while, we were concerned that all we were going to get was skimpy deli sandwiches—a rumor that was only fed by the fact that the studio mysteriously smelled of rye bread. So imagine the crowd’s excitement when Maury himself announced that there was an abundance of hot pizza in the hallway for all. He wasn’t kidding. Pizza boxes were stacked on a table practically hitting the ceiling, more than enough for us to go back for seconds.

Even if your budget is smaller than Maury’s, the lesson here should not be lost. If you invite people over to your place for entertainment, you might not believe that you’re obligated to supply them with food or drink. If this is the case, you clearly do not possess swagger. Bottom line, if you want to be on the fast track to swag, that doesn’t just mean no more “BYOB.” It means taking care of your peeps. That means handling any given situation in a thoughtful and sophisticated manner with the utmost regard for others.

This tutorial is only a sliver of what makes up Maury’s swag. An essence that makes him the guy every girl wants to have and every guy wants to be. And if you ever stumble, remember the mantra: What would Maury do?