By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated August 09, 2002 01:50 AM

Not that Jerry Springer was ever anything to sing about, but British composer Richard Thomas and comic writer Stewart Lee have collaborated to present what Reuters calls a profane, foul-mouthed and hilarious piece called, “Jerry Springer The Opera.” The outrageous work has turned into one of the biggest hits at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, currently running in Scotland. “It’s got tragedy. It’s got violence. There are people screaming at each other and you can’t understand what they are saying. It’s perfect for opera,” Thomas told the news service about Springer’s TV show, whose lurid topics have ranged from “Honey, I’m a Call Girl” to “Bring on the Bisexuals.” And what would an opera about Jerry Springer, 58, be without the man himself? Sure enough, the talk show host, who is also known in Britain, is due to see the show when he visits Edinburgh later this month. Among the scenes he’ll see in it: a diaper fetishist revealing his kink to his lover; a Ku Klux Klan dance number; and a fat man admitting to his future bride that he is sleeping with her best friend as well as a transvestite. Jesus and the Devil also reportedly exchange heated words — and it’s all set to music. Before penning the work, which is not yet scheduled to be produced in the U.S., Thomas and Lee personally met with Springer to tell him about it. Said Lee: “He is ambivalent . . . He was flattered by the idea, but the people that own the name — ‘The Jerry Springer Show’ — say they don’t like the language and the religious content.” Thomas calls that “a bit ironic.”