On Alex's suggestion, I've just watched the Jerry Springer episode of the BBC geneology Series Who Do You Think You Are?\
Well worth a look if you can, touching but not sentimental. And as befits the man, a gloriously rich and epic tale.
It also shows a more human side to TV's Mr Cynical. The reality of another person's death works on all of us very differently from the statistical fact of the same - just as Stalin is supposed to have observed - because it's people and not stuff that we're wired for.
So who does Jerry now think he is?
"I'm a link in the chain of an old wonderful family. I'm blessed"
"A link in the chain" not an individual. Just like a good social animal does...