‘Gong Show’ host and game show creator Chuck Barris dies at 87

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Barris died of natural causes Tuesday afternoon at his home in Palisades, New York, according to publicist Paul Shefrin, who announced the death on behalf of Barris’ family. Barris made game show history right off the bat, in , with “The Dating Game,” hosted by Jim Lange. A young female questions three males, hidden from her view, to determine which would be the best date. Sometimes the process was switched, with a male questioning three females. But in all cases, the questions were designed by the show’s writers to elicit sexy answers.

After the show became a hit on both daytime and nighttime TV, the Barris machine accelerated. The grinning, curly-haired Barris became a familiar face as creator and host of “The Gong Show,” which aired from to Patterned after the Major Bowes Amateur Hour show that was a radio hit in the s, the program featured performers who had peculiar talents and, often, no talent at all. When the latter appeared on the show, Barris would strike an oversize gong, the show’s equivalent of vaudeville’s hook.

The victims would then be mercilessly berated by the manic Barris, with a hat often yanked down over his eyes and ears, and a crew of second-tier celebrities. Occasionally, someone would actually launch a successful career through the show. He directed and starred in “The Gong Show Movie,” a thundering failure that stayed in theaters only a week.

Seeking escape from the Hollywood rat race, he moved to a villa in the south of France in the s with his girlfriend and future second wife, Robin Altman, and made only infrequent returns to his old haunts over the next two decades.

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Barris died of natural causes at age 87 in Palisades, New York, Variety. Decades before television talent shows such as “American Idol” and “America’s Got Talent” came along, Barris was putting everyday people before the cameras in what was more of a reverse talent show with everyday people who did not mind exposing their vulnerabilities or answering embarrassing questions. At the ABC network in the early s, Barris was in charge of deciding which game shows were put on the air but quit to form his own company.

He eventually would put more than 15 shows on the air during the s and ’70s, starting by conceiving and producing “The Dating Game. The highlight of every episode was when the couples were asked about “making whoopee” – the euphemism the show used for sex to mollify censors. Barris said there was no need to offer expensive prizes on “The Newlywed Game” because couples were so excited about being on national television that a new washer was all they needed.

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Chuck Barris, ‘Gong Show’ Host And ‘Dating Game’ Creator, Dies At 87

Chuck Barris , the host of The Gong Show , has died. Barris passed away of natural causes Tuesday in his Palisades, N. A Philadelphia native, Barris got his start as a page at NBC before working in the daytime programming division at ABC, where he was responsible for choosing which game shows to air. In , Barris was tapped to host The Gong Show, an absurd amateur talent contest in which he stopped bad performances by striking a gong.

The show was a huge hit with viewers but critically panned, earning him the nicknames “The King of Schlock” and “The Baron of Bad Taste. The book was adapted into a movie by Charlie Kaufman , starring Sam Rockwell as Barris, and marked George Clooney ‘s directorial debut.

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I watched a whole lot of TV. I suspect that you do not. It was a decade of wholesome family sitcoms and subversive cartoons that flew under the radar and straight into cult fame. It was a transformative period for so many televised genre programs, from science fiction and mystery to horror and absurdist humor. Here, then, is a ranking of the top 90 shows of the s. Murder, She Wrote Years: Really, the most remarkable thing about Murder, She Wrote is the way that murder literally follows Jessica Fletcher around everywhere she goes.

Any locale this woman visits is immediately stalked by death, moments after her arrival. That was the bizarre thing about the show—it could go from a story about long-lost twins somehow finding their way back together into a segment about demonic possession or alien abduction at the drop of a hat. It was very much in the same vein as some of its contemporaries, with a cast of attractive young kids, although it was set apart somewhat by its pretty New England surroundings.

And James Van Der Beek of course remains a total dreamboat to this day. Walker, Texas Ranger Years: The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.

Chuck Barris, TV game show creator and host, dies at 87

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Howard Schultz, a veteran producer whose most recent credit was the VH1 reality series Dating Naked, died suddenly Monday while on vacation with his family in Maui, his publicist confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. No cause of death was immediately reported. His passion for his projects was infectious. He was a kind, generous, warm man. The entertainment industry lost a true innovator and his childlike spirit will live on through everyone at Lighthearted Entertainment.

I’m lucky to be among those carrying on his legacy. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. He will be sorely missed.

Chuck Barris, creator of ‘The Gong Show’ and ‘The Dating Game,’ dies at 87

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Death of a Mate