‘Gong Show’ Host Chuck Barris Dead at 87 0

By Doreen McCallister
KUNM

Chuck Barris not only hosted The Gong Show, but he is responsible for creating such iconic TV game shows as The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game.

Barris died of natural causes Tuesday at his home in Palisades, N.Y., according to publicist Paul Shefrin.

On Barris’ gambit into game shows, Variety reports:

“He formed Chuck Barris Productions in 1965 and created The Dating Game, hosted by Jim Lange, which introduced swinging 1960s double entendres to the formerly staid game show genre and ran for 11 out of the next 15 years. In 1966 he launched The Newlywed Game, hosted by Bob Eubanks, which ran for 19 years; Game Show Network still airs a version of the show.

“Barris finally made it in front of the camera when he began hosting The Gong Show in 1976. Though it only ran two years on NBC and four years in syndication, the show is still remembered for its wacky spoof of the talent show format. He introduced the amateur contestants dressed in colorful clothing with odd props, with judges Jamie Farr, Jaye P. Morgan and Arte Johnson adding to the goofy atmosphere. Other offbeat characters on the show included “Gene Gene the Dancing Machine” and Murray Langston, the “Unknown Comic,” who wore a paper bag over his head.

In 1962, before his time in game shows, Barris wrote a popular pop song called “Palisades Park.” The tribute to the old amusement park in New Jersey was a hit for singer Freddy Cannon.

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