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.“When I started out I was trying to find good talent but all I found was bad talent ...
so I said let’s do a show with bad talent," Barris said in a 2009 interview with the NPR show "Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me." "I always thought the people who did my shows, the contestants, were having the time of their lives."Barris called himself "The King of Daytime Television," but to critics he was "The King of Schlock" or "The Baron of Bad Taste."The media mocked him and accused him of exploiting his contestants."Let me ask you something — which does the most harm, a 'Gong Show' or the killings, pistol whippings and flying blood you see on evening 'drama?
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Decades before shows such as "American Idol" and "America's Got Talent" came along, Barris put everyday people who did not mind exposing their vulnerabilities or answering embarrassing questions before the cameras.
He made game show history right off the bat, in 1966, with "The Dating Game," hosted by Jim Lange.
Naturally, there has been a lot of dispute over the claims in the book and just how much of it was true.
But perhaps the thing that he is most famous for is his claim that he once worked as a hitman for the Central Intelligence Agency.NEW YORK — Chuck Barris, whose game show empire included "The Dating Game," ''The Newlywed Game" and that infamous factory of cheese, "The Gong Show," died at 87.Barris died of natural causes Tuesday afternoon at his home in Palisades, New York, according to publicist Paul Shefrin.Barris started in entertainment as a page at NBC headquarters in New York in the 1950s and eventually used forged recommendations to get into the network’s management training program.He later found work at ABC, where he persuaded his bosses to let him open a Hollywood office, from which he launched his game-show empire. He wrote the 1962 hit record "Palisades Park," which was recorded by Freddy Cannon.'" Barris once said in a Los Angeles Times interview. "As "The Gong Show" and Barris' other series were slipping, he sold his company for a reported 0 million in 1980 and decided to go into films.The book (and the 2002 film based on it, directed by George Clooney) were widely dismissed by disbelievers who said the creator of some of television's most lowbrow game shows had allowed his imagination to run wild when he claimed to have spent his spare time traveling the world, quietly rubbing out enemies of the United States."It sounds like he has been standing too close to the gong all those years," quipped CIA spokesman Tom Crispell.But in all cases the questions were designed by the show's writers to elicit sexy answers.Celebrities and future celebrities who appeared as contestants included Michael Jackson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steve Martin and a pre-"Charlie's Angels" Farrah Fawcett, introduced as "an accomplished artist and sculptress" with a dream to open her own gallery.A Philadelphia native, Barris grew up in Bala Cynwyd and graduated from Lower Merion High School and Drexel University. Barris is certainly responsible for an outrageous form of television that led the TV man to dub himself “The King of Daytime Television.” Critics, however, were less kind, referring to Barris in his heyday as “The King of Schlock” and “The Baron of Bad Taste.” So, with that legacy in mind, we have rounded up some of the weirdest, most outrageous TV moments made possible by Barris.He would go on to get his start in entertainment at NBC in New York before moving back to Philadelphia to tail Dick Clark at Whether he killed people in the name of the U. Because, despite what the man himself said in a 2003 interview with the A. Club, TV likely wouldn’t have been the same without him.