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Tag Archives: The Gong Show

Right now, in the afterlife, Chuck Barris is meeting Chuck Berry.  Oh, if only David Letterman could have introduced them.  “Chuck Barris, Chuck Berry.  Chuck Berry, Chuck Barris.”

Crappy TV show creator, songwriter, novelist and possible CIA assassin, Chuck Barris, died at the spry age of 87.

Barris’ first game show was “The Dating Game” (precursor to the far superior “Love Connection”).

The show was a woman on one side of a wall asking questions to three men on the other side and her picking a date without seeing them.  There were always double entendres and dirty jokes and everyone hoped that she would pick the uggo just to see her expression when he was revealed at the end.

He next show was The Newlywed Game where three sets of Newlyweds were quizzed on how well they knew each other.  There were always double entendres and dirty jokes and someone would win a washer and dryer at the end.

Then there was “The Gong Show.”  Possible the worst TV show this side of Molly Dodd.

The show was basically the early episodes of an “American Idol” season.  You know, where

chuckbarris

Yeah, this guy was a national treasure.

you watch to see how awful people are.

Barris hosted the show because the planned host was treating the show as a talent show and not as a parody of one.

A bad act would perform and it was truly awful, someone like Jamie Farr would bang a giant gong to end it all.

They developed running characters in the show.  Like The Unknown Comedian who was a stand-up who told intentionally corny jokes while wearing a paper bag over his head.  And Gene Gene the Dancing Machine, the show’s prop master who would dance to “Jumpin’ at the Woodside” while people off stage threw random props at him.

But mostly, the show was just crap.

Baris wrote an autobiography called Confessions of a Dangerous Mind which was made into a George Clooney movie in 2002.

In the book, Barris claimed that he worked for the CIA as an assassin in the 1960s and the 1970s.

A CIA spokesman at the time said “It sounds like he has been standing too close to the gong all those years.”

Plus, they were too busy bugging the phones of Presidential candidates (as they are known to do).

This hit goes to: Josh!  Josh takes the lead with 120 points!  With seven months left, can he hold onto his lead?

Happy pooling,

SPMI

Current Standings:

Josh: 120 – (Florence Henderson – 20, Grant Tinker – 10, Gordie Tapp – 10, Terry Edwards – 60, Chuck Barris – 20)

Jami: 100 – (Fidel Castro – 10, Bernard Frost – 20, Zsa Zsa Gabor – 10, George Michael – 50)

Wes: 90 – (Holly Dunn – 50, John Glenn – 10, Debbie Reynolds – 20, David Penrose Buckson – 10)

Morrigan’s Mirror: 60 – (William Christopher – 20, Mary Tyler Moore – 20, Moulton “Pete” Marston – 20)

Lee Kwang Soo!: – 50 (Alice Drummond – 20, Dr. Henry Heimlich – 10, Hashemi Rafsanjani – 20 )

Tailgating w/ Jesus: 50 – (Ralph Branca – 10, Craig Sager – 40)

M: 30 – (Sir John Hurt – 30)

Team Sushi: 30 – (Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka – 30)

Gianna: 20 – (Leonard Cohen – 20)

Mary: 10 – (Chuck Berry – 10)

Joanne: 10 – (Judge Joseph Wapner – 10)

Milton Delugg, accomplished accordionist (those two words aren’t seen together often), one-time band leader for The Tonight Show, and former musical director for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, died at the spry age of 96…

…back in April.  

See, Uncle Milty (as he was known) is not the type of guy who shows up in most news feeds.  This is why it’s a good idea to Google the more obscure names in your list.

Delugg (which translates to: The Lugg) worked as band leader at Slapsy Maxie’s in Hollywood.  And, although he enjoyed working for a cartoon character, he quickly moved on.

He popped up in a lot of different places in the pop-culture pantheon.

He was the composer of “Hooray for Santy Claus”, the catchy theme song for the low-budget 1964 motion picture Santa

I know, I'm shocked too... an accordion player in a bow tie?

I know, I’m shocked too… an accordion player in a bow tie?

Claus Conquers the Martians (which I own, if anyone wants to see it).

He co-wrote,”Orange Colored Sky”, which was best remembered as a hit for Nat King Cole.  And, holy shit, is that a great song.  Don’t worry: no accordian.

He was down with the Chuck Barris scene, so he wrote the theme to The Newlywed Game in 1966. He was musical director of The Gong Show (appearing with his “Band With a Thug”).  Delugg’s “Hoop Dee Doo” became a fixture on The Gong Show, and was used whenever the contest winner was chosen.

You know The Gong Show, right?  It was an entire show that was the first part of every American Idol seasons, with the bad acts that you make fun of.

Delugg remained the musical director of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade through 2013.  So, he picked the songs for people to lipsynch.  This is also how he ended up on my radar.

Yes, even I get hits every now and then!  This whopper gives me ten points and elevates me into a tie with Anne for We-have-no-chance-of-winning Place!

Nancy Reagan, somehow, continues to live.

Happy pooling,

SPMI

Current Standings:

The Girl on Fire: 180 – (Mario Cuomo – 20, Richard Dysart – 20, Anne Meara – 20, Denise McCluggage – 20, Bobbi Christina Brown – 80, Frank Gifford – 20)

Occupy the Casket: 150 – (Sir Terry Pratchett – 66, Lauren Hill – 90)

Jami: 140 – (Diem Brown – 70, Sam Simon – 50, Dick Van Patten – 20)

Tailgating with Jesus: 130 – (Jean Béliveau – 20, Ernie Banks – 20, Jerry Tarkanian – 20, Minnie Minoso -10, Al Rosen – 10, Chuck Bednarik – 20, Louise Suggs – 10)

I-Steve (a.k.a: The Arch-Bishop!): 120 – (Fiorenzo Angelini – 10, Jorge María Mejía – 10, Cardinal Karl Josef Becker – 20, Roberto Tucci – 10, Giovanni Canestri – 10, Giacomo Biffi “the Vampire Slayer” – 20, William W. Baum – 20, László Paskai – 20)

Gianna: 90 – (Ahmad “Real” Givens – 70, Vincent Bugliosi – 10)

Nikki: 80 – (Stuart Scott – 60, BB King – 20)

Fearless Ghoul Pool Administrator: 70 – (King Abdullah – 10, Joe Franklin – 20, Alex Rocco – 30, Milton Delugg – 10)

Anne: 70 – (Lesley Gore – 40, Joe Cocker – 30)

Team Sushi: 50 – (Marion Barry – 30, Omar Sharif – 20)

Nora the Explorer: 50 – (James Best – 20, Ben E. King – 30)

Babysitter: 50 – (Leonard Nimoy – 20, Gary Gahl – 30)

Anne: 30 – (oops, I forgot who Anne had – 30)

Mostly Mike: 20 – (Ralph H Baer – 10, Edward W. Brooke III – 10)

Nathaniel: – 10 – (Christopher Lee – 10)

Erika: 10 – (Jayne Meadows – 10)

The Mortician’s Daughter:  10 – (“Little” Jimmy Dickens – 10)