March 22, 2017

"I think on my tombstone it’s just going to say, ‘Gonged at last,’ and I’m stuck with that."

Said Chuck Barris, who has died at the age of 87.

Barris was not only the hilarious, ridiculous host of "The Gong Show," he also invented "The Dating Game" and "The Newlywed Game." And before all that he wrote the old Freddy Cannon song "Palisades Park." Wrote some books too, including that one that claimed he was an assassin for the CIA, which the CIA denies, which of course it would.

There was no bigger fan of "The Gong Show" than me, but I've already told you that, here.



Last night I took a walk after dark
A swingin' place called Palisades Park
To have some fun and see what I could see
That's where the girls are
I took a ride on a shoot-the-chute
That girl I sat beside was awful cute
And after while she was holdin' hands with me
My heart was flyin'
Up like a rocket ship
Down like a roller coaster
Back like a loop-the-loop
And around like a merry-go-round
We ate and ate at a hot dog stand
We danced around to a rockin' band
And when I could, I gave that girl a hug
In the tunnel of love
You'll never know how great a kiss can feel
When you stop at the top of a Ferris wheel
When I fell in love down at Palisades Park

31 comments:

rehajm said...

Not dead. Almost Live!

PB said...

The Gong Show was great. Is it just me, or were the 70's a bit of a gentler time when we all have the ability to set aside differences then and just enjoy a laugh? Now, you can't do anything without some political harpy getting in your face.

J2 said...

That's Freddie "Boom Boom" Cannon to you.

John Borell said...

Loved, loved The Gong Show as a kid. Just thinking about Gene Gene the Dancing Machine makes me laugh.

https://youtu.be/ACpNVD5GMUw

Brando said...

Had to look it up but Palisades Park was an amusement park in north Jersey. Made me think of my own childhood being taken to Action Park, which I later found out was a crazy death trap--literally! Something like an average of two parkgoers every year were killed on their unsafe rides! The famous "Alpine Slide" notoriously was tested using dummies which were decapitated on the ride (not sure what they did to fix the rides after that). Still, it was a fun water park.

wendybar said...

The other day when Chuck Berry died, I yelled that out to my husband...about an hour later, he came out and said something about the Gong Show...I looked at him funny...He thought I said Chuck Barris died...We laughed and laughed...and now it is true?? :(

Brando said...

"The other day when Chuck Berry died, I yelled that out to my husband...about an hour later, he came out and said something about the Gong Show...I looked at him funny...He thought I said Chuck Barris died...We laughed and laughed...and now it is true?? :("

If you make any jokes about Marlon Brando coming back to life and then dying again, I'll have to go increase my life insurance policy...

Gilbert Pinfold said...

Palisades Park was where my parochial school would have an annual outing for the altar boys and choir girls. Back in those days (late '60's), there were shooting range booths where you could shoot .22LR rifles at moving targets. The rifles were chained to the bench tops, but in retrospect, one could still turn them enough to do some damage to others if so inclined. As PB said above, gentler times with gentler expectations.

dreams said...

And he was a pretty good hit man for the CIA, I really liked the movie that was made from his autobiography.

"His autobiography, “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” was made into a film directed by George Clooney and starred Sam Rockwell as Barris. In the book, he claimed to have worked for the CIA as an assassin during the 1960s and ’70s, a claim which the CIA denied."

Unknown said...

I know the song from the Beach Boys cover on "15 Big Ones", the album released during the infamous "Brian is back" campaign. Still, "It's OK" and "That Same Song" are overlooked minor classics. Never knew the song was by Barris until years later -- it seemed of a piece with other Beach Boy's amusement park songs like "County Fair" and "Amusement Parks U.S.A.".

To me the Gong Show belongs to that period where all the daytime game shows were getting into double entendres and pushing the line. As a tween, it seemed daring, though I think my parents were less enthused.

Laslo Spatula said...

The Man was Genius for this alone: The Popsicle Twins.

From Wiki:

"Popsicle Twins incident[edit]
Barris was well known for his run-ins with the censors, bringing in risque acts as bait to allow some of the less risque acts to slip by. In 1978, one of these bait acts, two teenage girls referring to themselves as "Have You Got a Nickel", made it onto the show. Their act consisted of the girls sitting cross-legged on the stage floor and they began silently eating popsicles in a manner that suggested they were performing fellatio on the frozen treats. The nature of the act led to the two girls being known as the "Popsicle twins".
While they were able to complete their act without being gonged, two of the judges gave them low marks (Phyllis Diller gave them a zero, while Jamie Farr awarded them a marginally better 2). The third judge, Jaye P. Morgan, would award them a 10, quipping, "Do you know? That's how I started." (She was rewarded with a popsicle from one of the girls before they left the stage.)
The girls' act was let through by the censors, who did not see anything wrong with it in rehearsals. However, once the episode aired in Eastern time zone markets NBC pulled the act from the Central, Mountain, and Pacific airings of the day's episode immediately after it ended.[5] The act was not cut from all the tapes, and the Popsicle Twins incident has aired in reruns. Barris said in a 2001 interview with Salon.com that this particular act began making him reconsider his career."

I am Laslo.

Carol said...

I think it was Jumpin at the Woodside that Barris used to end the show. That was a nice touch.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The Gong Show was incredible for its time. Ground breaking, hilarious, weird, fascinating, repulsive. It was like a slow motion car wreck. It was as if the Twilight Zone and Vaudeville combined and the Gong Show was their baby. Bizarre and hokey at the same time. It was addictive.

The panelists were often funnier than the contestants. They sat there stunned with a look on their faces like: "Why am I here...I can't believe I'm watching this shit!". And then Chuck Barris. How weird was that dude? A mad genius.


SukieTawdry said...

Gad, they're dropping like flies. I've always appreciated people who march to their own personal drummers (how great was the CIA thing). Barris was one of a kind (although I can't say I cared all that much for his television shows). I was a teenager in north Jersey--Palisades Park was one of our theme songs. Wonder if there's a Gong Show in heaven. You come on stage and perform your life and either get a thumbs up or the hook.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Up until 2 minutes ago, I didn't know Jaye P. Morgan had ever done anything else but be on "The Gong Show." When I watched the show, I used to wonder who the heck she was - I knew who Diller and Farr and the other judges were, but Morgan was just the woman with big glasses. I had no idea she had been a pop singer and actress - and quite a beauty - in the '50's and '60's.

Unknown said...

I enjoyed the Gong Show.

I recall early on, Phyllis Diller was a judge when a young lady managed an impressive display of fire twirling. Phyllis remarked that there had to be an easier way to get rid of unsightly back hair.

And just who the heck was Jaye P. Morgan? Did she really own any celebrity status outside of "Gong"?

exiledonmainstreet said...

This is a bad week for Chucks. Althouse's Chuck had better be careful. As much as he annoys me, I don't want him to be the Third Chuck to meet his Maker.

pacwest said...

The unknown comic. I loved that routine.

David said...

Goofy song, but catchy. Same with the guy. RIP.

FullMoon said...

pacwest said... [hush]​[hide comment]

The unknown comic. I loved that routine.


"Chuckie, chuckie, taste this"

(Drinks from paper bag) Spitting out, "THAT'S GASOLINE!"

"Yeah, I know, regular, or premium?"

FullMoon said...

?The Gong Show is being dropped by affiliates for obscene stunts like judge Jaye P. Morgan flashing her breasts,.."

Unknown said...

FullMoon said...

Then there was,

"Hey Chuck, I hear you bought a new boat."

"A new boat?"

"Well, your wife said you have a little dinghy."

EDH said...

Liked other Barris game shows better than the Gong Show.

Even as a kid, all that laughing to himself was boring to me.

Didn't seem genuine. Reeked of self-absorption.

Very little was actually funny in the moment.

Hype without the enough irony to make that funny.

Best looked at conceptually as a period piece about how much the 1970s sucked.

Cocaine bad.

Kelly Maenpaa said...

Love the fact that "Palisades Park" remake turns into a snit between a Yankees and Red Sox fan. The more things change.....

William said...

He had the most impenetrable cover of any CIA agent ever.

Yancey Ward said...

This damned eerie! Someone else above noted the similarity to the names of Chuck Berry and Chuck Barris. I first noted this similarity when I was ten years old over forty years ago, and it has stuck with me all this time- every single time I heard someone say the name of one or the other, the very first thought I have is, "Did I hear the name right- was it Berry or Barris?"

Having the two die within days of each other is creepy, creepy, creepy!

Steve said...

Ask not for whom the gong gongs; it gongs for thee.

Bad Lieutenant said...


exiledonmainstreet said...
This is a bad week for Chucks. Althouse's Chuck had better be careful. As much as he annoys me, I don't want him to be the Third Chuck to meet his Maker.
3/22/17, 9:40 AM

That's fine, he can go straight to hell.

MisterBuddwing said...

Yes, I remembering watching "The Gong Show." I recall that the show went through three basic phases: In the first, the program wasn't quite crazy enough compared to its second phase, where the craziness seemed just right; after that, the show got too self-consciously crazy and "cool."

In 1980, Chuck Barris co-wrote, directed and starred in a film nobody went to see called "The Gong Show Movie." Having tripped over its infrequent appearances on TV, I remember the finale; an apparently overwhelmed Barris goes off to be alone in the desert until his friends and loved ones show up and persuade him to come back:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xt96s_the-gong-show-movie-3_fun

There's Jaye P. Morgan, Rip Taylor and Gene Gene the Dancing Machine, among others. There's also Barris' then-teenage daughter, Della, who sadly died in her 30s, apparently of a drug overdose, according to the IMDb.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Okay my signs have returned, so all is well. I just thought deeply of PP recently, within a few days. It has a Monster Mash sound, not so much surfing with the alien as painting cows on PCP.

Carry off.

PS iffin' you have the gumption to, you can start playing the song by Oasis you like the most when reading my comments. This enhanced comment-ingestion experience is brought to you by me, oh and the artists too, but I want you to applaud and PAY me, okay, not those other guys.

Their time is over, done.

Recycling Brokedown Bobby?

The jokes are stale, with the rhythm of Frank's heart attack, and the desperation grating.

;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)

Yeah yeah, spare me. Or, continue the honor of sparing me.

Living life on wheels, dealing potholes bruising bust-ups, dreams of opsimath labels in my future: I WILL NEVER HAVE ANOTHER MAN'S BABY BECAUSE MASSIVE COCK AND BALLS ERGO NO PUSSY.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Okay my signs have returned, so all is well. I just thought deeply of PP recently, within a few days. It has a Monster Mash sound, not so much surfing with the alien as painting cows on PCP.

Carry off.

PS iffin' you have the gumption to, you can start playing the song by Oasis you like the most when reading my comments. This enhanced comment-ingestion experience is brought to you by me, oh and the artists too, but I want you to applaud and PAY me, okay, not those other guys.

Their time is over, done.

Recycling Brokedown Bobby?

The jokes are stale, with the rhythm of Frank's heart attack, and the desperation grating.

;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)

Yeah yeah, spare me. Or, continue the honor of sparing me.

Living life on wheels, dealing potholes bruising bust-ups, dreams of opsimath labels in my future: I WILL NEVER HAVE ANOTHER MAN'S BABY BECAUSE MASSIVE COCK AND BALLS ERGO NO PUSSY.