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Chuck Barris Dies: 'Gong Show' Host, Daytime Producer Was 87

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By    |   Wednesday, 22 Mar 2017 10:35 AM

Chuck Barris, best known as host of "The Gong Show," and producer of "The Dating Game" and "The Newlywed Game," died Tuesday at his home in Palisades, New York. He was 87.

The shows were staples of daytime viewing in the 1960s and 1970s, making Barris one of the biggest names in television, according to Entertainment Weekly. The shows were known for their risqué subject matter at times, such as "The Newlywed Game" popularizing the term "making whoopee" as a euphemism for sexual intercourse.

Barris admitted in a 2010 interview with The Archive of American Television that the shows left censors on their toes.

"We were censored constantly," Barris said. "We couldn't say God,' we couldn't say 'toilet seat,' we couldn't say 'make love.' So we created our own vocabulary, and that's how we came to 'make whoopee.'"

"The Gong Show," which debuted in 1976, put Barris in front of the camera and offered a host of celebrity judges to grade or "gong" acts, which featured favorite regulars like Gene Gene Dancing Machine and the Unknown Comic.

Barris told the Los Angeles Times in an earlier interview before the debut of his film "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" in 2002, that he was haunted by criticism of his shows, which led to him pulling the plug on them in the early 1980s.

Critics said then that such shows, which are mild by today's daytime lineup, were trashy and demeaned contestants, said the Times.

Barris wrote "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind: An Unauthorized Autobiography," in which he claimed to be a undercover CIA assassin and received presidential citations while doing his television work, according to the Times. The host never let on if it was true and done all in jest.

In all, he wrote six best-selling books and his 1962 pop song, "Palisades Park" became a No. 3 hit in the U.S. for singer Freddy Cannon, noted CNN.

Some took to Twitter to remember the showman Barris.

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Chuck Barris, best known as host of "The Gong Show," and producer of "The Dating Game" and "The Newlywed Game," died Tuesday at his home in Palisades, New York. He was 87.
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Wednesday, 22 Mar 2017 10:35 AM
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