Chuck Barris, TV game show creator and host, dies at 87
By Madison Park
(CNN)Chuck Barris, best known as host of the TV series “The Gong Show” and creator of “The Dating Game” and “The Newlywed Game,” died Tuesday.
As host of “The Gong Show,” Barris introduced amateur performers to three celebrity judges, who could put a stop to terrible performances by striking the gong. Much like on “American Idol,” awful performances became ratings smash hits. The TV show aired from 1976 to 1980.
While his shows were wildly popular, they were not a hit with critics. Barris was panned as the King of Schlock, Baron of Bad Taste and Ayatollah of Trasherola.
Apart from game shows, Barris found success as a writer. He penned six best-selling books and a 1962 pop song, “Palisades Park,” which became a No. 3 hit in the US for Freddy Cannon.
Barris later wrote in his book “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” that he worked as a CIA assassin while working in TV — a claim denied by the agency. The book became a 2002 movie, directed by George Clooney. Sam Rockwell starred as Barris, and the cast included Julia Roberts, Drew Barrymore and Clooney.