He also produced the original 1966 off-Broadway staging of the musical “Dames at Sea,” which starred Bernadette Peters.
Barris worked as a programming executive at ABC for about a year before launching the Chuck Barris Productions banner in 1965 with a ,000 loan from his stepfather.
Chuck Barris, whose game show empire included "The Dating Game," ''The Newlywed Game" and that infamous factory of cheese, "The Gong Show," has died. Barris died of natural causes Tuesday afternoon at his home in Palisades, New York, according to publicist Paul Shefrin, who announced the death on behalf of Barris' family.
Though it only ran two years on NBC and four years in syndication, the show is still remembered for its wacky spoof of the talent show format.The grinning, curly-haired Barris became a familiar face as creator and host of "The Gong Show," which aired from 1976 to 1980.Patterned after the Major Bowes Amateur Hour show that was a radio hit in the 1930s, the program featured performers who had peculiar talents and, often, no talent at all.The multi-talented game show creator was also a songwriter, writing songs such as “Palisades Park” as well as music for his game shows.Born Charles Hirsch Barris in Philadelphia, he started out working as a page at NBC in New York, then worked backstage at “American Bandstand.” “Palisades Park” was recorded by Freddy Cannon and hit No. He formed Chuck Barris Productions in 1965 and created “The Dating Game,” hosted by Jim Lange, which introduced swinging 1960s double entendres to the formerly staid game show genre and ran for 11 out of the next 15 years.Afterward, a distraught Barris checked into a New York hotel and wrote his autobiography, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," in two months. 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."Chuck Barris has never been employed by the CIA and the allegation that he was a hired assassin is absurd," Crispell added.When the latter appeared on the show, Barris would strike an oversize gong, the show's equivalent of vaudeville's hook.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.“He also fabricated his life because it might have been the best way of getting at the truth.The truth was that back when he was the Jerry Springer of his day, he couldn’t stomach being attacked for doing something he considered harmless,” wrote Joel Stein in Time magazine.