Sat up way too late last night watching reruns of the Gong Show on Game Show Network. For a good part of the Seventies, I would come home from school, make a sandwich, and watch the Three Stooges, Match Game and Chuckie Barris' infamous talent show. Warped me, I'll tell you. Then there was the Big Show at 4 PM on Nashville channel 5, which showed, more often as not, monster movies from the 30s, 40s, 50s and early 60s along with Elvis flicks and other great stuff. Those were the days.
Also watched the Chuck Barris True Hollywood Story on E! TV. What a life that guy has had. All this attention is, of course, because of the new George Clooney film based on Chuckie's bio, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind". I haven't read the book or seen "Confessions" yet, but I hope to at least see the film soon.
I sure did love the Gong Show, though...just a full 30 minutes of absurd insanity, especially in the mid-to-later years, in which Chuckie just went nuts, wearing strange hats, shirt unbuttoned to his waist, and mumbling constantly while clapping and pointing. I loved Gene Gene the Dancing Machine, the Unknown Comic ("Hey Chuckie! Have you ever had sex with your wife in the shower?" "No." "Well you should! She loves it!"), Jaye P. Morgoan (who got fired for flashing audience members. Twice.) and all the strange acts, some of them actually pretty good, that they had. Hell, I even liked the Gong Show Movie, a disaster of biblical proportions. It was lowbrow humor, trash tv perhaps, but it wasn't as cynical and mean-spirited as much of what goes by the name of "reality TV" these days. We'll never see its like again, that's for sure!