"I came back and said, ' Let's change the show, have all bad acts and one or two good ones, and people can make a judgment,' " he said in a 2010 interview with The Archive of American Television.When original host John Barbour didn't work out after about a year, NBC execs insisted that the cuddly, curly-haired Barris come on as his replacement, so he donned a tuxedo and a floppy hat and introduced the acts.Game show legend Chuck Barris -- creator and host of "The Gong Show" -- died Tuesday of natural causes at his home in Palisades, NY ... He claimed to have been a CIA assassin on the side, as chronicled in his autobiography, 'Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.' The book became a movie in 2002, starring Sam Rockwell as Chuck, and was George Clooney's directorial debut. Barris had also created "The Dating Game" and "The Newlywed Game" in the '60s.
"I had a small nervous breakdown out there, doing strange things.
The Philadelphia native also penned the 1962 pop song "Palisades Park," a tribute to the old amusement park in New Jersey that was a hit for Freddy Cannon and figured high on Barris' list of career achievements.
With his innovative shows, Barris changed the face of reality TV but was derided but critics who nicknamed him "The King of Schlock," "The Baron of Bad Taste" and "The Ayatollah of Trasherola." On , which aired on NBC and in syndication in daytime and primetime from 1976-80, amateurs took to the stage to demonstrate their so-called talent in front of three celebrity judges. Barris' original idea had been to create a show that featured fine performers, but in his search for talent, he frequently encountered awful acts.
He formed the public company Chuck Barris Productions in 1968 and sold his shares in the firm to producer Burt Sugarman in a 1986 deal that valued the company at about million (5 million today). After working various odd jobs, including traveling around the country selling teleprompters, Barris moved to New York and became an NBC page.
The firm was eventually acquired by producers Peter Guber and Jon Peters and then by Sony. The son of a dentist and a housewife, he graduated from Lower Merion High School and Drexel University, then landed a job in the foundry at U. He went through a management training program and took a sales job, but then the network fired everyone in the department. (Barris would also write the theme music for many of his game shows.) As a result of his work shadowing Clark, ABC sent Barris to Los Angeles as its director of daytime television on the West Coast.
Barris often came off as a nut case, but he was an astute businessman.