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Chuck Barris, ‘Gong Show’ Host and Game Show Creator, Dies at 87

RIP Chuck Barris The Gong Show
Amanda Edwards, Getty Images

Chances are, any modern game show of the dating or talent variety owes some debt to The Gong Show and Dating Game creator Chuck Barris. Regardless of what you remember him by, the prolific TV host and producer has now sadly passed away at age 87.

Per The New York Times, Barris died Tuesday of natural causes in Palisades, NY. The famed producer-turned-host of the then-revolutionary The Gong Show was also known as creator of The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game, and later claimed through novel Confessions of a Dangerous Mind to have been a C.I.A assassin during his producing time in the 1980s.

The Confessions novel also received a 2003 film rendition written by Charlie Kaufman, and starring George Clooney and Sam Rockwell. Barris would continue writing through his later years, including novels The Big Question, Who Killed Art Deco? and the subject of his only daughter’s 1998 overdose, Della: A Memoir of My Daughter.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Kane, while the NYT piece notes an apt 2007 question-and-answer response that summed up Barris’ view on mortality:

When you go to that great game show in the sky, would you rather be known as an author or as a TV game show producer … That’s the easiest question of all. I would love to be known as an author, but I don’t think it’s written that that’s the way it’s going to be. I think on my tombstone it’s just going to say, ‘Gonged at last,’ and I’m stuck with that.

Best wishes to all those mourning Barris’ loss.

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