Thursday, June 22, 2017

Origin of a Classic: The Gong Show (1976)

With a new version of The Gong Show bowing later tonight, let's take a look back at where it all began.

The story is that co-creator/co-executive producer Chuck Barris didn't plan on hosting the show himself. Instead, John Barbour, later of Real People, was tapped to host. However, Barbour wasn't keen on the idea of satirizing talent shows, and, as you'll see, he plays it straight. NBC suits eventually convinced Barris that the only way to save the show was for Barris himself to take over if he wanted to dismiss Barbour.

The rest, as they say, is history.

We'll see if the new version measures up.

Rating: A.

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