Hard Ticket to Heaven: Chuck Barris (1929-2017)



 Chuck Barris costume

“When you are young, your potential is infinite. You might do anything, really. You might be Einstein. You might be DiMaggio. Then you get to an age where what you might be gives way to what you have been. You weren’t Einstein. You weren’t anything. That’s a bad moment.” – Chuck Barris

I’m deeply bummed to hear about the death of game show legend Chuck Barris. Chuck has been one of my idols for years, ever since I spent many hours as a wee lad in front of the TV watching “Gong Show” reruns and later being enthralled with the amazingness that was “The $1.98 Beauty Show,” which was just as fun and outrageous as “The Gong Show” and included a prize of $1.98 and a bouquet of carrots for the winning beauty. Chuck took the ideas of traditional game shows and injected zany fun and unpredictability that shaped the landscape of TV as we know it by influence. Just check out this list of shows he created:

  • The $1.98 Beauty Show
  • The Bobby Vinton Show
  • Camouflage
  • The Chuck Barris Rah-Rah Show
  • The Dating Game
  • Dream Girl of ’67
  • The Mama Cass Television Show
  • The Family Game
  • The Game Game
  • The Gong Show
  • How’s Your Mother-in-Law?
  • Leave It to the Women
  • The Newlywed Game
  • Operation: Entertainment
  • The Parent Game
  • Three’s a Crowd
  • The New Treasure Hunt/Treasure Hunt
  • Your Hit Parade

On top of that, he wrote an amazing “autobiography” called “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.” George Clooney made a movie out of it too, but was ok. Although he was out of the limelight for many years, Chuck injected more fun into our world for a hundred lifetimes. While the government will never confirm that Chuck died while on an assassination mission, I think we all know the truth. Please enjoy some of Mr. Barris’s finest works: 








2 thoughts on “Hard Ticket to Heaven: Chuck Barris (1929-2017)

    • Seems like some kind of game:

      The game involved one contestant and three celebrities. All four players would participate in a type of personality test, with the intent of answering the focal question of the particular episode (like “How courageous are you?” or “How impulsive are you?”). Before the game, the civilian player would predict whether he/she would score higher or lower than the celebrities; if this prediction proved to be correct at the end of the show, he/she would win a prize (but all players won a small prize for participating). The tests consisted of 5 questions, all with 4 multiple-choice answers. Each player answered the question, then host McKrell read the point value for each answer (either 0, 5, 10, or 15 points).

      After all 5 questions had been completed, each celebrity would reveal their scores, and then the civilian player would reveal his/hers. The scores were compared and prizes were awarded corresponding to the civilian player’s earlier prediction – $25 for each correct prediction, or $100 if the contestant met his prediction on all three celebs. Additionally, the contestant received a prize just for competing. Each episode of The Game Game featured a different non-celebrity contestant.


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