Gonged at Last: Chuck Barris, 87

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Chuck Barris

I have long had a sense of humor that finds me making jokes that leave others looking at me like they're still waiting for the punch line. I blame that on Chuck Barris, whose schtick I would often try to emulate, after years of watching him host the hilarious, oddball, and frequently non sequitur variety contest, THE GONG SHOW.

The man who made so few people laugh, but laugh loudly nonetheless, was also the brains behind THE DATING GAME and it's post-coital follow-up, THE NEWLYWED GAME, both of which were Q&A sessions designed to test the tenuous boundaries where the sexual revolution met the television censors.

Chuck Barris passed away March 21, 2017 of natural causes.

Part of me thinks he did this as one final joke, to continue the verbal confusion of those who interchanged his name with Chuck Berry, who also passed this same week. If I were named Charles Bears right now, I'd be staying alert.