Kaufman the dating game

10-Jun-2016 14:02

Sometimes it can be hard to crack Hollywood when you're an up and coming actor.

You've got to play the game -- or in this case, the game show.

Three decades ago, game show producer Chuck Barris predicted how his obituaries would begin: "Gonged! If there is a celestial game show host, He has rung the bell for Barris, who died this past week at the age of 89. There would be no President Trump if there had been no "The Dating Game" and our current culture in which people want to Live Stream their tonsilectomies would not have arrived—at least not so soon—without him.

The creator of such lowbrow but sometimes amusing TV shows as "The Dating Game" and "The Newlywed Game" and the creator and host of "The Gong Show" was living a quiet life in Rockland County, New York. It has been 15 years since "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," the movie loosely based on his "unauthorized autobiography" came out, and decades since the sale of his TV production company made him a centi-millionaire. Raised in a moderately well-off Jewish family in Philadelphia, Barris's first interest was in music.

Barris then talked his way into an internship with NBC and his songwriting brought him a position working with the young Dick Clark, and, through that, he wound up at ABC.

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His success was not that of a Chance The Gardener-like figure, an imbecile who wandered into a fortune through happenstance.But, arguably, Barris's real legacy was more profound.