the gong show with chuck barris

The Gong Show, created by Chuck Barris was an NBC television program that became a pop culture phenomenon by flipping the talent show on its head and featuring the decidedly untalented talent contestants. The show was broadcast originally June 14, 1976 through July 21, 1978 and then in syndication from 1976 to 1980 and 1988 to 1989.

The show originally hosted by Gary Owens but was taken over by Chuck Barris after the first year. Barris brought an additional layer of quirkiness to the program, often rambling incoherently or wearing a hat that tipped down over half of his face. In his Archive interview, Barris admits that this fashion statement was intended to shield himself from the live audience, of which he was terrified.

The show had a panel of three celebrity judges that included such regulars Jaye P. Morgan, Jamie Farr, Arte Johnson, Phyllis Diller, Patty Andrews, Anson Williams, Steve Garvey, Rex Reed, Pat McCormick and Rip Taylor.

If a judge considered an act “bad”, the judge could stop the act by striking a large gong.

This gonging was a trope adapted from the radio talent show broadcast in the 1930’s and 1940’s called Major Bowes Amateur Hour.

Original Gong Show Videos

1976 Shows

Show 1

Show One

Show Air Date: June 14, 1976

Host: Chuck Barris

Hostesses: Siv Åberg

Announcer: Johnny Jacobs

The Judges: Anson Williams, Phyllis Diller and Jamie Farr

The Acts: Peter Katilavas, Anne Lapp, Chuck & The Hunner Sisters, Rondha Ward, Jim Leonard

Winner: Rondha Ward

Confetti Guy: Jerry Maren

Show Two

Show Two

1976

Host: Chuck Barris

Hostesses: Siv Åberg

Announcer: Johnny Jacobs

The Judges: Anson Williams, Phyllis Diller and Pat Harrington

The Acts: Dan-O, Penny Rupert, John Patton, Carol Merrion and Linda Hayes

Winner: Penny Rupert

Confetti Guy: Jerry Maren

Show Three

Show Three

1976

Host: Chuck Barris

Hostesses: Naomi

Announcer: Johnny Jacobs

The Judges: Buddy Hacket, Shari Lewis and Bill Bixby

The Acts: The Zucchini Brothers, Pam Golden, Gary Silvey, Julie Lipson, Ginger & John Perilli The Great and Marika.

Winner: Gary Sivey

Confetti Guy: Jerry Maren

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