[ {"id":"acbd1c2b-ba16-5013-97a8-76ce5df54ae1","type":"article","starttime":"1490194800","starttime_iso8601":"2017-03-22T10:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1490196231","priority":0,"sections":[{"television":"entertainment/television"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"'Gong Show' host Chuck Barris dies at 87","url":"http://qctimes.com/entertainment/television/article_acbd1c2b-ba16-5013-97a8-76ce5df54ae1.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/entertainment/television/gong-show-host-chuck-barris-dies-at/article_acbd1c2b-ba16-5013-97a8-76ce5df54ae1.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/entertainment/television/gong-show-host-chuck-barris-dies-at/article_ae7f13f4-0f0e-11e7-a723-afdf4e570b84.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Associated Press","prologue":"Chuck Barris, whose game show empire included \"The Dating Game,\" ''The Newlywed Game\" and that infamous factory of cheese, \"The Gong Show,\" has died.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","the gong show","chuck barris","television"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"1c7fc9c7-ba09-5983-bf5f-3ae73b16f78b","description":"FILE - In this Dec. 20, 2002 file photo, Chuck Barris, the man behind TV's \"The Dating Game,\" poses in the lobby of his apartment in New York. Game show impresario Barris has died at 87. Barris, the madcap producer of \"The Gong Show\" and \"The Dating Game,\" died of natural causes Tuesday afternoon, March 21, 2017, at his home in Palisades, New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)","byline":"Bebeto Matthews","hireswidth":1604,"hiresheight":1257,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/c7/1c7fc9c7-ba09-5983-bf5f-3ae73b16f78b/58d2921d8259c.hires.jpg","presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1604","height":"1257","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/c7/1c7fc9c7-ba09-5983-bf5f-3ae73b16f78b/58d2921d8084b.image.jpg?resize=1604%2C1257"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"78","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/c7/1c7fc9c7-ba09-5983-bf5f-3ae73b16f78b/58d2921d8084b.image.jpg?resize=100%2C78"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"235","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/c7/1c7fc9c7-ba09-5983-bf5f-3ae73b16f78b/58d2921d8084b.image.jpg?resize=300%2C235"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"802","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/c7/1c7fc9c7-ba09-5983-bf5f-3ae73b16f78b/58d2921d8084b.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C802"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"acbd1c2b-ba16-5013-97a8-76ce5df54ae1","body":"

NEW YORK \u2014 Chuck Barris, whose game show empire included \"The Dating Game,\" ''The Newlywed Game\" and that infamous factory of cheese, \"The Gong Show,\" has died. He was 87.

Barris died of natural causes Tuesday afternoon at his home in Palisades, New York, according to publicist Paul Shefrin, who announced the death on behalf of Barris' family.

\n

Barris made game show history right off the bat, in 1966, with \"The Dating Game,\" hosted by Jim Lange. The gimmick: A young female questions three males, hidden from her view, to determine which would be the best date. Sometimes the process was switched, with a male questioning three females. But in all cases, the questions were designed by the show's writers to elicit sexy answers.

After the show became a hit on both daytime and nighttime TV, the Barris machine accelerated. New products included \"The Newlywed Game,\" ''The Parent Game,\" ''The Family Game\" and even \"The Game Game.\"

At one point Barris was supplying the television networks with 27 hours of entertainment a week, mostly in five-days-a-week daytime game shows.

The grinning, curly-haired Barris became a familiar face as creator and host of \"The Gong Show,\" which aired from 1976 to 1980.

Patterned after the Major Bowes Amateur Hour show that was a radio hit in the 1930s, the program featured performers who had peculiar talents and, often, no talent at all. When the latter appeared on the show, Barris would strike an oversize gong, the show's equivalent of vaudeville's hook. The victims would then be mercilessly berated by the manic Barris, with a hat often yanked down over his eyes and ears, and a crew of second-tier celebrities.

Occasionally, someone would actually launch a successful career through the show. One example was the late country musician BoxCar Willie, who was a 1977 \"Gong Show\" winner.

He called himself \"The King of Daytime Television,\" but to critics he was \"The King of Schlock\" or \"The Baron of Bad Taste.\"

As \"The Gong Show\" and Barris' other series were slipping, he sold his company for a reported $100 million in 1980 and decided to go into films.

He directed and starred in \"The Gong Show Movie,\" a thundering failure that stayed in theaters only a week.

Seeking escape from the Hollywood rat race, he moved to a villa in the south of France in the 1980s with his girlfriend and future second wife, Robin Altman, and made only infrequent returns to his old haunts over the next two decades.

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Alec Baldwin has his Friday nights back. He and MSNBC said Tuesday they were ending his weekly talk show after the actor had been suspended for two weeks for using an anti-gay slur in a New York City street encounter.

MSNBC said it was a \"mutual parting and we wish Alec all the best.\"

\"Up Late with Alec Baldwin\" had aired only five episodes. The first three attracted a little more than a half million viewers, but the last two dipped under 400,000 viewers.

The Emmy-winning former star of \"30 Rock\" had lost his cool in the New York City street encounter. He later tweeted that he did not realize the profane phrase he used was offensive to gays, but then apologized.

He later said that the incident took place as he tried to protect his family.

MSNBC suspended Baldwin for two weeks, a punishment that was due to end this Friday.

The encounter came during the same week a Canadian actress was convicted in New York of stalking Baldwin with calls, emails and visits over a two-year period. Genevieve Sabourin was sentenced to six months in jail in addition to a month she's already serving for her courtroom outbursts.

On the same day Baldwin was suspended, another MSNBC personality, Martin Bashir, made a graphic suggestion for how Sarah Palin should be punished for comments on slavery. Bashir apologized and MSNBC said it is handling the problems internally.

The end of Baldwin's show came on the same day CBS ordered \"60 Minutes\" correspondent Lara Logan and her producer to take a leave of absence following a critical internal review of their handling of a report about the fatal attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

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Martin Bashir's apology for graphic comments about Sarah Palin on MSNBC hasn't ended questions about whether the remarks deserve punishment from his bosses, giving unwanted attention to a cable network dealing with sinking ratings along with loose-lipped hosts.

Palin, in a Fox interview on Sunday, said MSNBC was guilty of \"executive hypocrisy\" by not publicly disciplining Bashir for his \"vile, evil comments.\" Four days after Bashir apologized, MSNBC said it was \"handling this matter internally\" and wouldn't comment further.

\"It's a systemic problem,\" said Jeff Cohen, an Ithaca College journalism professor and liberal commentator who was a producer for Phil Donahue's prime-time MSNBC show a decade ago. \"It's a problem at MSNBC. It's a problem in cable news. It's a certain coarseness where everything goes. I guess they can keep sanctioning and suspending people, but there's something wrong when name-calling is considered OK.\"

Bashir's comments about Palin came on the same day MSNBC suspended actor Alec Baldwin from his weekly show for two episodes for his part in an off-the-air episode. Baldwin used an anti-gay slur in a confrontation with a photographer on a New York City street.

Bashir used his weekday afternoon program on Nov. 15 to criticize Palin for her remarks comparing U.S. indebtedness to China to slavery. Bashir cited the diaries of a former plantation overseer who punished slaves by having someone defecate in their mouth or urinate on their face. He suggested the former Alaska governor deserved the same treatment.

The somber anchor, a former \"Nightline\" host, apologized on his next show on Nov. 18.

The Baldwin suspension set up an immediate contrast for MSNBC's critics to latch on to: Why does an epithet used in a heated moment in an off-air confrontation merit a suspension, while a sickening comment made on the air, presumably researched and written in advance, not deserve one?

Other MSNBC personalities have been disciplined for remarks that drew unwanted attention. The network fired Don Imus in 2007 for referring to members of the Rutgers women's basketball team as \"nappy-headed hos.\" David Shuster was suspended for two weeks in 2008 for suggesting Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign had \"pimped out\" daughter Chelsea Clinton by having her place phone calls to celebrities and convention delegates. The network suspended and eventually dumped longtime commentator Pat Buchanan in 2012 for a book that some critics called racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic, charges that he denied.

MSNBC is dominated by left-leaning news programs, a liberal alternative to Fox News Channel, which appeals to Republicans. MSNBC has had a rough year, with its weeknight programming down 32 percent in viewership from 2012, probably due in part to less interest in politics following an election year and President Barack Obama's dwindling popularity (Fox and CNN are down 17 percent in the same Nielsen company measurement).

Palin, a Republican and Fox News analyst said in an interview with \"Fox News Sunday\" that MSNBC had condoned Bashir's comments.

\"That's hypocrisy,\" she said. When a conservative woman is a target on MSNBC \"they usually just kind of pooh-pooh it, laugh it off. It's no big deal.\"

MSNBC did, however, take Ed Schultz off the air for a week in 2011 after he referred to conservative talk-show host Laura Ingraham as a \"slut\" during a commentary on his radio show. Schultz apologized publicly to Ingraham before serving his suspension.

The network did not explain what made the Bashir incident different.

\"Martin Bashir has taken responsibility publicly for his offensive commentary and also personally apologized to the Palin family,\" the network statement said. \"Bashir offered a heartfelt apology on MSNBC earlier this week where he admitted it was a personal failing to become part of the politics of vitriol and destruction. He has committed to elevating the discourse going forward.\"

Since the comment, Palin has also cancelled a planned interview with Matt Lauer for NBC's \"Today\" show. NBC News, particularly under new President Deborah Turness, has sought to distance itself from MSNBC. But they share corporate owners and, in the case of Chuck Todd and Andrea Mitchell, personalities that work for both.

Heated, often offensive, commentary is hardly limited to the liberal MSNBC, with conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh triggering an advertiser boycott for calling a woman who advocated for contraception as a part of health insurance plans a \"slut\" and a \"prostitute.\"

Commentaries like Bashir's are not something he wants to hear, particularly around mealtime, said Marty Kaplan, director of the Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School of Communication. But he didn't expect the commentary to be damaging to MSNBC.

\"There's plenty of objectionable talk that I've heard from Sarah Palin,\" he said. \"I'm not arguing moral equivalency, but the baseline is more erratic and dense on coarse talk that I would like it to be.\"

"} ]