Chuck Barris, creator and host of The Gong Show, died on Tuesday. He was 87.
The TV personality, often referred to as “The King of Schlock” and “The Baron of Bad Taste,” died of natural causes in his Palisades, N.Y. residence, The Associated Press reports. He is survived by Mary, his wife of 16 years.
Barris’ Gong Show aired in daytime on NBC from 1976 through 1978, and in first-run syndication from 1977-’80; a short-lived revival, hosted by radio personality Don Bleu, aired from 1988-’89. Prior to that, Barris created The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game. He also hosted The Chuck Barris Rah-Rah Show and wrote and starred in 1980’s The Gong Show Movie, a fictitious take on a week in the life of its host.
In 1984, Barris published Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, an autobiography in which he claimed to have once been an assassin for the CIA. The book would eventually be adapted into a 2002 movie penned by Charlie Kaufman, starring Sam Rockwell and marking the directorial debut of George Clooney.
In addition to his work in television, Barris wrote the 1962 pop song “Palisades Park,” which was recorded by Freddy Cannon.
Last October, ABC announced that it had ordered a 10-episode reboot of The Gong Show, to be executive produced by Will Arnett. A premiere date has not yet been announced.