The game was sometimes played in reverse, with a bachelor and three bachelorettes. The host was Bob Eubanks, a somewhat toothier version of Lange. Barris is catering to the lowest common denominator.
The whole thing was presided over by Jim Lange, a low-key disc jockey from San Francisco. Unable to use the word "sex" on the air, "The Newlywed Game" substituted "whoopee," as in "whoopee session." The word became a trademark of the show: Oh, the critics hated it all. ("I don't even know what the lowest common denominator is," Barris would grumble to a newspaper reporter years later.) Lange was so upset by the vitriol that Barris says he had to talk him out of quitting "The Dating Game." He wrote in "The Game Show King" that he told Lange newspaper critics were originally movie and theater critics, and "free TV is beneath them." "' In my opinion, a good game show review is the kiss of death,'" Barris recalls telling Lange.
He had a stake in publishing companies, record labels and even pressing plants whose records he promoted heavily on "American Bandstand." ABC forced him to divest himself of his music business interests and, Barris says, assigned Barris as his watchdog for a few weeks until he could go to Washington and testify before a House subcommittee.
Barris would at least get a new suit out of the deal, because ABC thought a watchdog should dress the part.
Chuck Barris grew up in Philadelphia, where he was born in 1929 ... Not that what he writes can be trusted anyway: He filled his first, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind: An Unauthorized Autobiography," in 1984, with tales of his adventures as a CIA assassin.
In his second memoir, "The Game Show King: A Confession," in 1993, he made nary a mention of his CIA fantasy, or even of the first book.
A really bad review means the show will be on for years.'" And, at least in the case of his first two shows, he was right."There wasn't a need for big prizes," Barris wrote about "The Newlywed Game" in the first of his two autobiographies."The possibility of being on coast-to-coast television was tempting enough to lure the newlyweds to our studios." "Music changed when the Beatles arrived," David Schwartz, the editor of the Encyclopedia of TV Game Shows, told Entertainment Weekly in 1999, "and game shows changed when Chuck Barris' shows came on." Barris also changed the industry behind the scenes -- an accidental innovation that's had an even greater impact on television than his on-screen successes, and will continue to do so long after the reality craze fades, if it ever does.Here's the story according to Barris: He's the son of "a less than inspiring dentist." The family, which included a sister seven years younger than Chuck, was left with nothing when his father died of a stroke.Barris, who graduated from Drexel Institute of Technology in 1953, bounced around for a few years in various jobs, including Tele Promp Ter salesman (he says he never sold one), book salesman (never sold one) and fight promoter.Chuck Barris, the King of Schlock, the Baron of Bad Taste, the Ayatollah of Trasherola, remembered now mostly as the loopy, squinty-eyed host of "The Gong Show," is the godfather of reality TV.