"I was never on drugs, but everybody thought I was. When they saw 'The Gong Show' and I would come out, they all thought I was whacked out of my mind. But I never did drugs. I had a public company. I had lots of television shows on the air. I had a daughter who was a druggie who I could see as an example. And I had no use for drugs at all. So I never did them. But I was excessive and my daughter was excessive and we chewed gum by the packs and stuff like that. But you know, I never drank on the show or ever had drugs."
About This Interview
In his two-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, Chuck Barris (1929-2017) chronicles his career from NBC page to novelist. Barris tells how he bluffed his way into the NBC management training program (thanks to some creative and fabricated recommendations from RCA board members), as well as how he started down the path of game show innovator during his tenure at ABC Daytime. Off to a slow start with programs like People Poker, Barris soon found his stride, first with the popular show The Dating Game, and subsequently with hits The Newlywed Game and The Gong Show - the latter of which Barris himself hosted. He discusses why he believes he was an awful television host, recounts the creation of his production company, Chuck Barris Productions, and shares his recollections of a Newlywed Game contestant's infamous answer to the question, "Where is the weirdest place you've ever gotten the urge to make whoopee?" Also an accomplished author and songwriter, Barris comments on several well-known claims included in his book, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind: An Unauthorized Autobiography" (was he really an assassin for the C.I.A.?) and describes his process for penning the work of which he's proudest -- the song "Palisades Park." Jim Colucci conducted the interview on June 10, 2010 in New York, NY.