"Everybody could relate to somebody wearing a lampshade and dancing around," Barris said.
"Bad acts are inherent in everyone." Acts who appeared included The Unknown Comic (Murray Langston), Danny Elfman, Paul Reubens and Barris' own mother, and at random moments, the host would call out Gene Gene the Dancing Machine (stagehand Gene Patton) to boogie for the audience to the tune of "Jumpin' at the Woodside." On one particularly crazy show, Morgan unbuttoned her blouse to reveal her breasts to the cameras, and Barris said she never worked on again.
"I came back and said, ' Let's change the show, have all bad acts and one or two good ones, and people can make a judgment,' " he said in a 2010 interview with The Archive of American Television.
When original host John Barbour didn't work out after about a year, NBC execs insisted that the cuddly, curly-haired Barris come on as his replacement, so he donned a tuxedo and a floppy hat and introduced the acts.
Barris died of natural causes at his home in Palisades, New York, his longtime publicist told The Associated Press.
The star of “Pee-wee's Playhouse,” a graduate of Sarasota High School, was in town visiting his parents.
A Philadelphia native, Barris grew up in Bala Cynwyd and graduated from Lower Merion High School and Drexel University. Barris is certainly responsible for an outrageous form of television that led the TV man to dub himself “The King of Daytime Television.” Critics, however, were less kind, referring to Barris in his heyday as “The King of Schlock” and “The Baron of Bad Taste.” So, with that legacy in mind, we have rounded up some of the weirdest, most outrageous TV moments made possible by Barris.
He would go on to get his start in entertainment at NBC in New York before moving back to Philadelphia to tail Dick Clark at Whether he killed people in the name of the U. Because, despite what the man himself said in a 2003 interview with the A. Club, TV likely wouldn’t have been the same without him. You have encouraged us in our mission — to provide quality news and watchdog journalism.
The controversy surrounding the show – multiple couples would engage in cringe-worthy real fights over the sexually suggestive questions – forced it off the air within five months of its debut; three more of Barris' shows, including The Gong Show, would soon be canceled in 1980, with Barris later blaming Three's a Crowd for the viewer revolt against his programming. "If I died, I wouldn't be surprised if an obituary says, 'Gonged.
By the Eighties, Barris retreated from television production and hosting, even as his properties – including Three's a Crowd – experienced revivals in the cable era."I went nuts up there on the stage to a point where it was pitiful.