Monday, March 16, 2015

R. I. P. Gene, Gene, the Dancing Machine

Thanks for all the good memories:
Gene Patton, the NBC stagehand in Burbank who stole the spotlight as Gene Gene the Dancing Machine on NBC’s wacky The Gong Show, died Monday, his family announced. He was 82.

Patton died in Pasadena, according to a spokeswoman at the local Woods-Valentine Mortuary. He had suffered from diabetes.

The Gong Show, dreamed up and hosted by producer Chuck Barris (The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game), aired on NBC in daytime from 1976-78 and then in syndication. Acts — most of them amateurish and just plain awful — auditioned for three celebrity judges, who banged a gong on stage to mercifully send the bad ones packing.

At a random moment during the game show, Barris would introduce Patton, and the curtain would part, bringing the shuffling stagehand with the painter’s cap onstage to the sounds of “Jumpin’ at the Woodside,” a jazz tune made popular by Count Basie. His dance sent everyone on the set — Barris, the judges, the cameramen, the audience — into an uncontrollable boogie.
Man, I loved that show.


Anonymous said...

Supposedly, this is his second
appearance on the show:

Eagle said...

I looked up the YouTube videos... watched 'em and smiled. I miss the Gong Show too.

Then up popped a selection of Hollywood Squares videos w/ Paul Lynde... I've been laughing so hard that I'm in tears :-D

"How many balls are on a billard table?"

"It depends on how many men are playing."

Yes, some of the questions and answers were written by comedy writers, but the stars' delivery was perfection.

Today's generation has never been exposed to the kind of comedy genius that made up those shows. Political correctness, being offended by the smallest thing, and the need to be a victim - these have all have combined to destroyed our ability to laugh at ourselves.

What a shame.

ProudHillbilly said...

There were good acts on The Gong Show?

Feeling older and older.

ProudHillbilly said...

There were good acts on The Gong Show?

Feeling older and older.

Murphy's Law said...

Now that was television.

I can remember being allowed to watch the Gong show as a kid, but not episodes of Laugh-in that followed it.