recounts a marvelous exchange that took place at Book Passage bookstore in Corte Madera, CA, in 2007 while Barris was promoting one of his books.An attendee asked if, upon his death, he would prefer to be remembered as an author or a game show producer. But now, you have these huge things, "Survivor" and all of that stuff, "Fear Factor." I couldn't create those shows if you put a gun to my head. BARRIS: "Newlywed," I even had a game called "How's Your Mother- in-Law." I would try anything where people could relate, and I figured that was the answer. HEMMER: We did not give the confession about the CIA, but we're still working on it. HEMMER: Back to the CIA issue, and I know you're not going to go there, but the speculation is that you were an agent working overseas at the same time as a game show host, and you're saying you won't confirm or deny that? HEMMER: And you were the man who started it, quite possibly? "The Newlywed Game" -- four couples, eight questions and a refrigerator -- that was our show. "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind." BARRIS: Appreciate it.CB: Well, I’ll never tell anybody about that, including you, including my wife. Didn’t anyone have a problem with you writing about your undercover missions? Whenever I get to that point, the interviews come to a screeching halt. What if the President called you for help in taking out Saddam or Osama–would you come out of retirement? [laughs] PM: So how did George Clooney end up making the film about your life?CB: In the last few years, either a great director pulled out, or a great star pulled out, or the money pulled out. HEMMER: How did Clooney do in the debut of the movie? This is his first directing thing, and I think he's one of the best directors. George insisted that he do it, or he wouldn't make the movie, and Sam is great. I want to talk about "The Gong Show." Go back to the '70s.The back page of each Philly Mag edition was once known as the “Exit Interview,” a Q&A with a famous (or at least semi-famous) Philadelphia ex-pat.
I think he's a better director than he is an actor, and I think he is a great actor. At one time, I think you were quoted as saying that "The Gong Show" was the biggest scam ever. BARRIS: Well, scam in that you are getting paid for doing this stuff and you can't believe it. I mean, here we went out looking for great talent, and we couldn't find any. So we switched it, and, to me, that was one of the great scams of all time. I would think an audience in 2002, 2003 is right for something like that.
You find yourself more than willing to suspend disbelief for the sake of a great story.
But more than this, the book got Barris hooked on the craft of writing, inspiring him to pen several other titles in the following decades.
Mike Myers, Ben Stiller, Nicole Kidman, Johnny Depp …
George Clooney hung in there and asked if he could direct it.
(CNN) -- Chuck Barris created TV classics such as "The Dating Game" and "The Gong Show." And in his autobiography, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," he also claims he was a CIA agent. HEMMER: You mentioned "The Newlywed Game," "The Dating Game" is also one of your creations, "The Gong Show." What were you tapping into, in terms of the human side of America that attracted people to watch those shows? My whole key was spontaneous, no answers, and identification. HEMMER: Why did you not think of "The Bachelor" in the 1970s?