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"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.In "The Game Show King," the promise comes in a New York hospital as his would-be bride lies in agony with peritonitis.Though most sources cite his birth date as June 3, 1929, he wrote about his 50th birthday occurring in 1980 in "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," and once wrote another Sports Illustrated piece in which he recalled being an 18-year-old vendor in Shibe Park in 1950.The video shows classic Disney characters like Prince Eric, Ariel and Simba with "The Bachelor"- or "The Bachelorette"-style captioning with appropriate place of origin and "occupation." Some of the better ones include Gaston (No-Belle Prize Winner), Maleficent (Professional Party Crasher) and Cinderella, who is listed as a "Rodent Advocate."The best though might be Beast from "Beauty and the Beast." His fake occupation is "Enchanted Rose Fanatic." Seems appropriate for the long-running reality dating game show, which airs on Disney-owned ABC.
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 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.He eventually moved to New York, married the former Lyn Levy, got a job as a page at NBC, conned his way into a prestigious management training program by forging letters of recommendation from members of the board of NBC's parent company, RCA -- NBC executives never checked -- then joined the daytime sales department and promptly got laid off in an efficiency cutback.
(In typically untrustworthy Barris fashion, the parent company in his telling of this story is General Electric, which hadn't owned NBC since 1932, and wouldn't again until 1986.) He pounded the pavement for a year, unable to land a job until an ABC executive asked him if he wanted a temporary gig: Barris was to take the train to Philadelphia every day, sit on the set of "American Bandstand" and keep an eye on Dick Clark, who was caught up in the payola scandal.
The game was silly and creative, and it gave viewers some playful ways to interact with the opposite sex.