Chuck Barris, famed host of The Gong Show and claimed CIA assassin, passed away this morning at the age of 87. Barris, a Philadelphia native and Drexel University alum, was the King of Daytime TV, also creating television mainstays The Dating Game and the Newlywed Game.
Luckily for us, death decided to give Barris a one-day only reprieve to give him a chance to host the Philadelphia Gong Show, the pinnacle of television, before he has to return to the sweet embrace of the crypt.
Taping has already concluded, but we do have a rundown of the judges and the contestants who participated in the series. Who do you think will win? Who will receive the least amount of gongs? Let’s see, shall we…
Barris introduction: Folks, let me tell you, we’ve got a fabulous lineup of acts for you today, but before we begin (music starts playing in the background) IT’S GENE, GENE THE DANCING MACHINE!
::Nobody comes out to dance::
He died years ago. On with the show! But first, our judges!
Judges: Les Bowen, Dei Lynam and the Philadelphia Phanatic take their seats next to the giant gong.
Act 1: Have you got a quarter?
Anthony Gargano and Brian Baldinger come out on the stage, dressed in school boy outfits and sit cross legged in front of the cameras. Both 97.5 Morning Show hosts produce classic Wawa meatball subs and begin to suggestively lick the marinara sauce from the sides of the sandwiches, nibbling at the soggy bread, making slurping noises as the grease coats their jowls. A horrified roar explodes from the crowd as Gargano begins to deep throat his sandwich and Baldinger puts two meatballs into his mouth and slurps on them obscenely. Both hosts start to eat from an opposite ends of the sub and before they meet in the middle all three judges can toll the gong continuously.
Les Bowen: “I haven’t seen such something as despicable as this since I broke the story of Warren G. Harding cheating on his wife with Nah Britton.”
Act 2: The Unknown GM
A tall, high collared man comes out with a trash bag over his head. Immediately booed of the stage when it becomes painfully obvious that its 76ers GM Bryan Colangelo and he’s just reading from Sam Hinkie’s resignation letter. Gonged by Dei Lynam.
Dei Lynam: I know Sam Hinkie, I’ve worked with Sam Hinkie, and you sir, are no Sam Hinkie.
Act 3: The Show Stopper
Mike Missanelli comes out from behind the curtains, holding a “Sopranos” Box Set. Before he can begin his act, the 97.5 Fanatic afternoon host slips on a puddle of marinara sauce left from the Have you Got a Quarter? act and his head cracks off the stage with a sickening thud. The crowd cheers for three minutes straight as he doesn’t move. No gongs.
The Phanatic: (Claps his hands in delight and pantomimes someone sleeping)
Barris: “We have a winner. Mike Missanelli and his show stopping finale! If he ever regains consciousness we’ll let him know. If not, we’ll all be better off for it. Good night!”