On Wednesday, there was a deadly attack in London on the House of Parliament. My head buried in a deadline that morning, I didn’t find out about it until I was on hold for Scott Thompson.
I was waiting to talk to the CHML AM900 host, not about terrorism and world affairs, but about the death of Chuck Barris, host and producer of The Gong Show.
That pretty much sums up my place on the news ladder, but it also proves Barris’ point, that he and his crazy-ass TV game shows of the late ’70s actually did service a purpose: they gave viewers a reason to laugh.
This was as important in the wake of Watergate and the Vietnam War as it is today in the time of Trump. When the going gets tough, cue Milton DeLugg and strike up the “Gene Gene the Dancing Machine” music.
The entire radio chat, including a caller who weighs in with the catchy theme (a.k.a. “Jumpin’ at Woodside”), runs 19 and a half minutes. You can listen in here.