The Gong Show Movie

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Average Rating: 2.8/5

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Movie Info

During the 1970s, the Gong Show was a game/talent show phenomenon. With equal measures of parody, camp and pure lowest-common denominator exploitation, it presented a bizarre assortment of talented and untalented contestants (for example, the musician who played his trumpet with his bellybutton) making their bid for stardom, and a ridiculous prize of $516.32 while three rambunctious minor celebrity judges looked on offering scores for acts they liked, or instantly stopping showing disapproval by pounding furiously on a large Chinese gong. The co-creator, producer and acid-witted but smarmy daytime host of this tawdry kitsch pastiche was Chuck Barris (AKA "Chuckie Baby"). This attempt at a serious drama chronicles a day in his hectic life as he tries to prepare a new episode of his crazy show. As he deals with a seemingly unending string of increasingly freaky acts, the pressure begins to get to the sensitive, caring (as portrayed in the film) Barris and by the day's end he becomes a true lunatic.


Chuck Barris
as Himself
Rip Taylor
as Raoul the Maitre D'
James Douglas
as Buddy Didio
J.B. Douglas
as Buddy Didio
Jack Bernardi
as Violin Player (Elderly Man)
as Singing Group
William Tregoe
as Winking Man
Harvey Alpert
as Trumpet Man
Harvey Lembeck
as Man in Steam Room
Ed Marinaro
as Man in Locker Room
Murray Langston
as The Unknown Comic
Melvin Presar
as 'In the Mood' Chicken Dancer
Steve Garvey
as Himself
Jamie Farr
as Himself
Pat Cranshaw
as Man Dying In Elevator
Cathleen Cordell
as Lady In Elevator
James Winburn
as Man In Cast
Bella Bruck
as Nurse #1
Starr Hester
as Nurse #2
David Sheiner
as Dr. Jerry Queasley
Rosey Grier
as Himself
Norm Blankenship
as Man Beating Woman
Ronald L. Carr
as (as Ronald Carr)
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Critic Reviews for The Gong Show Movie

All Critics (3)

Audience Reviews for The Gong Show Movie


Sleazy and fascinating. A slice of 1980 TV culture captured on film. Chuck Barris doesn't seem very happy throughout this. I can see he didn't get much understanding or support from his production team. I liked the "Don't Get Up For Me" finale in the desert. The strength of the movie was the clips of the memorable acts from "The Gong Show" itself. It's tragic and funny seeing some of the deluded folks who think they've got talent. My favorite skit was the big twins singing "Love Will Keep Us Together". I wish they had revealed the man who was behind "The Unknown Comic" skits. It also would've been nice to see some interactions with the celebrity judges, who seemed restricted to the clips.

Lafe Fredbjornson
Lafe Fredbjornson

Super Reviewer

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