Chuckie Baby and Gene Gene

The Gong Show

Image via Wikipedia

For a reason I’ll not go into here I’ve been thinking now and again about Gene Gene the Dancing Machine. Gene Gene (Gene Patton) was one of the regulars on the ’70s TV game show The Gong Show, which was produced and hosted by Chuck “Chuckie Baby” Barris.

I intended to search online for video of Gene Gene, but the thought wasn’t occurring to me while I was using the computer.

A couple nights ago, though, I had just turned off my computer and come upstairs from my basement lair when I had the thought. Son #3 was still online, so I took a chance: “Hey [son #3], how would you like to search for a funny video?” To my surprise, he brought up YouTube and seconds later, we were convulsed in laughter watching Gene Gene, Chuckie Baby, and the celebrity panel of judges — sassy Jaye P. Morgan, Arte Johnson of Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In fame, and young David Letterman.

It’s Friday and therefore an especially good time to share this. You may not laugh, but you’ll be hard-pressed to suppress a smile.

Soon after viewing this clip with son #3, I convinced son #2 to take a look. The video kept freezing, so his reaction was understandably muted. Still, though, there is no doubt he liked it because he later told me he posted it on his Tumblr blog.

Here’s another Gene Gene clip from later in the The Gong Show’s run. By this time the practice of the crew while Gene Gene was dancing was to throw props onto the stage — including, in this instance, a live body. The band’s rendition of Count Basie’s “Jumpin’ at the Woodside” is more frenetic here and the audience is shown.

I prefer the first clip because it includes the panel and there are more close-ups of Gene Gene’s infectious smile. The second clip has a little too much Chuckie Baby for my taste.

There are more Gene Gene clips online. The others are longer because they feature other acts as well as Gene Gene.

Barris was also the producer of The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game. Sadly — and ironically — Patton lost both legs in 2001 due to complications of diabetes.

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