He claims to have moonlighted as a CIA assassin while pitching hit TV shows.
His book became a hit flick starring George Clooney and Drew Barrymore in 2002.
The gimmick: a young female questions three males, hidden from her view, to determine which would be the best date.
Celebrities and future celebrities who appeared as contestants included Michael Jackson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steve Martin and a pre-"Charlie's Angels" Farrah Fawcett, introduced as "an accomplished artist and sculptress" with a dream to open her own gallery. The Philly native found producing fame in the 1960s with "The Dating Game," the hit show that paired eligible bachelors and bachelorettes.Kooky 'Gong Show' host Chuck Barris had mysterious CIA connection Viewers got to know Barris’ face, and his curly hair, as the emcee in the goofy “The Gong Show.” Barris would reward talentless contestants by banging his infamous gong during the bizarre amateur hour, which he hosted for four years until 1980.When the latter appeared on the show, Barris would strike an oversize gong, the show's equivalent of vaudeville's hook.The victims would then be mercilessly berated by the manic Barris, with a hat often yanked down over his eyes and ears, and a crew of second-tier celebrities.