The Barris vision


FOR the last several weeks, many reviewers of “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” have blasted the three shows that Chuck Barris produced from the late ‘60s to the early ‘80s. According to them, “The Dating Game,” “The Newlywed Game” and “The Gong Show” were the birth of media abominations such as Howard Stern, Jerry Springer and “Fear Factor.”

OK, maybe “The Gong Show” could be considered in that category. However, what possible irreparable harm did “The Dating Game” and “The Newlywed Game” do? From my simple, child-of-the-’60s perspective, these two show were good, clean fun. Maybe the occasional double-entendre was encouraged. However, they were entertaining, and especially with “The Newlywed Game,” I got to see that newly married persons were not just young and white. There I saw people in love who were young, old, of color, and not always your typical Sunday paper, WASPy, wedding announcement types. They usually spoke from the heart, and we learned about them.

Growing up in the “Jim Crow” South, that had a profound effect on me.

Billy Sottile