Dave Barris – A Celebrity Biography
Barris produced numerous game shows for ABC in the 1960s and ’70s, such as The New Treasure Hunt; The Dating Game; and The Newlywed Game.
He created a number of short-lived game shows for syndication, such as The Gong Show – which became immensely popular – and The $1.98 Beauty Show.
Early Life and Education
Charles Hirsch Barris was born June 3rd 1929 and attended Lower Merion High School and Drexel University before relocating to New York City and finding employment with NBC.
He became interested in cars at an early age, building model cars out of wood and restoring a 1925 Buick.
His interest in custom cars eventually led him into car design; later designing one for Bobby Darin and Liberace that transformed from a 1965 Mustang into a stunning European sports car.
He eventually established his own business and went on to produce early game shows as well as author several autobiographies and the controversial Confessions of a Dangerous Mind from 1986, in which he made claims that he worked as an international CIA assassin during the 1960s.
Barris was a pioneer of game shows, proto-reality television and talent competitions. He produced iconic shows such as The Dating Game, Newlywed Game and Gong Show.
After graduating from Drexel University, he started his career at NBC in New York City as a page. Shortly after, ABC hired him as their go-to page to follow Dick Clark – the young and popular host of American Bandstand on Philadelphia station WFIL-TV.
As part of his job duties, he wrote daily memos detailing Clark and his crew’s activities; but was never able to demonstrate any illegal payola-related activity on Clark’s part. After one year he was relieved from his responsibilities.
Achievement and Honors
Barris was an acclaimed creator of TV game shows. He created The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game for ABC as well as other game shows that are still running today.
As a freelancer, Barris wrote music reviews for The Globe and Mail (and other Canadian publications) as well as longer features. Additionally, he provided news, entertainment and sports features for several magazines.
He was a member of the Writers Circle of Durham Region and helped arrange public interviews with authors at Whitby’s Actors Studio. Additionally, he published numerous books about hot rods and hot rodders.
In 1999, he was asked to teach print journalism at Centennial College’s School of Communications, Media and Design in Toronto. His classes covered news reporting, beat writing, copy editing and broadcast journalism; additionally he developed and taught a course on the history of television and radio broadcasting.
Barris became an overnight star during the early days of television with his talent show parody The Gong Show, co-produced with Chris Bearde. Its success propelled NBC into developing more game show formats.
He wrote two autobiographies, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and two books about Canadian veterans – including wartime tunnel escape story The Great Escape – as well as being honored for his writing by both Stalag Luft III POW Association and U.S. Air Force Academy.
After moving to California, he started working as a television producer and host, eventually founding his own television company in the 1980s. He attempted to revive old game shows such as Dollar a Second through one unsuccessful pilot episode as well as producing his own variety show entitled “The Newlywed Game.”
Dave Barris is an American game show host, producer, and writer who amassed an estimated net worth of over $160 Million through his involvement in the entertainment industry.
In the 1960s and 70s, he created and produced several game shows such as The Gong Show, The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game. Additionally, he worked as a songwriter, film director, author and photographer.
He is best known as co-creator of the Netflix show Black-ish. Additionally, he has appeared on many other television programs such as “The Tonight Show” and “Late Night with David Letterman”.