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03 August 2010

Ray & Ree On The All-Star Gong Show Special (1977)

The Gong Show was an outrageous parody of television talent shows. Each show presented a contest between amateur performers of often dubious talent, with a panel of three celebrity judges. It broadcast on NBC's daytime schedule from June 1976 through July 1978, and in first-run syndication from 1976-1980 and 1988-1989. The NBC version and the 1977-1980 syndicated seasons were directed by John Dorsey and emceed by Chuck Barris, who also produced them. Read this for an extensive and interesting description of the format and its history.
On 26 April 1977, NBC gave this daytime hit a one-time-only shot in primetime, titled The All-Star Gong Show Special. The panelists were Jamie Farr, Arte Johnson, and Jaye P. Morgan. Ray Charles ("living legend in his own time") and Aretha Franklin ("great singer") (together, in a duet?) performed as "singers".endorsed the show in funny testimonials:

The rest of this show (parts 2 to 8) is also on Youtube, if you want to get an idea of what could happen on this show. To top it off, also watch the, infamous, Popsicle-clip below. And for a background on this incident, watch this video (quote: "If two twins can't fellate popsicles during a game show, what point is there in living in a democracy?").

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