In making Confessions of a Dangerous Mind — which explores Gong Show host Chuck Barris’ claim that he was a government hitman in the ’60s — director George Clooney wrestled with how to cast the wacky talent show’s judges. ”It’s a little hard to pull off Jamie Farr now,” bemoans Clooney. The solution: Mix old show footage with new documentary-style interviews. Dick Clark and game-show hosts Bob Eubanks and Jim Lange have already been asked to appear; Farr is being considered. EW tracked down some other cameo contenders to see who’s in and who’s getting the gong.
— JAYE P. MORGAN, asked to cameo. ”The Gong Show’s like a cancer that keeps coming back,” says Morgan, 70. ”Chuck was a little wimp. I can’t imagine him doing what he says he did.”
— MURRAY LANGSTON (a.k.a. the Unknown Comic), asked to cameo. ”They actually asked me to audition to play myself,” gripes Langston, 56, who still performs stand-up.
— RIP TAYLOR, not asked to cameo. ”I’ve got to get in this movie,” says the confetti tosser, 68, who recently appeared on SNL. ”I’ll bring my own toupees.”
— JO ANNE WORLEY, not asked to cameo. ”If you give me a big enough boa, and the camera is far away,” says the Laugh-In alum, 64, ”I could still play myself.”
— ARTE JOHNSON, not asked to cameo. ”I remember the first time Pee-wee Herman appeared,” recalls the frequent panelist, 73. ”He got gonged so fast it was outrageous.”
— GENE PATTON (Gene Gene the Dancing Machine), asked to cameo. ”I’m waiting for the updated script,” says the ex-hoofing stagehand, 69, who recently lost both legs to diabetes and walks on prostheses. ”But surgeons tell me I’ll be dancing again soon.”
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind