The obese tap dancers and farting singers who were the talent on the talent-barren The Gong Show are now reality TV stars and Jerry Springer's guests. More than 30 years later and The Gong Show is still a part of pop culture, from short-lived reincarnations on the Game Show Network and Comedy Central to the 2002 George Clooney movie. But long before Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, host Chuck Barris made his own film. Released in 1980 when the TV show was gonged, Barris wrote (with Robert Downey Sr.) and directed The Gong Show Movie as a Fellini-esque pseudo-drama about a beleaguered TV host who must contend with censors, demanding fans, his girlfriend and his daughter before running away to the desert for a musical number. The film also features original, never-aired clips from the series, including the Popsicle Twins performing ice cream fellatio, frequent judge Jaye P. Morgan flashing her breasts and recurring performer the Unknown Comic making dirty jokes. (“You know what makes my stomach turn? Tits on my back.”) The screening is followed by a panel discussion with some of the show's judges and contestants. Cinefamily, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Hlywd.; Tues., Sept. 20, 8 p.m.; $10. (323) 655-2510,

Tue., Sept. 20, 8 p.m., 2011

LA Weekly