"One piece of pie is delicious. Fourteen pieces are obviously nauseating."Sometimes-controversial Game Show producer whose work was mostly pastiches of the genre.
Shows produced by Barris include:
Also wrote the following books:
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Confessions of A Dangerous Mind
An alleged autobiography in which Barris claimed he was using his work as a Game Show producer to hide his activities as an assassin for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. This was a brilliant claim on Barris' part as, while the CIA requires all of its employees to sign an agreement never to publish anything without getting Agency approval, if they actually tried to enforce the agreement they'd be admitting that they engaged in assassinations (violating a presidential directive). So when the CIA reportedly admitted that Barris has never worked for the Agency, it probably wasn't believed.His autobiography was the subject of the directorial debut from George Clooney, which starred Sam Rockwell as Barris and was adapted by Charlie Kaufman.
The Big Question
A novel set in 2012 where Barris (now old, crippled, penniless, and long since forgotten) shares his last great idea with a young producer: The Death Game, a big-money quiz where contestants compete to determine a winner who is then asked a single (impossible) question for big money (if correct) or death by poison (if incorrect). The young man likes the idea so much that, after Barris turns down a deal, he contacts his mob friends and has the cripple buried alive; the show is renamed The Big Question, with its debut night contestants being the many characters the book has been following between the portions about the producer, Barris, and the show.Airing live on NBC, rigged to hell and back without the contestants' knowledge, and hosted by a stereotypical "all-smiles" emcee, The Big Question is billed as the next big thing and most of America is glued to their screens. The big "winner", a sweet old lady named Vera Bundle who was just beginning to experience life, gets the final question wrong (as the producer planned) and is killed, but not before giving a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to the doctor administering the poison — a doctor who then shoves the poison down Vera's throat.Following that, a massive outcry begins against the show and NBC, causing The Big Question to be canned after three episodes — making it not the next big thing, but rather the next 100 Grand.