Saturday, April 8, 2017

Giraffes and Gene Gene (The Dancing Machine) #atozchallenge

As I write this the evening of April 7, April the Giraffe, beloved by hundreds of thousands of people all over the world, still hasn't given birth to her calf.

Tomorrow, Animal Adventure Park, which is about 1/2 hour from here, is having an event at our local shopping mall (no April, obviously).  It's an Easter oriented event which was scheduled before the webcam broadcasting April and her mate Oliver went viral, and I'm wondering if I should even go.  I wonder how mobbed it will be.

For now, perhaps I'll just content myself with this giraffe purse I purchased today, made by a local woman.
Such a perfect memory, as I travel through time and space for "G" day in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  Besides our local Giraffe, here's another thing to Get you Going.

Do you remember the original Gong Show, a show of the 1970's?

If you don't, I have no idea how to explain it to you.  Its creator, Chuck Barris, died last month.  Chuck Barris, in his own way, was a genius creator of many game shows, featuring newlyweds, people dating, and...well, you get the picture.

The Gong Show was one of the very first reality shows.  It was supposedly a "talent" competition, but not too many of the contestants had talent.  Three celebrity judges would watch the contestant perform and, if the contestant was too terrible even for the standards of the show, the judge would strike a gong.

It was so bad, it was good.

So, where does Gene come in?

A man by the name of Gene Patton was a stagehand at NBC Studios at Burbank, California.  One day, Chuck Barris saw him dancing, if you could call his movements true dancing.  Gene wasn't a dancer, but Chuck Barris saw something in him.   He started bringing Gene, renamed "Gene Gene the Dancing Machine" out during really horrible acts, or "just because".  The appearances were made to appear spontaneous, but they were actually scripted.

Gene would shuffle to the tune of a Count Basie song, "Jumpin' at the Woodside".

Everyone loved it.

Gene (or Gene Gene) died in 2015, a month short of his 83rd birthday.   But I'll always remember him for the funniest "dancing" act of my young adulthood.  But, one more thing:

Ironically, he lost both legs in 2001 due to diabetes.

Again, you just can't make this stuff up. Tomorrow, A to Z takes its Sunday break, while I blog about (if it returns) spring.


  1. April looks very uncomfortable. She's hardly moving. Wonder when she'll give birth. Thanks for reminding me to look her up.

    Suzy at Someday Somewhere - Great minds

  2. You're bringing back my youth ... loved that show, it was so bad it was good.

  3. That's such a cool purse! And April still hasn't given birth? It's been quite some time - thanks for reminding me to check up on her.

  4. I most certainly remember the Gong Show with Gene, Gene the Dancing Machine and the outraGeous fun with Chuck Barris. That was such a laugh-out-loud show! Giraffe is a great "G" word for today's prompt and I thought about sketching one for the challenge but instead did little GIRLS and I hope you'll decide to stop by for a peek. Have a GREAT weekend!

    Art Sketching Through the Alphabet Letter "G" with Curious as a Cathy!

  5. Wow, the 70s were quite a time. Quite a time indeed. That clip is mayhem!

    A to Z Challenge: Glue

    Isa-Lee Wolf

    A Bit 2 Read

  6. That post had it all! I've been hearing about the giraffe, but not a lot. And I remember the Gong Show from when I was a kid. Maybe they should bring it back!


    G is for Girls Rock

  7. I do remember The Gong Show. Not too much. I was a child, so I know that it was on, but I have no specific show memories of it.

  8. Do they induce giraffes past their due dates?? The waiting must be killing her!


  9. Love that purse, Alana. Seems fitting for you, given how actively you've been following a certain giraffe! :)

  10. Nice purse! ☺ I am surprised April hasn't given birth yet. Hope there's nothing wrong!

    I LOVED the 'Gong Show' and remember Gene Gene so well. How ironic that he lost his legs later in life. Thanks for this fun 'blast from the past'. Did you buy Chuck Barris' claim that he had been a CIA agent? There's a story for another day. ☺

    Debbie @ THE DOGLADY'S DEN
    Latest Post: JE T'AIME: A wedding memory


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