Hello, and welcome to “What Went Wrong?” Today, I’m interviewing The Unknown Comic himself, Murray Langston. You know him best from The Gong Show. Not the one with Dave Atell, but the one with Chuck Barris. One of the more controversial game shows of the 70s. Here’s what he looks like when he’s trying to expose himself.
And here he is without his bag, with his clothes on.
There. That’s much better. I interviewed him via e-mail. I’m sure you’ll love him.
Greg Palmer: Hi, Murray. So, you come from Canada, home of some of the greatest game show hosts known to man (Trebek, Hall, Lalonde, the list goes on). Yet, you’re not a game show host, you’re a comedian and a writer.
Murray Langston: …Yes…I was born, bred and buttered in Canada, which is upper U.S…..I originally wanted to be a stunt man in porno films….worked in a few before becoming a comic..which explains the bag over my head…..You might have seen me in King Kong Plays Ping Pong with his Ding Dong in Hong Kong….but I only had a small part.
GP: Now, according to your Wikipedia page, you got started on Laugh-In doing impressions of a fork, a tube of toothpaste and a grandfather clock. I enjoy that show quite a bit. What was it like working there?
ML: …Yep…my first job was on Laugh-In doing impressions of a fork, a tube of toothpaste….later I did an impression of a knife and tried to stab myself with myself…..a great experience where I met Ruth Buzzi and we are still friends to this day…
GP: Then, you went on with Sonny and Cher. Boy, what an opportunity.
ML: …Yep…over 4 years as a regular on the Sonny and Cher Show where I got to work with many of my idols of that time…..except for Richard Simmons who I worked with years later.
GP: I also understand you had Sigourney Weaver working as a waitress in your nightclub.
ML: …Nope….was not Sigorney Weaver….was Debra Winger who worked as a waitress at my club and who I dated for a while…also notewothy at my club is Michael Keaton was discovered there….and Elvis wasn’t…
GP: Now, you’re probably best known for being “The Unknown Comic” on The Gong Show. How’d you get involved with that?
ML: ….I created the Unknown Comic…because I had a bad case of acne …and a paper bag was cheaper than Clearasil.
GP: According to your Wikipedia page, you made 150 appearances and became something of a recurring character. What was it like on the show? Do you have any experiences you’d like to share with us?
ML: …The Gong Show was a fabulous experience….way better than a root canal or athlete’s foot.
GP: Since you had so much banter with Chuck Barris, did you work on any of his other projects?
ML: ….Yes…I worked on many other projects which Chuck produced…..4 episodes of The Dating Game….and a show which never made it…”The Vomit Game.”….
GP: Also, you were part of The Gong Show Movie, one of the few movies based on a game show. For someone who has never seen the movie, like me, what is it basically about?
ML: ….The Gong Show Movie was basically about 90 minutes…
[He had no comments about what went wrong with it. The movie has an average rating of 2.9 out of 5 at Rotten Tomatoes. If it wasn’t rated R, I’d go see it.]
GP: You were also a contestant on the celebrity version of Bullseye. How’d you get involved with that?
ML: ..I slept with just about everyone I could….You have no idea how many people I’ve had to sleep with to get where I’m at….which reminds me….Where the hell am I?
GP: How’d you do on the show? Do you have any experiences you’d like to share?
ML: …I did the show very well….the experiences cannot be shared as they required nudity, a lizard suit, velvet handcuffs and toe separators
GP: Murray, you were the co-host of a new version of Truth or Consequences in 1987. How’d you get involved with that?
ML: (see answer to question about Celebrity Bullseye)
GP: I bet you didn’t know this, but your version had a lot of game show connections. The model, Hillary Safire, is actually Carol Merrill’s daughter. Larry Anderson went on to host The Big Spin for the California Lottery for a year. And of course, you worked with the late Ralph Edwards. What was it like working with him?
ML: …as you mentioned, the late Ralph Edwards was always late…so there was a lot of waiting….
GP: What was it like working on the show? Do you have any experiences you’d like to share?
ML: …. I don’t recall….but I think the exuberance of my verbosity was too copious for everyone’s comprehension….or vice versa…or the other way around……or not…
GP: Now Murray, you were working there for a year. Your version only lasted one year. In your opinion, Murray, what went wrong? Why did it only last for a year?
ML: …. In my opinion …I got too old to sleep with everyone…..and it only lasted a year…because the year was up….
GP: So do you have any projects you’d like to promote?
ML: I am currently working on the male version of the Vagina Monologues….called the Weenie Man-o-logs….
GP: Do you still wear a bag over your head?
ML: When I go to bed I wear a sleeping bag…If I go shopping I wear a shopping bag…if it’s in Beverly Hills, I wear a Gucci bag….if I take a shower I wear a douche bag…..if Icheat on my wife I wear a scum bag…..if I watch a porno I wear a dirt bag….
GP: Finally, what advice do you have for those who’d like to enter your field of work?
ML: Don’t put a bag over your head….
And what have we learned today, ladies and gentlemen? Be careful what you wish for. I’m still working on some interviews. If you like the jokes he’s offering, you’re a better man than me. I’m very disappointed in the way this turned out. I’d like to officially apologize for today’s interview. Yet, much in the same way we try to forget 9/11, we just can’t.