R.I.P. Gene Gene, the Dancing Machine

Here's a place for NON '66 Batman related subjects.

Moderators: Scott Sebring, Ben Bentley

Post Reply
User avatar
Lee Kirkham
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:45 am

R.I.P. Gene Gene, the Dancing Machine

Post by Lee Kirkham »

Eugene Patton (April 25, 1932 - March 9, 2015), more widely known by his stage name Gene Gene the Dancing Machine, was a stagehand who worked at NBC Studios in Burbank, California. Patton was the first African-American member of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees, Local 33.

Patton's claim to fame, however, was from his various appearances on the network's talent search game show, The Gong Show. In addition to his stage duties, Patton was one of several amateur performers who would warm up and entertain the audience during commercial breaks. Host Chuck Barris found him so entertaining that he had him dance on the show on-air, and he proved so popular that he soon became a recurring act, an occasional judge, and eventually the regular closing act for the show with the credits rolling over his enthusiastic dancing. The genial Patton usually wore the same outfit each time he appeared, which consisted of a green windbreaker jacket, a painter's cap, bell-bottomed pants, and sneakers.

On The Gong Show, Patton's appearances were treated as if they were spontaneous (in reality, they were written into the show). After Barris would finish with a certain act, the piano player in Milton DeLugg's band would begin to play the first few bars of "Jumpin' at the Woodside", a Count Basie song, and the proceedings would come to an immediate halt once Barris heard the music. Barris would usually react with gleeful surprise, then announce the arrival of Gene Gene the Dancing Machine. The curtain would then rise and Patton would come out shuffling his feet and moving his shoulders to the music, with Barris usually dancing along. As this would happen, Patton's fellow stagehands would toss things onto the stage while he continued to dance. Through his performances, Patton gained membership in AFTRA.

Patton performed on the NBC edition of The Gong Show until its cancellation in 1978 and on the weekly syndicated series until its cancellation in 1980. For the last two seasons of the syndicated series, Patton's appearances were scaled back significantly; NBC had evicted The Gong Show from its studios following its cancellation and production moved to what is now KTLA's studios in Los Angeles.


[BBvideo 425,350]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OndJp6Dcwjk[/BBvideo]
I find you to be odious, abhorrent and insegrevious.

elmrgraham
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:25 am

Re: R.I.P. Gene Gene, the Dancing Machine

Post by elmrgraham »

I remember The Gong Show very well.RIP Gene Gene.

User avatar
wally wingert
Posts: 0
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:12 pm

Re: R.I.P. Gene Gene, the Dancing Machine

Post by wally wingert »

When I worked at "The Tonight Show" many of the guys on the crew there knew Gene and had worked with him on various productions. They said he was a terrific guy, and many of them visited him in the hospital during the last years of his life. Sadly, due to diabetes, he had lost his legs at the end.

Dance on, Gene. Dance on!

User avatar
60s TV Fan
Posts: 0
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:44 am

Re: R.I.P. Gene Gene, the Dancing Machine

Post by 60s TV Fan »

As a young grade school kid, I used to love the Gong Show, and my favorite part (and most fondly remembered to this day) was when Gene Gene the Dancing Machine would show up. It just seemed to me that the whole place would go up for grabs when he shuffled out. Thanks for the memories and RIP, Gene.

User avatar
Space Ghost
Posts: 0
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:36 pm

Re: R.I.P. Gene Gene, the Dancing Machine

Post by Space Ghost »

Yep, he was always funny on the Gong Show. Where have the years gone? Rip Gene Gene
You're Never Too Old to have a Happy Childhood

Post Reply