Perhaps in order to ensure as big an opening as possible for the film of his life, Barris--ever the showman--is finally going on the record with his past as a hit man for the U.S. government. The news is chilling.
Mr. Barris, were you or were you not a CIA operative and assassin throughout the 1960s and 1970s?
Damn straight I was.
Whom did you kill?
Oh, are you kidding? I killed tons of guys. I did Guevara. Now he was tough, had me running through the goddamn jungle for almost a week. I got Kennedy--Bobby Kennedy. Too bad, too, 'cause he seemed like a nice fella. Jesus, who else? I can't lay claim to Martin Luther King or Malcolm X. Those were somebody else's jobs. Thank God. To be honest, I don't know if I could have killed those two. But I got Allende, Lumumba, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia... and lots of people you never heard of. These are just the big names. I can't even remember them all.
Why did you stop?
Five words: Executive Order 12333 of 1981. Commander in chief says no more political assassinations, Chuck Barris knocks off the political assassinations. That's just the way I play it. [Reaches over to turn off tape recorder.]
Do you have any regrets?
Regrets? Sure. I regret that I put two in Ronald Reagan's chest and the bastard came out the most popular president since Roosevelt. The balls on that clown!
Is that all?
Well, no. I also regret not owning The Gong Show Movie. Signed the rights away in a moment of complete fantasia 'cause I was so desperate to get that fucker made. Thought it might turn things around. That's why you can't find it on video these days. The goddamn A-number-one Charlie jagoff bastards who own it are nowhere to be found. I don't even have a motherfucking print!
Can I ask why you've decided to break your silence after so long?
I wanted to do it in a paper like The Stranger, where I could be sure it wouldn't be taken seriously. But I like you guys. You're like The Gong Show of newspapers.
[Note: The editor refuses to disclose whether or not this interview actually took place.]