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1970s / Gene Gene The Dancing Machine
Eugene Patton, better known as Gene Gene The Dancing Machine, was a regular non-competing act on The Gong Show. Patton was an NBC stagehand. According to host Chuck Barris, Patton often danced backstage to the music of other acts. Barris thought Patton's style of dancing was amusing, so he persuaded Patton to dance on a show that was otherwise going to run a couple of minutes short. Strutting his stuff to a blended version of two Count Basie songs (Jumpin' at the Woodside and Two O'Clock Jump), the public reaction was favorable and Gene became a semi-regular. This clip shows an early appearance of Gene Gene the Dancing Machine because soon afterwards it became part of the shtick for Patton's fellow stagehands to litter the stage with an assortment of bizarre random objects: inflatable toys, sports equipment, clothing, furniture, mannequins, etc. (It was the 1970s. You had to be there.)