Gene Gene the Dancing Machine
Gene Gene the Dancing Machine, the stage name of Eugene Patton (born April 25, 1932), was a member of the stage crew and occasional performer on The Gong Show. Patton was also the first African-American member of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees, Local 33.
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, often joined by Chuck, the celebrity judges, the stage hands, and whoever else felt like joining in. He appeared in The Gong Show Movie (1980) and had some dialogue. His attire usually consisted of a green windbreaker jacket, bell-bottomed jeans, sneakers, a yellow polo shirt, and a black painter's hat.
The genial heavy-set man wore a green warm-up outfit and often came onstage dancing to Milton Delugg's "Band With a Thug" while they played Count Basie's "Jumpin' at the Woodside". Midway through Gene's performance the tune morphed from "Jumpin' at the Woodside" to Basie's "One O'clock Jump" - at which point, the camera panned through the judges and Barris, each of whom would try to make the most outrageous signature hand sweep.
After The Gong Show
- Gene had a cameo as himself in the film Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.
- After The Gong Show was cancelled, Patton remained a stagehand at [NBC].
- Patton lost both legs due to complications from diabetes in 2001, and wears prosthetics and walks with a cane.
- Reardon, Dave (2002-10-20). "Patton just a part of an athletic ‘Bunch’". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 2007-01-19.
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