Morgan would later get booted for flashing her breasts on the show. Pee-Wee’s Big Embarrassment
Before Paul Reubens became a national sensation as Pee-Wee Herman, he won first prize on The Gong Show as part of a duo that did an impression of a dripping water faucet. He later would describe the incident as his most embarrassing moment in show business. Of course, that was before he was busted at an X-rated theater by Florida authorities for indecent exposure.
Ironically, when Reubens won his Gong Show trophy, along with a check for $512.32, judge Artie Johnson remarked that we'd be "seeing a lot more" of this kid. Perhaps, too much.
Reubens, 50, is currently fighting charges in California for allegedly possessing child pornography.
Another famous clown who got his start on the Gong Show: Joey D'Auria, better known as Bozo the Clown. D'Auria portrayed Bozo on local TV in Chicago, and used to keep his Gong Show trophy sandwiched between his two Emmys. He faced the gong as "Dr. Flameo," who held his hand in a fire while singing a frenetic version of "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes."
If some of The Gong Show acts seem a lot like David Letterman's Stupid Human Tricks, just guess who was one of the celebrity judges in the show's final days.
Buck Wolf is entertainment producer at ABCNEWS.com. The Wolf Files is published Tuesdays. If you want to receive weekly notice when a new column is published, join the e-mail list.