Wednesday, October 05, 2016
First up: THE GONG SHOW.
For those who don't remember the original from the '70s and '80s, it was essentially AMERICA'S GOT TALENT but with idiots. Most of the performers were awful and got "gonged" off the stage. I don't think you were allowed to join the improv group, the Groundlings unless you had been on that show six times. Most of the non-traditional talents were goofs (or at least I'd like to think so). It's the kind of thing that's funny for like three episodes then YOU give them a gong.
Show creator/CIA operative Chuck Barris produced and hosted. At the time he was considered a clown. Today he'd be the Republican candidate for president. There was even a movie about him that George Clooney directed called CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND.
Personal note: He's also the guy who threw me off THE DATING GAME.
But with the prospect of this show reappearing (ABC bought it with Will Arnett directing) I thought I would share my all-time favorite GONG SHOW act. This aired in September 1977 but only on the east coast. You'll see why. They won't let me embed it so you'll have to click here and go to the link. It's worth it.
Stay for the whole thing because panelist Jaye P. Morgan has the line of lines.
I can't imagine how the new version could possibly be an improvement over this.
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM