If there’s one thing Millennials have been clamoring for, it’s a remake of The Gong Show, the 1970s amateur talent show produced and hosted by Chuck Barris. The Sony Pictures Television production ran on NBC and featured absurdist humor, memorably terrible losing acts, and prizes that were equal parts ludicrous and worthless. Occasionally controversial and risqué, The Gong Show got its name from the comically large gong that celebrity judges would use to put the kibosh on a particularly poor act.
Now, as THR reports, the show is making a return with a very strange selection for its host, Tommy Maitland. Never heard of him? That’s because he doesn’t exist; not really, anyway. It’s actually Mike Myers in disguise and he’s expected to put on an Andy Kaufman-level performance by staying in character as Maitland, a 72-year-old U.K. native who is coming out of retirement for the show (and the paycheck). Head on over to THR for their exclusive phone interview with the Brit.
Here’s what producer Will Arnett had to say about the host:
“I’ve been a huge fan of Tommy since I first saw his stand-up in the U.K. while traveling as a teenager. He was so funny and original. I had the good fortune to cross paths with Tommy a few years ago and ever since we’ve talked about working together. I tried for years to come up with a vehicle that was suitable to expose his immense talent on a bigger stage, and The Gong Show is the perfect fit.”
When the variety show debuts on ABC this June 22nd, the rotating celebrity judge roster will include such famous faces as Zach Galifianakis, Alison Brie, Andy Samberg, Elizabeth Banks, Joel McHale, Dana Carvey, Will Forte, Jack Black and Anthony Anderson. They’ll offer up heaps of praise, scathing criticism, and/or an enthusiastic gonging for hopeful contestants, as is the game show’s hook. Keep an eye out for The Gong Show this June.