Two violinists stand with Tommy Maitland on the Gong Show

The Gong Show

Tommy Maitland with arms out as The Gong Show celebrates the end of the first episodes, all judges and contestants on stage.

“Turn on your telly, turn off your brain – we’re just here for funsies.”

The house band for "The Gong Show"

It’s been a long time since a traditional variety show format worked.  And who knows what will happen to the reboot of The Gong Show and host-with-the-most (-dick-jokes) “Tommy Maitland.”  But right now in this moment, it’s a zany, silly, and very welcome game  suspension of disbelief.

The Gong Show winners of the first aired episode

Although it’s technically a competition, the three guest judges are scoring lightheartedly.  There’s no rubric; the meaning of talent is loose – perhaps it’s a mixture of most shocking, disgusting, funny, as long as the act entertains and captivates.  Instead of AGT’s Xs, there is the titular giant gong that the judges can use to stop a performance and skip the scores.  Maybe it’s “America’s Got Talent” for freaks.  In any case there is no contesting that this content is truly original.

The Gong Show contestants sing "Never Gong an Asian"

The Gong show airs Thursdays on ABC and is produced by Peter Principato, Will Arnett and our very own Tommy Maitland himself.  Directed by Alex Rudzinski (Of the FOX annual musicals, the beloved Maya & Marty, Nine years of directing Dancing with the Stars, a handful each of The X Factor and British nonsense celebrity comedy Johnny Vegas: 18 Stone of Idiot


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