That wacky “talent” game show The Gong Show will be back for a second season featuring Mike Myers returning as the mythical British comedic legend, Tommy Maitland. Produced by Den of Thieves and executive produced by actor Will Arnett, The Gong Show is set to return to the airwaves on Thursday, June 21, on ABC. Arnett will also return to serve as a celebrity judge for a few of the shows this summer as well.
Last summer, ABC kept the real identity of Tommy Maitland a secret, even going as far as offering a complete fake resume posted online for the British comedian.
“In the ’80s, Tommy hosted the British game show Tell You What, which was a charades based adventure game. He later hosted an Australian game show called Dingo’s Got the Baby, in which one contestant would be the Dingo, and one contestant would be the Baby, and a chase would ensue. In 1990 he returned to England for a series of one-hour specials, called You’ve Still Got No Proof.”
“Tommy” appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live to promote the show. This year, however, the network has come clean, stating upfront that Maitland really is Mike Myers.
Considered the opposite of NBC’s America’s Got Talent, The Gong Show is a revival of the comedy and talent competition series which initially appeared as a regular daytime show for NBC in 1976. Hosted by Chuck Barris, the show’s creator, the original series ran through 1980 with contestants performing hard to earn that giant check for $516.32. After its original run on NBC, the series was syndicated and revived from time to time. Like the show itself, it had varying degrees of success. Last summer is The Gong Show’s latest attempt, which had enough viewers watching that it earned a second season for the show.
Early this year, a nationwide casting call went out asking, “Do you have what it takes to survive the gong? Show us what you’ve got America!” Like last year, the series has been looking for a variety of skilled and unskilled acts that included family acts, animal acts, comedians, singers, stunts, magic acts, Guinness Book record holders, dancers, and more. Contestants only have to be 9 years of age to enter, and from what was shown last season, chances are pretty good that the talented younger contestants will win as celebrity judges have a hard time gonging cute kids.
“Most performers will go home with their unique talent that only a mother can love, but each week, the winning act with the highest judges’ score will receive The Gong Show trophy and a check,” says a press release from ABC, promising that in addition to Arnett, the show will feature even more “big-name” judges and a new “gaggle of contestants unafraid to showcase their awesome, yet quirky, routines.”
— Tommy Maitland (@MrTommyMaitland) January 22, 2018
The Gong Show will debut for Season 2 with Maitland uttering his now-famous tagline, “Who’s a cheeky monkey?” on June 21 at 8 p.m. on ABC.