I've got to say I loved "The Gong Show" — back in 1976-1977. And I was able to watch it, even though it was a daytime show and we didn't have a Betamax back then. Almost no one did. I saw one in a rich person's apartment once around that time. It was gestured at as some kind of marvel. The thing was the size of a sofa cushion. We didn't even have a color TV. Why should we, when we were home futzing with artwork in the middle of the day and taking time out to watch "The Gong Show"?
Here's a NYT book review from 1976 by Christopher Lehman-Haupt that begins:
It's too bad Nick Lyons's “The Sony Vision” ultimately reads like a piece of company‐sponsored prornotipn [sic], because it isn't, and, what's more, there is so much about his subject that is intrinsically appealing. To begin with, there's the Sony product itself, which I myself happen to love in all its forms, from pocket transistor radio to Trinitron color television, for its design, its workmanship, its intricacy, and the sense it gives me that I am at the controls of my little corner of technology. (Amazing, when you consider how short a time ago the label “Made in Japan” was synonymous with junk.) If Sony's future success depends in part on the company's persuading people that they need its new Betamax video tape recorder, the machine with which you can record television shows and play them back at your leisure,. then I'm optimistic for Sony. I know I badly need a Sony Betamax, though I can't imagine just why....That was 1976 — the year Apple was founded. We had no idea what design, workmanship, intricacy, and sense of being in control awaited us. Sony was wonderful. A Trinitron with a Betamax was the best you could imagine. And it seemed hip to watch "The Gong Show" on a weekday morning. Now, we've got iPads and iPhones and the controls to look in on everything in the world, any time, and, somehow, "The Gong Show" comes back.
(You've got to picture that in black and white.)