June 25, 2017

The "Gong Show" is back, and it's terrible.

I was a big fan — possibly the biggest fan — of the original "Gong Show" (back in the 1970s). I was interested that they were reviving the show (and would have recorded it if I'd noticed when it was on). It's not easy to make a great show about being a terrible show. The original show achieved that miracle. But how can you do that again? And how can you do it 40 years later, after decades of going meta- about badness? Here, take a look:



More here, explaining the role of Mike Myers made up into a new character with a name I'd tell you if I could remember but I'm not going back to that link to find out.

24 comments:

Phil 3:14 said...

Where's the gong?

tcrosse said...

We saw a promo for the new Gong Show last night. My wife, who was busy doing other things during the '70s asked what the Gong Show was. I tried to explain, but that's like trying to explain Lawrence Welk. I finally downloaded an episode from YouTube, and she was aghast that it was even more awful than I had described.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

The Unknown Comic was the best.

The Gong Show was one of those things that just cannot be replicated. Insulting to even try.

Mary Beth said...

Don't play with your food.

JAORE said...

Bigger, grosser,stupider.... but without the endearing parts.

Missing a political assassination "joke" though.

Welcome to 2017.

Wilbur said...

I remember watching The Gong Show and feeling a desire to do Jaye P just for the hell of it.

Anyone named Gene back in those days got called "Gene, Gene, The Dancin' Machine".

Mark said...

There was a natural kitsch to The Gong Show, and Match Game, and the other 70s shows they have revived. But now they are intentionally trying to make them that way, together with winks and nods at the audience, and it is falling way flat.

madAsHell said...

The Gong Show slowly morphed into American Idol (Idle?). Simon Cowell is the new Chuck Barris. J.P. Morgan has been replaced by some tart that recently graced the cover of PeepHole magazine.

southcentralpa said...

Did you like The Gong Show Movie as well, Professor ... ?

Scott M said...

Awful? I found that quite funny :)

Xmas said...

If you watch "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" the Gong Show takes on a whole new context.

https://youtu.be/N3sCavVr_Vg

mezzrow said...

American Idol would never bring on the Popsicle Twins, though. Perhaps we have advanced in some ways. Chuck Barris was one of a kind.

FullMoon said...

There was a natural kitsch to The Gong Show, and Match Game, and the other 70s shows they have revived

'70's Newlywed Game:

Host; "Where is the most unusual place you have done it"

Bride, in embarrassed innocence "In the butt"

Kevin said...

But now they are intentionally trying to make them that way, together with winks and nods at the audience, and it is falling way flat.

I find it worse than that. When you watch Match Game or Celebrity Family Feud, the overt references to sexuality and drug use make the show unwatchable.

Actual question on Feud: "Name something Grandma would say to Grandpa if she caught him smoking weed."

Of course one of the "correct" answers was: "Pass that joint!"

These shows used to be structured so the whole family could watch them together. Now that they assume everyone in the house is watching their own screen, they're pushing the weed-ification of America. Since gay people on TV are no big thing, it's on to weed jokes, weed storylines, and weed-based characters.

Without the absence of a political agenda to push, I wonder if Hollywood would know how to make their characters interact.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

The Gong Show is kind of like Ghost Busters, it was funny because of the people who were in it. You can't replace Bill Murray and Dan Akroyd and expect to have the same movie. And you can't replace Chuck Barris either.

Also, don't they already have a new Gong Show? I believe it is called "Americas Got Talent."

Some of the acts on that show are pretty good, but they also have people doing old fashioned side show geek stuff like putting hooks through their skin, which I cannot and will not watch.

eddie willers said...

American Idol would never bring on the Popsicle Twins

I caught that one live. I was sweating bullets.

Will Cate said...

Should have been "gonged" after 30 seconds. I'm afraid to ask what the really bad stuff is.

Be said...

It's just like with sequels to Perfectly Good Original Movies: why rehash?

Is everything about Ironic Nods to the Past nowadays?

Ann Althouse said...

What I hated about the clip was all the braying laughter -- from the panel and from the audience. I hate seeing people in the audience laughing. So so so phony. It's like having an annoying person sitting next to me nudging and nudging. It makes me resist laughing. It's just hell.

Rick Turley said...

Blogger Wilbur said..

"I remember watching The Gong Show and feeling a desire to do Jaye P just for the hell of it. "

If you're feeling nostalgic, the clip with Gene dancing and Jaye P flashing is easily found.

southcentralpa said...

Did you zap my follow-on comment about the Gong Show Movie, Professor, or did I by accident?

What I was trying to ask was, as a big Gong Show fan, were the "show" bits from episodes of the show, or were they made up new by the writers of the movie...? (E.g, I can't imagine Jesus of Nazareth on the Cross singing "Pleeeease release me, let me gooooo..." being put on TV, but it was the 70s...)

Warren Fahy said...

I saw the show live - 3 episodes taped back to back. I was a kid and I was amazed how obscene the show for the audience was between the taping. Chuck Barris had two rag-dolls that were exaggeratedly anatomically correct, and he would do lewd things with them to the panelists. Then it would all straighten up for the official parts of the show. You can see those puppets sometimes in the background on the set.

Phil 3:14 said...

Looking up Jaye P. Morgan and was reminded of "Gene, Gene the Dancing Machine"

Lauderdale Vet said...

So when are they bringing back the $1.98 Beauty Show?