ABC’s revamped version of The Gong Show aired its second episode last night — and continues to fill viewers with a mixture of rapture and bemusement.
The first aired from 1976 to 1980 and then again in 1988 and 1989, along with several later incarnations, before being revamped by ABC for its 2017 Summer Fun & Games season.
It sees various wacky acts compete against each other each episode for a prize of $2,000 and 17 cents. At any time the judges can hit a big bong to bring the acts to an end.
Last night’s episode included a zombie ballet and an opera singer who sang while performing gymnastics and eating cake, while the premiere included a bagpipe-playing yeti.
Adding to the bizarreness is the host, “British comedian and ladies man” Tommy Maitland. Although it isn’t really “Tommy Maitland” at all, but rather Austin Powers star Mike Myers dressed up in a vast amount of make-up and prosthetics.
This has never been acknowledged by ABC or anyone on the show, however, and “Maitland” even has his own bio page on the ABC website.
The whole thing has left some viewers more than baffled.
After watching 10 minutes, the fact that this renewed #gongshow made it to TV is unbelievable.
— T_Rob (@robisc69) June 30, 2017
What the fresh hell is this #GongShow nonsense and Mike Meyers' bizarre-looking character? This is too weird for me.
— G-money (@VelvetMcIntyre) June 30, 2017
Ok so far three acts into the revamped #GongShow and I am not impressed! Sorry!
— WeLoveYouMrGorga! (@team_giudice) June 30, 2017
"Is the cake gonna go in her cooch?"
That actually made it on network television. #GongShow
— (((L.N. Smithee))) (@LNSmithee) June 30, 2017
Wtf even is the new #GongShow
— Isabelle (@mcincredibelle) June 30, 2017
However, other fans gave it a glowing endorsement.
I thought that was a great act Zombie Ballet #GongShow
— amy c. miller (@Amyholly1Miller) June 30, 2017
This person also made a good point:
If you hate the next act just remember, 30 seconds ago you were watching a commercial for a opioid related stool softener. #GongShow
— Michael Crews (@midacre) June 30, 2017
Meanwhile, not everyone appears to have cottoned on to the whole Mike Myers as Tommy Maitland thing…
The host of the new #gongshow sucks.
— Stu Clary (@hecanfoos) June 30, 2017
The Gong Show airs Thursdays at 10/9c.