The eccentric talent contest ‘The Gong Show’ made its official comeback on Thursday, June 22. But the most absurd thing was not the show itself, but its host, Tommy Maitland – who is actually Mike Myers.
Myers had been away from the spotlight for about seven years – ever since he did 2010’s ‘Shrek Forever After.’ The following years were all about sporadic appearances in several documentaries, and even his directorial debut with 2013’s ‘Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon.’ Now, he has surfaced once again with a role in ABC’s ‘The Gong Show’ reboot, this time as a new alter-ego, TV host Tommy Maitland.
The 54-year-old actor has always done impressive jobs developing appealing characters, demonstrated in the hit film ‘Wayne’s World,’ and later in the emblematic comedy ‘Austin Powers.’ But this time, he seems to have taken things to a whole new level with Tommy Maitland, creating his own very detailed backstory. He even has a personal Twitter account, in which he shares his very British thoughts, and his own catchphrase: “cheeky monkey.” All for the reboot of ‘The Gong Show,’ originally created in 1976.
— Tommy Maitland (@MrTommyMaitland) June 24, 2017
Oh, in case you wanted to know, Maitland was born in 1944, joined the British army when he was 15, and later joined the Entertainment National Service Association (ENSA). He has written one book and is a well-known actor in Italy. Maitland had previously hosted two different shows, including Australian ‘Dingo’s, Got the Baby,’ “in which one contestant would be the dingo and another the baby, and a chase would ensue.”
Mike Myers has been staying in character for a couple of months
Maitland was first introduced in May during ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live,’ when guest host Will Arnett – executive producer of the just-launched ‘The Gong Show’ – brought him out as a guest.
With countless amounts of layers of makeup and a completely natural English accent, the actor was pretty convincing. At the time, no one suspected of Maitland as a gimmick from Mike Myers, so he did an amazing job staying in character and keeping the secret.
After more than 40 years of its original airing, the reboot follows the same structure. People with unique – and usually bizarre – talents perform in front of a panel of three celebrity judges. The judges either let the person finish and offer scores or in case any of them can stand one more second of the “talent,” they can get up, go to a side of the stage and bang a gong to bring the performance to an end.
The pilot had already a gorilla riding a unicycle, and a woman playing the harmonica with a tarantula inside her mouth, so it will just get better and better.
Celebrity guests judges for the revival include Zach Galifianakis, Andy Samberg, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Jack Black and more. Contestants will be competing for a ridiculously oversized check in the amount of $2,000.17.
The show airs on Thursdays at 10 p.m.