The Gong Show (1976–1980)

TV Series  |  TV-PG  |   |  Comedy, Game-Show
6.8
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Amateur talent contest judged by three celebrities.

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Episodes

Seasons


Years



1   Unknown  
1978   1976  
2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
Trixie Dejonge ...
 Herself (5 episodes, 1976-1978)
...
 Himself - Host / ... (3 episodes, 1976)
Chuck Barris ...
 Himself - Host (3 episodes, 1976)
...
 Herself (3 episodes, 1976)
Mat Plendl ...
 Himself / ... (2 episodes, 1976)
Curt Vig ...
 Themselves (The Puppets and Friends) (2 episodes, 1976)
Louanne ...
 Herself (2 episodes, 1978)
Edit

Storyline

Amateurs compete in a talent contest judged by a trio of celebrities. If the act is so bad that the judges can't bear to watch any more of it, they have the power to stop the act by pounding a large gong hanging on the wall behind them. Host Barris keeps the acts flowing, the jokes flying and the raucous party atmosphere floating. The show's grand prize was $516.32 (except in the syndicated version where it was $712.05). Written by Marty McKee <mmckee@soltec.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Game-Show

Certificate:

TV-PG
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 June 1976 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

(May 2009) In a poll conducted by The O'Reilly Factor (1996), host Bill O'Reilly revealed that this series was voted the 4th worst TV show in broadcast history. Other dubious nominees included: (1) My Mother the Car (1965) / (2) The Jerry Springer Show (1991) / (3) Friends (1994) and (5) Cop Rock (1990). See more »

Quotes

Chuck Barris: [just before a commercial break] We'll be back with more stuff right after this message.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 50 Greatest Game Shows of All Time (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

One O'Clock Jump
(End Title Theme)
Music by Count Basie
See more »

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User Reviews

Almost live!
5 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Critics basically said this was the end of civilization when the Gong Show came out. Gary Owens was supposed to be the host, but Chuck Barris, the hand clapping, head-scratching creator of both The Gong Show AND The Dating Game, usurped that position at the last moment, as I understand it.

It was a simple premise. Basically, let anyone who thought they might have talent come out and do their thing, whatever it happened to be and have a panel of judges either give them the gong or rate their act. Some folks knew they were going to hear the tintinabulation of the gong because they went on just to get their mug on T.V. Others were serious about their "craft" and were hurt when they were the one for whom the gong tolled. I remember thinking, "Lardo the Clown," a kazoo-playing clown with horrible make-up was one of the most wretched.

Others were pretty darned good and I always wondered if any of them went on to have a career in the entertainment field. Jaye P. Morgan once cattily remarked regarding a sweet young lady with a beautiful voice, "I would have given her a higher score if her neckline would have been lower." Such was the tenor of the show. My favorite guest critics included Steve Martin, who usually just looked puzzled when a bad act was on, Artie Johnson, Jamie Farr and of course, Jaye P. Morgan. I understand, Ms. Morgan was asked to leave the show after flashing her bra to the camera. It is said the shot never aired, although, there are those who swear they saw it.

There were the usual gang of idiots who would show up without warning - Gene Gene, the Dancing Machine was my favorite interruption in the show. But, there were so many others - the Unknown Comic - a guy named Larry (?) who would come out and sing a song about, "I'm gonna play my tuba" (what are you going to do?). He usually ended up blowing a long sour note on whatever instrument he had walked out with, with Chuck saying, "Aw Larry, why did you DO that?" The Gong show was just plain fun, although some days were fairly dismal, with the acts all being bad and not much action from the guest critics.

All in all, I liked it. It was a fun party every time it aired... and, you could tell, even the the Dwarf enjoyed himself.


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