Mike Myers is barely recognizable as his game show host alter ego in a new trailer for ABC’s reboot of The Gong Show. While Myers made a name for himself on Saturday Night Live in the 1990s with such characters as Wayne Campbell (of Wayne’s World fame) and Dieter, the German expressionist talk show host of Sprockets, the actor found a new niche on the big screen in the Austin Powers trilogy from 1997-2002. It was during that time period where Myers truly found comedic gold living under other people’s skin, donning prosthetics to bring such memorable characters as Dr. Evil, Fat Bastard, and Goldmember to life to battle his titular character.
And while fans continue to wait for the long-elusive fourth Austin Powers film (which Myers is interesting in doing), Myers is passing the time by once again disguising himself — this time as faux legendary British game show host Tommy Maitland for the revival of The Gong Show. Created and hosted by Chuck Barris (who passed away in March at age 87), The Gong Show was a game show on NBC from 1976-1980 that featured bizarre acts and celebrity judges like Arte Johnson, Adrienne Barbeau, Richard Dawson and Jaye P. Morgan — who had access to a mallet to “gong” a competitor if their act wasn’t quite up to snuff.
In the first trailer for the June 22 reboot, which was released Wednesday by ABC, the show promises more weirdness, with offbeat acts being judged by the likes of Will Arnett (who also is the producer of the show), Ed Helms, Elizabeth Banks, Courtney Cox, Zach Galifianakis, and Ken Jeong. At the center of it all, though, is Myers as Maitland, who on first glance isn’t recognizable; but when you hear his faux British accent saying phrases like, “Who’s a cheeky monkey,” you can’t help but feel that Austin Powers is hidden under that make-up somewhere.
The Gong Show reboot is part of ABC’s summer line-up dubbed the “Summer of Fun & Games,” which will feature other celebrity-hosted fare like Steve Harvey’s FUNDERDOME and Boy Band. Also making a comeback is Battle of the Network Stars, a sports-flavored celebrity competition that originally aired on ABC from 1976-78.
The show that seems to be attracting the biggest star power, though, is The Gong Show, which will also feature Jack Black, Alison Brie, Andy Samberg, Joel McHale, Will Forte, Jack Black, and Anthony Anderson as celebrity judges. Also set to make an appearance as a judge is Myers’ former SNL and Wayne’s World co-star Dana Carvey. With any luck, perhaps Myers and Carvey will assume their old Wayne and Garth wigs, costumes and “party time-excellent” personas to appear as one of the acts. That, as Austin Powers would say, would be “groovy” indeed.
Source: ABC/Sony Pictures Entertainment