American funnyman Will Arnett is one of people responsible for bringing The Gong Show back to TV. The amateur talent show first aired in 1976 and was hosted by the show’s creator, the late Chuck Barris. It’s been revived a few times. The last was in 2008 when the host was standup comedian Dave Attell.
As co-executive producer, Arnett brought British funnyman Tommy Maitland out of retirement to host The Gong Show. British co-producer Conrad Green says “Tommy is a legend in Britain. If you say his name in Britain, everybody knows who Tommy is. He’s like Cher, Madonna, Tommy. He’s a national treasure.” While Americans might be fooled into thinking that’s Mike Myers doing an older Austin Powers (in a matador hat), okay, it is! Tommy is just as funny and perhaps even quicker on his feet than Austin! The Gong Show airs Thursdays at 10pm on ABC.