Skip to Content

The Gong Show’s host: Mike Myers, but in character

The Gong Show’s host: Mike Myers, but in character
Mike Myers being interviewed by on Late Night with Seth Meyers earlier this year. (Photo by Lloyd Bishop/NBC)

ABC announced today that its revival of The Gong Show has cast a host: Tommy Maitland. If the name doesn’t sound familiar, it’s because he’s not a real person, but instead is Mike Myers in appearance-altering makeup.

ABC announced this hilariously weird choice today, but the press release acts as if Maitland is real. Will Arnett, who’s producing the show, plays along, saying:

“I’ve been a huge fan of Tommy since I first saw his stand-up in the U.K. while traveling as a teenager. He was so funny and original. I had the good fortune to cross paths with Tommy a few years ago and ever since we’ve talked about working together.”

Tommy Maitland, Gong Show host Mike Myers

Mike Myers as Tommy Maitland, the host of ABC’s new Gong Show.

The network’s reality TV executive, Rob Mills, does the same:

“I have been a fan of Tommy Maitland for years, and I think he is one of the most iconic British comics out there, along the lines of Benny Hill and Ricky Gervais. I think this show is a great vehicle to introduce Tommy to an American audience, and those who are familiar with the original The Gong Show and its host Chuck Barris will be pleased with Tommy, who will bring the show into the 21st century with a bang!”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “the comedian behind Wayne’s World and Austin Powers seems to be going full method for the gig,” though “no party involved will confirm it.”

In an in-character interview with THR, Myers sounded like a previous character of his, Austin Powers, saying, “I love to entertain, but I can be a bit of a cheeky monkey.” The character he’s playing, and who will take the role held by previous Gong Show host Chuck Barris, is 72 years old and from the U.K.

This is very weird, but also kind of perfect for a show that doesn’t take itself seriously at all—at least, the original version of The Gong Show did not.

ABC has been able to draw big talent for its nostalgic game show reboots, starting with Alec Baldwin, and so it’s not surprising they were able to land a (formerly) big star. It’s also a fascinating way for Myers to return to acting: He hasn’t done a regular television role since Saturday Night Live, and also hasn’t been on screen acting in a film since 2009.

All reality blurred content is independently selected, including links to products or services. However, if you buy something after clicking an affiliate link, I may earn a commission, which helps support reality blurred. Learn more.

More great stories

About the author

  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.


I value our community at reality blurred, which connects people through open and thoughtful conversations about the TV we’re watching and the stories about it.

Comment rules: My goal is for us to be able to share our perspectives and exchange ideas in a welcoming, supportive space. That’s why I’ve created these rules for commenting here. By commenting below, you confirm that you’ve read and agree to them.

Happy discussing!