His skin is orange, like a ripening tomato. A pair of bushy eyebrows sit astride his piercing blue eyes. Atop his head rests a horrible grey and brown toupée. His catchphrase: “Who’s a cheeky monkey?” He’s every inch the depressing gameshow host, and yet he’s not – not really.
Looking like a cross between Toni Erdmann and Jim Davidson, Mike Myers has been hiding in plain sight for the past few months as Tommy Maitland, the supposedly 72-year-old British host of the recently revived American gameshow The Gong Show. And, unless you’ve been watching the show, you probably had no idea.
That said, before the show began in June 2017, it became an open secret that Myers was the man behind the character. Still, network ABC has only just added his name to the credits – before today, he was for all intents and purposes ‘Tommy Maitland’.
In response to the ‘news’, executive producer Will Arnett made this wink-wink statement: “I was just as surprised as the next guy when I heard The Gong Show’s host, Tommy Maitland, was a character portrayed by the insanely talented Mike Myers,” said Arnett. “Despite this shocking news, I’m in total awe of the man, and we are so fortunate to have him as our brilliant host.”
The show, which first aired from 1976-1980, is an amateur talent show with celebrity judges, in the vein of Britain’s Got Talent, but with a focus on zaniness rather than the actual competition. Here, for example, is a unicorn ventriloquist:
The Gong Show has now been renewed for a second season and will return to ABC later in 2018.