Trivia / The Gong Show

General trivia:

  • Several people who performed acts on this show, actually became stars later in their career. Among them:
    • Paul Reubens (1976-80), appeared several times, as many characters.
    • Michael Winslow, before he starred in the Police Academy movies.
    • Oingo Boingo (1976, daytime).
    • Future Bozo the Clown Joey D'Auria.
    • Cheryl Lynn (1976, daytime), won the top prize on her episode, before scoring her one and only big Disco hit with 1978's "Got to be Real".
    • Rhonda Shear (1979), 12 years before she began hosting USA Network's USA Up All Night on Fridays. A year prior, she was a contestant on another Chuck Barris game; The $1.98 Beauty Show with Rip Taylor, and was crowned the "$1.98 Beauty of The Week".

Specific trivia:

  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The Gong Show Movie had never been released on any home video format, and only appeared occasionally on cable TV, before a Blu-Ray was released on March 29, 2016.
    • Many episodes of the 1976-80 era, including the concurrent nighttime version (especially the Owens year), weren't shown on Game Show Network, due to issues with music clearances.
  • The Pete Best: John Barbour, replaced after taping five shows of the daytime version by Chuck Barris. This was because he didn't seem to realize the show was intended as a parody and consoled Gonged contestants.
  • Referenced by...: A Fantastic Four story where the Thing was fighting an out-of-control robot saw the two crashing into the studio while the show was being recorded. Naturally, they were confused for another act (but lost to a singing appendix).
  • What Could Have Been: There have been a few (non-Extreme) attempts to revive the series. This thread on the Game Show Forum revealed that Sony was planning a relaunch as early as 1995, and taped a pilot for it hosted by comedian Chuck Booms. It was slated to be paired with Planet Hollywood Squares (yes, really), but Sony delayed both shows until 1997 to see how their revival block of The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game panned out. Wink Martindale uploaded on his Youtube page a pitchfilm for a syndicated revival from 2001. Tom Arnold would've hosted, the format was classic Gong, and was intended to air late nights. Sony tried again in 2003; this was pitched to The WB with Jeffery Ross as host.
    • "Weird Al" Yankovic auditioned for the show and nearly made his debut on this show, but didn't make the cut.