The Gong Show Cast and Character Guide: (TV series 1976)

The Gong Show Cast: The Gong Show was a popular American television variety show that first aired in 1976. Created and hosted by Chuck Barris, the show gained fame for its unique format and eccentric performers. It ran until 1980 and left a lasting impact on the world of television. In this comprehensive overview, we will delve into various aspects of the show, including its cast, plot, production, reception, and its lasting legacy in the world of entertainment.

The Gong Show Cast
The Gong Show Cast
CreatorChris Bearde
DirectorsJohn Dorsey
Terry Kyne
Presented byChuck Barris
John Barbour
Gary Owens (1976-1977 nighttime season)
Don Bleu
Dave Attell
Mike Myers as Tommy Maitland
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes501 NBC
20 Revival
Run time18 minutes (early NBC episodes) 23 minutes 42 minutes
Original networkNBC (1976–1978)
Syndicated (1976–77, 1977–80, 1988–89)
GSN (1998–1999)
Comedy Central (2008)
ABC (2017–2018)
Original releaseOriginal series June 14, 1976 – September 15, 1989
Revival series June 22, 2017 – August 30, 2018
Narrated byJohnny Jacobs
Jack Clark
Charlie O’Donnell
Will Arnett
ProducersGene Banks
Diane Fell
Linda Howard
Production companiesChuck Barris Productions (1976–80)
Chris Bearde Productions (1976–78, 1988–89)
Barris Productions (1988–89) Barris Industries (1988–89) Den of Thieves (2017–2018)
Sony Pictures Television (2017–2018)
The Gong Show Cast

The Gong Show Cast

  • Chuck Barris as Self – Host (9 episodes, 1976-1979) – The charismatic and enigmatic host of “The Gong Show,” Chuck Barris was a television producer and creator. He played a central role in the show’s success, entertaining the audience with his witty banter and quirky charm.
  • Jaye P. Morgan as Self – Panelist / Self (3 episodes, 1978-1979) – Morgan served as one of the three celebrity judges on the show, known for her candid and often humorous remarks. Her presence added a unique dynamic to the judging panel.
  • Jamie Farr as Self (2 episodes, 1976) – Farr, another celebrity judge, was best known for his role as Corporal Klinger on the TV series MAS*H. His humor and reactions to the acts made him a fan favorite.
  • Arte Johnson as Panelist / Self (2 episodes, 1976-1979) – Johnson, the third celebrity judge, was known for his distinctive laugh and quirky sense of humor. His reactions to the acts, often laced with sarcasm, were an integral part of the show’s appeal.
  • Trixie Dejonge as Self (5 episodes, 1976-1978)
  • Gary Owens as Self – Host / Host (3 episodes, 1976)
  • Rocky Bonifield as Self (3 episodes, 1976)
  • Jo Anne Worley as Panelist / Self (2 episodes, 1976)
  • Mat Plendl as Self / Hula Hoop Artist (2 episodes, 1976)
  • Curt Vig as Themselves (The Puppets and Friends) (2 episodes, 1976)
  • Pat McCormick as Self – Panelist (2 episodes, 1978-1979)
  • Louanne as Self (2 episodes, 1978)
  • John Barbour as Self – Host (1 episode, 1976)
  • Adrienne Barbeau as Self – Panelist (1 episode, 1976)
  • Richard Dawson as Panelist (1 episode, 1976)
  • Jack Cassidy as Self (1 episode, 1976)
  • Phyllis Diller as Self (1 episode, 1976)
  • Anson Williams as Self (1 episode, 1976)
  • Aesop Aquarian as Self – The Shortest Cowboy Song (1 episode, 1976)
  • Ray Pierce as Self (1 episode, 1976)
  • Nancy Lee as Self (1 episode, 1976)
  • Huck Flyn as Performer (1 episode, 1976)
  • Marc Siciliani as Elvis the Pelvis (1 episode, 1976)
  • Patty Harris as Patty H (1 episode, 1976)
  • Carl Ballantine as Self – Panelist (1 episode, 1978)
  • Wayland Flowers as Self – Panelist (1 episode, 1978)
  • Michael Munoz as Tap Dancing Gorilla (1 episode, 1978)
  • Gary Mule Deer as Self – Panelist (1 episode, 1978)
  • Hillary Carlip as Winner (1 episode, 1978)
  • Rhonda Shear as Self – Contestant (1 episode, 1979)
  • Barbara McNair as Self (1 episode, 1979)
  • Stan Lemkuil as The Old Victrola (1 episode, 1979)
  • Gene Patton as Gene Gene, The Dancing Machine (1 episode, 1979)
  • Jack Youngblood as Self – Panelist (1 episode, 1979)
  • The Souvenirs as Themselves (1 episode, 1979)
  • Marvin Fulalove as Self (1 episode, 1979)
  • Dick Green as Self (1 episode, 1979)
  • Kenny Pierce as Self (1 episode, 1979)
  • Dave And Karen as Themselves (1 episode, 1979)
  • Della Barris as Self / substitute assistant (unknown episodes)
  • Milton Delugg as Leader of the Band With The Thug / Self (unknown episodes)
  • Larry Spencer as Larry the Evil Villain / Self (unknown episodes)
  • Sivi Aberg as Self – Assistant (unknown episodes)
  • Johnny Jacobs as Announcer (1976-1978) / Self (unknown episodes)
  • Barry Zweig as Band With A Thug / guitar (1976-1977) (unknown episodes)
  • Jerry Maren as Confetti Thrower (1976) (unknown episodes)
  • John Rodby as Substitute bandleader (1976) (unknown episodes)
  • Bill Neale as Band With A Thug / guitar (1977-1980) (unknown episodes)
  • Frederick Long as Self (1977-1979) (unknown episodes)
  • Jack Clark as Announcer / substitute (1977-1978) (unknown episodes)
  • Michael McConnohie as The Amazing Dolphin Brothers (1978) (unknown episodes)
  • John Naulin as The Amazing Dolphin Brothers (1978) (unknown episodes)
  • David Letterman as Self / panelist (unknown episodes)
  • Rex Reed as Self / panelist (unknown episodes)
  • Carol Connors as Self / substitute assistant) (unknown episodes)
  • Elizabeth Maren as Midget (unknown episodes)
  • Jill Freeman as Self / substitute assistant (unknown episodes)
  • Ray Neapolitan as “Raybodoo” / Band With A Thug / bass (unknown episodes)
  • Marlana Clark as Self / substitute assistant (unknown episodes)
  • Iris Turner as Self – Panelist (unknown episodes)
  • Joe Howard as “Waltah” / Band With A Thug / trombone (unknown episodes)
  • Bobby Findley as Band With A Thug / trumpet (unknown episodes)
  • Lanny Morgan as Band With A Thug / clarinet-sax (unknown episodes)

Plot

A talent competition show with a twist. Contestants, often amateur performers with unusual and offbeat acts, would appear before a panel of celebrity judges. The goal was to impress the judges and the audience, who were encouraged to applaud if they enjoyed the act. However, if the judges found an act to be particularly bad or unbearable, they could strike a large gong, signaling the end of the performance.

The show embraced a wide range of acts, from singers and dancers to comedians and novelty performers. The acts varied widely in quality and originality, making for an unpredictable and entertaining viewing experience. The contestants were competing for a modest cash prize, which added an extra layer of excitement to the show.

One of the unique aspects of “The Gong Show” was its irreverent and zany atmosphere. Chuck Barris encouraged a sense of fun and playfulness, and the show didn’t take itself too seriously. This approach allowed for a wide range of performers to showcase their talents, no matter how unconventional or unconventional they may have been.

Production

Created and produced by Chuck Barris, who had previously found success with shows like “The Dating Game” and “The Newlywed Game.” Barris brought his signature style to “The Gong Show,” creating a show that was unlike anything else on television at the time.

The show’s set was simple but effective, featuring a large gong that became a symbol of the series. The celebrity judges sat in a prominent position, with Chuck Barris as the affable host, interacting with both contestants and judges.

The casting of the celebrity judges was a key component of the show’s success. Each judge brought their own personality and humor to the panel, and their reactions to the acts were often just as entertaining as the acts themselves.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, “The Gong Show Cast” was a groundbreaking and iconic television series that pushed the boundaries of entertainment and celebrated the eccentric and unusual. It remains a testament to the power of creativity and the enduring appeal of unorthodox talent in the world of entertainment.

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