Monday, June 6, 2016

A Classic Reborn: The Gong Show (1988)

The Gong Show made a return to syndication in 1988, but if you've never seen it, you're forgiven. It wasn't picked up by a lot of stations on the East Coast, and maybe the reason for that was the fact that Chuck Barris wasn't around to play ringmaster.

Instead, San Francisco area radio personality "True" Don Bleu was tapped to host, and was the Anti-Barris. Proof is in the opener.

Barris did produce and distribute the series, which is now property of Sony. You might also be forgiven if you confused announcer Charlie O'Donnell (Wheel of Fortune) with Gary Owens, who helmed the previous night-time Gong more than a decade earlier, but gave way to Barris after a few months. If you liked the original, well, suffice it to say, the 1988 version, while toned down, was still fun.

Rating: A.

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