Did "Gong Show" Contests Know They Could Get Gonged?

The Gong Show featured contestants of varying quality.

My question is was it pre-decided whether or not a contest could be gonged? I was watching the Carol Burnett Show and Eunice goes on the gong show and says she can’t get gonged 'cause she’s got a “Class A act.”

It sounds like she means her class is so good there’s no way anyone would gong her, but I guess it could also be interpreted that the acts were pre-classed as “gong-able” or not

No, the judges decided on whether to gong the act. I doubt they saw them beforehand.

The Carol Burnett example just meant that she thought she had a terrific act and didn’t know why they were gonging her.

Markxxx, apparently you’ve never seen the show. The celebrity ‘judges’ would fight over who got to gong acts, and occasionally engaged in ‘gang gonging’. Only acts that achieved the artistic heights of Gene Gene the Dancing Machine and the Unknown Comic were immune to gonging.

Chuck Barris said they got a lot of really bad acts and plenty of really good acts. The one thing they did not get was many acts in the middle.

Immune to gonging? I’ve seen the Unknown Comic gonged when he walked on stage.

BTW, Gene Gene was just there to fill time. If the show ran a little short he danced to fill the extra time.

Markxxx, you should know that Eunice never gets anything right.

I remember once when a woman came out to sing. She wasn’t really bad. She was more like I-placed-second-in-my-high-school-talent-show-and-I-want-to-be-a-star quality. She lasted maybe 30 seconds and got gonged. She was crushed, really crushed, and Chuckie Baby got her the hell off stage so she could cry in privacy. That was the last time I watched the show.


I came here to say the same sorta thing.

Usually they gonged only really bad acts. But on occasion, judges got asshole/gong fever and couldnt wait to gong some not so bad act just because. Sometimes they gonged okay acts nearly right off the bat.

And I remember when Gene Gene got too pricey and they replaced him with a dancing coat rack.

Also, everybody knows Chuck Berry worked for the CIA right?

While in college, I auditioned with some friends from our choral ensemble to appear on :The Gong Show." We weren’t selected to appear on the show, but we were under no delusions about the possibility of ANY act, including ours, being gonged.

The Gong Show dynamic seems to be the same as that which drives the Idol show auditions. Insightless souls with dreams of stardom wander in. Tittering and cruelly sarcastic jokes falsely disguised as mock courtesy by the panel in the auditions are delivered, the equivalent of The Gong. There are the occasional undergraduate pranksters who go on as part of some misguiged attempt to Mock the Mockers, but they fail because they either don’t get airtime (if they succeed) or get edited to look foolish. They are the minority. Generally, all the people who go on these shows think they have something to offer.

The cruel aspect of the Idol auditions is the focus they give to the disappointment of the losers who get upset and lash out because they don’t know they’re hopeless. That’s pretty mean-spirited, IMHO.

Missed the edit window (because the Dope website is acting up on my connection right now):

billfish that’s Chuck Barris. Chuck Berry was someone else. Dingaling.

That’s not an insult, btw, it’s a hint. :wink:

watch where you point/swing that thing :slight_smile:

Noel has a point I think regarding the similarity of Idol/Gong Show…though I don’t think Gong Show offered any significant fame as a carrot in comparision to Idol.

And the CIA story is just a cover. He was really John Denver’s spotter. :smiley:

Unless you were Cheryl “Got To Be Real” Lynn.

I watched the show but it was so long ago I can’t remember much about it anymore.

I can’t agree. Gong never had any pretensions to being anything more than a goofy talent show. If you got Gong’ed, it wasn’t a reflection of anything other than the playful vibe of the show. If you invested too much in the judgment of the COMEDIANS, that was your fault, not the show.

Idol is almost exactly the opposite.