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A wacky 70's TV version of Major Bowes' "Amateur Hour" radio show. Three celeb panelists would judge performers on a 0-10 scale, while really bad acts got sent off with a swing of the mallet. Some frequent "contestants" got 15 minutes of fame - "Gene&Gene, the Dancing Machine"; "The Unknown Comic" (comedian Murray Langston telling bad jokes with a paper bag over his head). It also featured host Chuck Barris and panelist Jaye P. Morgan "testing" the censors on occasion.

Naturally, the central features of The Gong Show were its contestants and their acts. But competing strongly for home-audience attention were the antics of the celebrity judges themselves. Best of all was when the judges had disagreement regarding the quality of an act, to such a degree that they would actually fight for posession of the mallet. One judge would be attempting to strike the gong (and thus send the inferior contestant away with no spoils), and another judge doing his best to wrest the mallet away before the gong could be struck. Picture Miss Piggy mounting a valiant struggle to prevent Carol Channing from gonging some weirdo whose schtick was to dance around dressed only in a truck tire held up by suspenders, while singing (badly) and sprinkling powdered sugar on the tire as if it were a doughnut.

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