Thursday, March 13, 2008

The original American Idol

More than one of you have mentioned "The Gong Show" in various responses to my posts. I agree, that was a precious piece of Americana. It's tough to pick just one great performance from that show. It ran from 1976-1980, right around the same time as Sha-na-na. I have vivid, but not as scarring as Sha-na-na, memories of some pretty ridiculous acts. My two favorite recurring bits were "The Unknown Comic" and the one shown above, "Gene, Gene, the Dancing Machine".

Oh for Television to have such quality again!


GUNNY said...

Next to the Unknown Comic, Gene was my favorite on the show.

For the less acquainted:
Gong Show: Unknown Comic
(Scope out Steve Martin as one of the judges (0:37).)

malcolm said...

I loved that show. Incidentally to two celebs were JP Morgan and Arte Johnson. That can of energy is usually derived from medication taken through the nasal passage...which was always the rumor about the show.

Frontier Forest said...

Wrong Pastor Tony!~ The Gong Show wasn’t’ the original American Idol, we must not forget the infamous, and very corny, “Ted Mack’s, Original Amateur Hour!” Mack’s rambling interviews with the some of the worst and some of the best, first-time acts of all times, was first heard on New York radio in 1934. It was the longest-lived variety program in the history of broadcasting...airing from March, 1934 through September, 1970. I think the funniest act I ever saw was the “free-lance” car polisher from the Bronx, singing with his dog, while he is spinning the proverbial plates on a stick.