Written by Greg Bird
Friday, 16 April 2010
Do you know what I really miss? The Gong Show.
That’s right, the 1970’s variety show that featured wacky acts and oddball antics from the host, judges and contestants.
While not exactly groundbreaking television, the brainchild of genious/nutjob Chuck Barris, the show certainly found a niche and helped define a decade.
Nothing much of substance came out of the Gong Show. By my research, only two acts made it big off the show, and a handful of others (Pee Wee Herman for example) got famous on their own years later, and who is to say that they didn’t get a boost of confidence from making fools of themselves in front of Jaye P. Morgan?
They certainly didn’t do it for the fame, a winner only received a dirty sock and $516.32, not nationwide attention and offers to make a reality tv show.
That’s why my main love of the show was the fact that the people that appeared did so just to have fun.
Today, it seems the only people want to appear on any sort of television show have an ulterior motive. Namely, they want to be famous.
And “famous” is a word we throw about way too casually these days anyway.
I don’t watch American Idol, but I certainly heard too much about “Pants on the Ground Guy.”
I want to know why?
Sure, it may have been a funny bit, and everyone deserves a laugh now and again, but for it to spread across the globe and the guy offered a recording contract? Come on, are we that starved for entertainment that this guy is the “next best thing?”
To be fair, he isn’t the only “celebrity” to grab hold of the comet’s tail and ride it for the full 15 minutes.
It seems that every week there is a new “media darling” that pops up on the internet, and soon, every news show has to at least mention the newest fad.
It is a symbiotic relationship. The person gets exposure and a possible paycheck, while the networks appear to be “hip” with their viewers.
In a way, I empathize with these people. Why not cash in when someone’s handing you a blank check? Why not make a few million for doing virtually nothing?
Corporate America is full of people like that; we call them CEO’s.
It just bothers me that we pay these people any attention at all.
Why do we care about Jon and Kate? Snooki? Or whoever is the flavor of the week?
What have they done to enrich our lives or society? Who will really care about them in 5 years, let alone a lifetime from now?
Back when the Gong Show was at its heights, we all know what it was, a funny show. We didn’t expect to see someone get a movie deal out of their appearance, and quickly forgot about them when the next week’s show aired.
All I know is, I still remember Gene Gene the Dancing Machine. He did his shtick, and moved on with his life.
That’s the way it should be.