“Wayne’s World”, the “Austin Powers” trilogy, the live-action “Cat in the Hat” and, of course, Shrek, were all brought to life by Emmy-award winning Canadian actor and comedian Mike Myers. He was one of the biggest comedy stars of the 90s and early to mid 2000s.
But since a trio of Shrek chapters in 2010 (the final film – for now – “Shrek Forever After”, Halloween special “Scared Shrekless” and short “Donkey’s Christmas Shrektacular”), Myers has stayed out of the spotlight. He did direct the 2013 documentary “Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon”, but it didn’t get as much attention as he likely hoped it would.
However, this Thursday, Myers returns to the high-profile entertainment scene as host of ABC’s new revival of “The Gong Show”. If you’ve seen the promos, you’ve been introduced to the host – a Brit named Tommy Maitland. Well, that’s actually Myers in disguise. He’s completely immersing himself into the character for the modern version of the classic 70s variety show hosted by Chuck Barris.
On “The Gong Show” ABC website, Maitland has been giving an in-depth profile (in case he needs/has to reference his “past” throughout the show’s summer run). Myers is also doing interviews as Maitland, and while ABC is not confirming to any media outlets that Maitland is indeed Myers, there’s no question it’s him.
With the exception of 2008’s “The Love Guru” – a comedy destroyed by critics and at the box office (going-up against “Get Smart” on opening weekend), Myers has had a pretty successful career. And his fanbase is still very large. If anyone but Myers (in character) was taking on “The Gong Show”, I’d be worried. But I’m rooting for him to succeed, hoping Tommy Maitland is just as funny, and becomes just as iconic, as Myers’s other comedy creations.