‘The Gong Show’ Season 1, Episode 4 Recap: ‘Hot Dog’ Songs, Unicycling Basketball Players, A Daring Limbo Queen
ABC’s The Gong Show continued its strange talent tour through America last night with guest judges Alison Brie, Ed Helms and Will Arnett, who was a judge on the first episode and serves as one of the show’s executive producers. The three judges were treated to many acts including a song about watching Star Wars with a rescue cat titled “Hot Dogs and Applesauce,” a duo of unicycling basketball players, and a roller-skating limbo queen.
This week’s episode of The Gong Show was noticeably more tame than its predecessors. The opening act was a group of seven retired women dressed in sock-hop garb, tapping and twisting to “Do You Love Me” by The Contours. The judges loved the performance and the fact that the geriatric group was on a “Bucket List Tour.” They received high scores all around.
Next up two unicycling men performing a basketball routine rather enthusiastically. Dressed in scantily clad basketball uniforms, the pair juggled and passed multiple balls while whipping around the stage on their unicycles. While they didn’t receive the week’s highest scores, they were met with decently high scores. Helms, who was a notorious stickler with his points last night, told the performers that there was “nothing ridiculous about your act” and that he “enjoyed it immensely.” He gave them a ten.
But last night’s show was not without its gongs. A man dressed in a strange floral print outfit came out onto the stage talking like a little boy. He began an impressive juggling routine, contorting around the stage, all while pretending to be a prepubescent boy. Helms was not having it and gave the performer the gong despite Brie’s pleas to let the act continue. The Hangover star was booed for ending the act and attempted to juggle himself, failing mightily. Arnett gonged his co-judge for the attempt.
The show was also not without seemingly pointless acts. A man named Christopher Wonder took the stage dressed as a carnival performer from the early nineteenth century. He pulled out a pan and lit a fire inside it. He then took another pan, put it on top of the other, and then removed it, revealing a chicken inside. Wonder then grabbed the chicken and, in an illusion, appeared to pull its head off. The judges, for the most part, were unimpressed, especially Brie who nearly gonged the act halfway through.
One of the more impressive acts came when a girl came on to the stage in roller-skates. With a very low limbo bar set aflame, she sped towards it, and, at the last second, fell into the splits and went under unscathed. She received two tens and a nine for the quick moves.
Finally, one of the least liked performances belonged to a man singing a song titled “Hot Dogs and Applesauce.” The made-up campfire song had two verses – the first was about watching Star Wars with his rescue cat and the second was about going on Facebook to share a Gandhi quote. All three judges raced to the gong but the performer finished his song before they could ring him out.
Afterwards he gave a rousing speech about how the show is made for people like him, the freaks. Arnett and Helms appreciated the speech and increased their scores slightly to reflect that fact. Brie maintained that the show was made to entertain and his act did not do that. While he didn’t win over the hearts of the judges or the audience, the “Hot Dogs and Applesauce” guy is truly what The Gong Show is all about – strange “talents,” strange people, and acts you thought you’d never thought you’d see in your lifetime, although probably for a good reason.
The Gong Show continues next Thursday at 10 p.m. EST on ABC.