'The Gong Show's Tommy Maitland Is A True Original

by Allie Gemmill
Eddy Chen/ABC

Millennials may have missed The Gong Show when it first aired in the 1970s, but now they'll get to enjoy the deliciously offbeat variety show and talent competition, thanks to its ABC revival at the hands of executive producer Will Arnett. There's been a lot of curiosity around The Gong Show revival host, Tommy Maitland, in particular. While many strongly believe that Tommy Maitland is comedian Mike Myers in disguise, there's the question around whether Myers has played Tommy Maitland before. Is Myers simply reviving an old character? Or is he cooking up something new and delightful as he comes out of a long hiatus?

Unless you're super-familiar with Myers' resumé, you may not know that he has actually never played this Maitland persona before (if it is actually him). Myers has reprised his iconic characters like Shrek, Wayne Campbell (from Wayne's World), and Austin Powers for various film and TV appearances, so it wouldn't necessarily be out of line with Myers to reprise a character like Maitland. However, any and all searches you conduct on one" Tommy Maitland" will yield results for the enigmatic Gong Show host. Thus, fans are left to assume that Tommy Maitland was indeed created specifically for The Gong Show revival. It's also worth noting that Maitland is listed as a role on Myers' IMDb page.

Now, just because this is the first time Tommy Maitland has ever been movin' and shakin' around the world, it doesn't mean he's not a fully fleshed-out character. Promotional materials from the ABC press website give a very detailed biography about Tommy Maitland. (Side note: It would be killer is Myers actually wrote it himself.) From his biography, you'll learn that he's actually a lot older than he looks (he was born in 1944, putting him in his 70s); he joined the British Army at 15; he hosted a game show called "Dingo's Got The Baby" and made two knock-off James Bond films; he owns an estate called Serendipity where celebrities can go to party and do whatever they want away from the prying eyes of the paparazzi; finally, he apparently met Arnett at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival a few years ago. It's all an absolute hoot, even if it may be a work of fiction.

If anything, the interviews Tommy Maitland's been giving to promote The Gong Show, as well as those golden nuggets of info from is bio, show that he's truly a one-of-a-kind character. And if it is Myers, he's back and better than ever.