When I was a young boy, one of my favorite TV shows to watch was The Gong Show, starring host Chuck Barris. I vividly remember yelling at the judges to “gong away” or to “have mercy” on the contestants. It was the first show of its kind, and to this day I have fond memories, despite the fact that the original show was so short-lived – it ran for two seasons on NBC (1976–78) and four in syndication (1976–80).
Now, thanks to the campy crew at Misuta Chow’s, The Gong Show is back. The monthly show joins a number of other programs at the restaurant, including trivia, karaoke, supper club cabaret, and all-vinyl DJ nights. But it is The Gong Show that is managing to capture a lot of attention, partially due to the outlandish nature of the game, and partially due to the personalities of the dynamic host and the versatile judges. Let’s start with the judges:
- Will Carroll is host of TeenSet Radio on WAYO FM and editor of National TeenSet Outsider Magazine. He lives in Rochester and is moderator of the “I Like Eggs” Facebook group.
- Singer and musician Joe Donohue regularly sings and plays piano at Nietzsche’s. He plays guitar in the band The Albrights.
- Cat Sinclair is one of Buffalo’s most iconic burlesque dancers known for her outlandish, provocative routines as much as her striking beauty.
As for the host of “A Gong Show,” Shannon Dawn manages to cover a lot of bases, thanks to her multifarious roles as comedian, punk rocker, and burlesque dancer.
All of these character attributes have helped to create the perfect storm for the initial packed show, which kicked off at the club on May 20. The next live episode will take place on Thursday, June 17, featuring guest judges Cat McCarthy, Joe Donohue, and Will Carroll. Seating starts at 7pm, show at 7:30. Call (716) 259-8228 to reserve a table.
Anyone looking to pitch an act for an upcoming show can do so by filling out an entry form found on the Facebook event page. Or enter to be a contestant by clicking here. The show is held every third Thursday of the month.
Prize sponsored by Timeless Babez, 830 Elmwood Avenue.