Is announced host Tommy Maitland the latest creation of the 'Austin Powers' star?

By Derek Lawrence
April 28, 2017 at 04:08 PM EDT
mrtommymaitland/Instagram; Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic
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Dr. Evil. Fat Bastard. Tommy Maitland?

For the upcoming reboot of the popular 1970s game show The Gong Show, ABC has tapped “British comedic legend” Tommy Maitland as the host. While the release announcing the news shares an elaborate and distinguished backstory for the comedian, there’s rampant speculation that Maitland doesn’t actually exist… and he’s really a Mike Myers character.

ABC won’t confirm the rumors, but THR, who first reported the story, strongly suggests Myers is going method for the show, and the photo on Maitland’s newly created social media profiles bare a strong resemblance to the Austin Powers star.

“When Will Arnett came to me and asked me to host The Gong Show, I said, ‘I’m honoured at the request, but I’m retired,’” said Maitland in a statement. “Then he told me how much I was being paid, in U.S. dollars, and I said, ‘I’m still honoured, but no longer retired.’”

Myers is no stranger is creating outlandish characters, whether it was his time on Saturday Night Live or the Austin Powers trilogy, where, in addition to the titular spy, he played Dr. Evil, Fat Bastard, and Goldmember.

Chuck Barris was the original host of the NBC daytime talent show, which featured contestants performing for a panel of celebrity judges, who could immediately stop a bad act by hitting a large gong.

As well as being an executive producer on the series, Arnett will serve as a celebrity guest judge, with THR revealing Zach Galifianakis, Alison Brie, Andy Samberg, Elizabeth Banks, Joel McHale, Dana Carvey, Will Forte, Jack Black, and Anthony Anderson will be among the others rotating in.

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  • In Season
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