For a while Mike Myers was probably one of the biggest stars on the planet thanks to the success of the Wayne’s World and Austin Powers franchises, but then for some reason he just up and disappeared, with nobody really hearing from him for years.
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Or so we thought. It turns out that Myers has actually been on our screens – well American ones at least – for the past six months as a 72 year old ‘British’ presenter named Tommy Maitland on an amateur talent show called ‘The Gong Show’. He was introduced in the credits as a legendary British gameshow host that was making his first appearance on American television.
Of course, this turned out to be absolute baloney and it was actually Mike Myers playing dress up, which is probably one of the best pranks I’ve heard of in recent times. Especially as he kept it going for six months without anyone realising, although in fairness everyone involved went in hard on the prank, with ABC (the network ‘The Gong Show’ was broadcast on) giving him fake social media accounts, public appearances and a very detailed fake autobiography, which you can read below. Here’s a clip of him in action also – see if you can spot that it’s actually Mike Myers:
Born on July 7, 1944, Thomas Winston Maitland (his middle name is a tribute to Winston Churchill) grew up in Neasden, GLC, Borough of Brent, where his father was an actuary and in the Merchant Marine and his mother was in the RAF.
After a failed stint as a pipe fitter’s apprentice, Tommy joined the British Army at the tender age of 15.
He later joined the Entertainment National Service Association (ENSA), where he got to know some of the UK’s biggest comedians.
He played the ukulele, told jokes and drummed (though he drummed badly), and he ended up hosting the show – a talent he would later be known for.
He was voted ENSA Entertainer of the Year, for which he was given a guarantee to appear on British radio.
He later worked as an announcer for the British radio show The Whosey Whats and got small roles in the Carry On films – either as the over anxious compart at a men’s club or the strict union pipe fitter.
Ok that bio does sound a bit stupid but if you were confronted with it you really would wonder why anyone would bother making up half the stuff in it, wouldn’t you? Anyway, the cat had to come out of the bag eventually and when ABC announced that the show was a being renewed for a second season yesterday they spilled the beans:
ABC has announced it won’t be gonging its popular summer series The Gong Show and has renewed it for a second season.
Celebrated film and television actor/comedian Mike Myers has finally confirmed the rumour that he is, indeed, the show’s host – British comedic legend Tommy Maitland.
‘Being the host of The Gong Show is a blast! Pure fun. It is with great delight that I can finally admit that there is indeed a Tommy Maitland, and that I portray him.’
There you have it – probably the best get of 2017 right there. Respect to Myers, and hopefully we’ll be seeing more of him on our screens soon as it’s been way too long.
For more Mike Myers, check out the Top Ten Babes of All Time from 1991 according to Wayne’s World. Some real lookers in there.