Appearance: Blue eyes teamed with a complexion the colour of a freshly varnished deck.
Who is he? Tommy Maitland, the legendary English TV host.
Legendary? I’ve never heard of him. He started out as a radio announcer and actor before moving into gameshows in the 80s. He was the host of Tell You What.
Doesn’t ring a bell, to be honest. After that he went to Australia, where he fronted the longrunning Dingo’s Got the Baby.
What has he done lately? Last year, he came out of retirement to make his American debut, delighting US audiences with his catchphrases, “Who’s a cheeky monkey?” and “We’re just here for funsies” as the host of The Gong Show.
I’ve never heard of The Gong Show either. It’s a talent show in which acts are dismissed by banging a giant gong. Running from 1976 to 1980, the series was “rebooted” last summer, turning Maitland into a household name.
This is weird. How did such a legend pass me by? Hard to say. Possibly because he is totally made up. You mean you invented him? No, Wayne’s World and Austin Powers star Mike Myers did. He has been playing Maitland – with a British accent and heavy prosthetics – since The Gong Show started last June.
Is he funny? No, he plays it pretty straight – irrepressible, but straight.
How did he manage the deception for so long? Myers stayed in character, and his name never appeared in the credits, until now – ABC has decided to give the game away ahead of a second series. Plus, Maitland was furnished with a long and detailed backstory. He even had his own Twitter account.
The Loch Ness monster has its own Twitter account. Are you saying nobody knew? There are two answers to that question.
Can I have the truer one? Myers’ alter ego has been, like Donald Trump’s stupidity, an “open secret”. Weeks before the show debuted, Vanity Fair revealed the ruse. As did Access Hollywood. And Inside Edition.
That’s not what an “open secret” is. That’s what “a matter of public record” is. It seems as if a lot of people missed the memo.
Do say: “Who’s a cheeky monkey? You are!”
Don’t say: “Oh, behave!”