According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mike Myers is probably the person hosting ABC’s new iteration of The Gong Show. However, no one will confirm this because Myers is going to do the job in character as a British personality named Tommy Maitland. So while Maitland will be billed as the host, it’ll really be Mike Myers. If you’re having trouble keeping up, Will Arnett, who is producing the series, has vouched for Myers’ new persona. “I’ve been a huge fan of Tommy since I first saw his stand-up in the U.K. while traveling as a teenager. He was so funny and original. I had the good fortune to cross paths with Tommy a few years ago and ever since we’ve talked about working together,” he told THR. “I tried for years to come up with a vehicle that was suitable to expose his immense talent on a bigger stage, and The Gong Show is the perfect fit.”
The ruse—or semblance of one—is already so extensive that Maitland did an interview with the publication in which he was treated not as Myers but a completely separate entity. In it, he discussed his catchphrases:
I say, “Who’s a cheeky monkey?” Then the audience goes, “You are.” And I go, “No, you’re a cheeky monkey, and that’s why I love you.” The other catch phrase of mine is, “You’ve got no proof.” So, when I say something slightly cheeky, I’ll say, “Well, you’ve got no proof.”
Maitland also has a fairly sparse Twitter account.
The Gong Show is set to premiere June 22. Assuming that is Myers in the role of Maitland, it will mark another step in his reemergence. He’s also starring in Terminal with Margot Robbie, and is set to play Del Close in a biopic.