I read the following in E.L Doctorow’s novel World’s Fair, which is an account of growing up in New York City in years just before American entrance into W.W. II —
” …Major Bowes’ Original Amateur Hour, a radio program. Aspiring musicians were contestants on the program, and if they were no good, Major Bowes would ( bang a gong) to stop their performance. It made you laugh even though it could not have been funny to whoever it was who might have been rehearsing for weeks to be heard on the radio and hoping to win a professional contract from the appearance.”
While this is from a novel, the show did in fact exist.
This is pretty much the same as The Gong Show that ran in the late 70s. I enjoyed The Gong Show as a kid but today I’m sure I would find it very mean just as I find many so-called reality shows. However, I might still watch The Gong Show because it was absurd. I think I would watch it but not admit that I do.
I’m sure plenty of people knew The Gong Show was an imitation of another show. But I never knew.
Here is what is says in the Bible: “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun.”