The Gong Show Celebrities: List Of Stars Who Debuted On TV's Amateur Hour

By Jacob Shelton
Left: Chuck Barris, host of 'The Gong Show.' Right: Pee Wee Herman, also known as Gong Show competitor Paul Reubens. Sources: Bettmann / Contributor / Getty; IMDB

On The Gong Show, host Chuck Barris celebrated strange talents, oddball behavior, and people's longing to be seen by a national audience. Performers on the show had about 30 seconds to strut their stuff on air before a panel of guest judges could stop their performance banging on a giant gong. Performances ranged from the spectacular to the downright strange.

One of the coolest things about the classic version of The Gong Show is that many of the performers went on to be real deal celebrities. From Steve Martin to Pee Wee Herman, the stars of tomorrow were all over this nationally televised series and we’re going to let you know which ones were gonged, who won some cash, and who flamed out spectacularly.