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..."From Hollywood, almost live, it's The Gong Show!" Now here's your host, Chuck Barris!

Chuck: Welcome to the Gong Show! First, let me introduce our three panelists for this evening. From M*A*S*H, we have our own Corporal Klinger, Jamie Farr! Fresh from an appearance on "Match Game" we have the ever-zany Rip Taylor! And of course, no Gong Show would be complete with the lovely Jaye P. Morgan! And now, on to our two contestants!

Edward Scissorhands, Johnny Depp

Our first contestant, Edward Scissorhands, is a landscaper by trade.
Tonight he will present us with a lovely rendition of Moon River,
skillfully played on the wine glasses.

Jack Tripper, Three's Company

Our second contestant tonight is Jack Tripper, a gourmet cook from Los Angeles.
He will present us with a feat of outstanding agility, skill, and precision.
For the first time ever on The Gong Show, we present Chinese Plate Spinning.

So, Brian, who will last the longest on this arena of bad taste and bad talent, lovingly known as The Gong Show?

The Commentary

BRIAN: The way I see it, both performances will be complete disasters. Edward will whip those metal appendages of death around, smashing the Waterford and sending shards of wet glass into the studio audience. Jack will vainly try to spin the plates, but as soon as he gets one started, it won't stay, and he'll be forced to get in a variety of awkward positions before the plates come crashing down and he falls over the table in some slapstick and comical way.

The fact that both of these contestants will not even come close to doing what they are attempting, however, does not mean that neither of them will be entertaining. Mr. Scissorhands will be flailing about and, as already mentioned, sending dangerous projectiles into the audience. Well, unless this is the Running Man (tm), this is not appropriate material for any game show. Most of the shards go into the audience, so the judges are a bit interested at first, but when one stray one takes out Jaye P., the other judges fear for their lives. Rip hits the gong just as Jamie Farr takes one in the leg.

But when Jack is up there, he's going to be funny. That's his nature. When he's slipping and jerking around with the odd looks on his face trying to keep just two plates up (nevermind 4 or 5), he's going to be funny. And even though he won't get any plates going, he'll have the judges (except for Jaye P., God rest her soul) laughing so hard they couldn't reach the gong even if they wanted to. Clearly, Jack wins simply for pure amusement value.

STEVE: It's quite clear that Jack Tripper is going to win this contest. However, it is for a different reason than you cite. Jack will win because of one factor: canned laughter (tm). It follows him around everywhere! No matter what he does, no matter how stupid it is, no matter if it isn't even funny, there will always be canned laughter (tm) surrounding all of Jack's activites. So, needless to say, there will be canned laughter (tm) at Jack's plate spinning theatrics. Now, we only have to look at the judges. They are all products of the 70's, so they will all be suckered in by the laughter surrounding them. Hey, if other people are laughing, then it must be funny! How else could Three's Company stay on the air for so long? The judges will be laughing so hard, that they will never get a chance to gong him off the stage.

On the other hand, when poor Edward enters the stage, things will be different. No laughter at all. He will of course shatter all of the glasses as you mentioned earlier, so there will be no music to soothe the easily captivated minds of the judges. The silence will be deafening (OK, OK, maybe a few shrieks from the injured parties...) All three judges will get together and gong simulataneously, forcing an early exit for the misunderstood circus freak. Jack Tripper wins!

BRIAN: Of all the simplistic analyses you have ever offered, this is by far one of the worst. To suggest that Jack Tripper has any chance of winning is absurd! While he may be funny while attempting to spin those plates, it will be a meager attempt at best. And we all know how much everyone HATES Canned Laughter (tm). As soon as that Laff Trak (tm) gets going, the judges will be killing each other to get to the gong to end that defeaning horror.

And to say that Edward will not perform up to standards is equally as ludicrous. When one looks at the skill with which he sculps those beautiful animal-shaped hedges, one knows this is a true artisan that will have no problem with "Moon River".

And, finally, Jack will bungle even worse than you suggest for one very obvious reason: He won't be able to concentrate. Why won't he be able to concentrate? Because just minutes before the show, Jack decides to go butter up the host, Chuck Barris. As Jack approaches Mr. Barris' office door, he accidentally overhears a conversation he is having with one of the producers. Since Jack only hears the middle of the conversation (and due to some fortuitous usage of vague pronouns and double entendres from Chuck and the producer), he quickly is under the impression that Mr. Barris is having a scorching love affair with Jamie Farr and that the audience is expecting Jack to perform obscene acts with sheep during his tour on stage. This rattles Jack so much that he won't even be able to be funny; I doubt will even hear that much Canned Laughter (tm).

STEVE: I'm sick and tired of your pathetic attempts at debate. What kind of insult is "simplistic analysis?" How about something original for a change? Anyway, now that I have that out of my system I can get on with a clear, factual argument, wholly based in reason and logic.

It is of course obvious to all but the most moronic individuals that Edward will win this competition hands down (no pun intended). Ok, maybe it was intended. I happen to like puns, OK? Am I less of an individual because of it? What are you going to do about it, anyway? I'll put punny items in here to my hearts content. Just consider it due pun-ishment.

So, I think this settles who will win this talent competition. The many facts and logical arguments presented in my closing statement speak for themselves. The logic behind them is simply undeniable. As with the Declaration of Independence, the truths are self-evident. Edward will be victorious.

For Three's Company links, visit Sitcoms Online.

The Results

Jack Tripper (275)


Edward Scissorhands (212)

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Voter Comments


It is easy to decide who wins here. People love freaks. We have something in our nature that draws us toward the obscure and the obscene. That's why we have the Weekly World News and Entertainment Tonight. Jack wins.

- Matthew

Let us meditate on this.


Okay, enough meditation crap. Let's get down to business.

EDWARD: (trying to play Moon River)
-has the soul of an artist (+)
-could kill Jack Tripper if he so chose (+)
-was played by Johnny Depp. Johnny Depp was also in Cry-Baby. Thus, a
whole ton of John Waters high school punks will be cheering Ed (+)
-got to sleep with the slutty lady in his movie (+)
-Johnny Depp was also in Benny and Joon, thus Ed will have Mary Stuart
Masterson making goo-goo eyes at him, a distraction if there ever was one (-)
-What's Eating Gilbert Grape? was a really bad movie (-)
-Johnny Depp was also on 21 Jump Street (-, for obvious reasons)
-Ed's so dextrous he can catch a kid with his scissorhands and not cut him
-Johnny Depp was also in Nick of Time; thus, A) he will have Roc cheering
him on (+) and Christopher Walken shooting at him (-)
-Edward Scissorhands was directed by Tim Burton (+), who also directed
Batman and Batman Returns...thus Bruce Wayne will spend lots of cash and
time training Ed to play "Moon River"(+)

JACK (trying to spin plates): -Was played by John Ritter (-) -John Ritter was in Hooperman (-) -Suzanne Somers will almost certainly try to grab some of his time to sell Thighmasters (-) -Don Knotts. Nuff said. (-)

Clearly, Ed wins.

- Christopher Bird

Gentlemen, gentlemen, gentlemen. Again you have overlooked the deciding factor in this contest-- sexual frustration.

Our stooge wannabe friend Jack was a child of the swingin' seventies. Although he always struck out on-camera, there was plenty of evidence to suggest that his unfilmed visits to the local singles bar were considerably more productive, so to speak ( a similar situation was seen in the camera-shy blitzkrieg of the Ensigns vs. Stormtroopers). Although he did spend his years sharing an apartment with two unobtainable women, this can't be considered a major setback. Janet was never much of a prize, and the stock blondes they had over the years was far too stupid to be very tantalizing, even for someone with standards as low as Jack.

In comparison to this we have our good friend Eddie Sciz. For the larger part of his life he never even saw anything more arousing than a suggestively-shaped bush-- er, shrub. After years of isolation, he meets registered Babe Wynona Ryder, even if she is wearing an ugly blonde wig. He spends several weeks in the same house with her, and never makes it to first base. That's right, he's sent back to the exile in the castle for the rest of his life, brooding bitterly on loves lost. And who is he dating now? Kate Moss, a woman who is always far too busy liposuctioning anything resembling flesh off her body to think about poor Eddy's needs. So, unless Vincent Price had some odd romantic preferences, we've got one frustrated little pruner.

So, jump to the present. Here he is, out on stage, with the lovely Jaye P. Morgan. He's got one chance to win her soul with "Moon River." Jack, on the other hand, just had an interlude with Corporal Klinger, and, upon hearing a plot synopsis of "Mash," quickly falls into a catotonic state. Eddy wins by default, but breaks into a heartrending rendition of "Feelings" just for good measure.


It's simple, really. When Jack gets on the show, he will make some inane wisecrack about Edward's hands. Not meaning to be harmful, he will invariably hit a sore spot in Edward. Edward, who is getting damn sick and tired of people making fun of his hands, will suddenly snap and turn "The Gong Show" into an orgy of rage and blood, the likes of which have ne'er been seen on this Earth. Jack will try and spin his plates while Edward fumes and mulls over Jacks' lame joke. Suddenly, something inside Edward breaks free! Edward leaps over to Jack and rams a fistfull of talons into Jack's shoulder, while the plates crash on Jack's head. Edward will proceed to methodically disect Jack alive, using both his hands and broken glass. Jack will scream in pain, while the audience laughs uproariously (No Laff Trak needed!). Chrissy will leap in to try to save Jack, but she, too, will meet with the metallic claws. Edward will go on to star in several box-office smashing, award-winning action films. Jack will gurgle, bleed, and die. Richard Dawson will meet Chrissy after she gets out of the hospital, plastic surgery having erased all scars.

- Jack Limper

This is going to be quite a stunning match-up. On the one hand, you have Jack Tripper-the ultimate sleaze come on who always get the chicks. Why can't I get these chicks. I always misinterpret things that I hear, but somehow I always seem to get into trouble, and I mean serious legal trouble. If someone says "Bite Me!" who am I to argue? The you have Edward S., a real cut-up. But something you fail to mention about the pospect of Ed winning is the congradulatory hugs and handshakes that go with it. One hug from Eddy and your in the hospital with a punctured liver. Who wants to see Jaime Farr's hand reduced to bloody shards? Then again, that could be pretty cool.

- "bitch", Santa Clara University

Why Jack Tripper? simple really, the Gong show is based around washed up never-beens judging desperate no-talents (I remember a girl who won for sucking on a popscicle, but then I may have seen her in a recent Vista production). Anyways, Johnny Depp, er, Edward Scissorhands, has talent despite fate, whereas Jack Tripper as a second-hand Americanization of a British comedy is desperation personified. He reminds the judges of all the reasons why their careers have gone into the toilet, not because of fate, but because of lack of talent. And desperation, and there is nothing to make people more vengeful that the smell of fear of failure. Tripper oozes the aroma of failure and that automatically triggers the judges to acclaim him the winner.

At least that is my take on it. Maybe I need to watch the Gong Show Movie again (again, maybe not)

cheers - Jim

Jack wins because of Terri, Cindy, Chrissy, and, yes, even Janet... the BABE FACTOR, you can't stop it, you can only hope to contain it... besides, Johnny Depp will take one look at these beauties and impale himself on his own hands. Ah, Jack wins and Johnny Depp is dead, what a day!

- Brad, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne

Here's the break down:

Jamie Farr: clearly in Jack's Favor as they are old 70's sitcom peers, having appeared together in many a celebrity game show (more on this later)

Jaye P. Morgan: On Ed's side, but just barely. Why? Because I doubt that Scisor's performance will be all that bad. Remember: The boy could do delicate sculpting of snow-men and wouldn't ever even hurt a poodle. Ed's not going to go on National TV until he's got that Waterford clinking down to a koto playing science. I expect a Oldfield-esque tubular bells-like performance.

The big question mark here:

Rip Taylor: He's liable to hit the gong, just so that he can make some kind of stupid remark. Its his nature. He's bitter about losing his show and having to make guest appearances on "It's Gary Shandling's Show." I say he ixnays ritter and says "NYAAAAAAAHHHHHH! Hey! Hey!" and then steals a steve martin joke. But then when he's about to repeat the stunt on Scissor-guy... He's paralyzed with fright.

So end result:

Ritter wins 28 to 25 if ed goes first. Ed wins by default if Ritter goes first.

- William LI, Rice Univeristy

Okay guys,

I had to pick Edward over Jack, and this is the main reason:

Talent, although inherent, needs some coaching along the way.

Edward's tutor was Vincent Price. Jack's tutor was (well, would probably be) Don Knotts.

Vincent Price has experience in movies and the occaisional Michael Jackson video. Don Knotts was a deputy in a small North Carolina town, later to become a landlord and a swinger.

- Rick

You know, this might be the best grudge match yet. I don't think I've ever heard of such a strange but intellectually stimulating competition. It really made me think. Now, on with the show.

To begin with, let us assume that people actually have to go through an audition to get on the Gong Show. Consider the liability if Edward Scissorhands were to go out on stage and start smashing shards of wine glasses into the audience like Watermelon chunks during a Gallagher show. Can you say MAJOR LAWSUIT. I knew you could. So obviously, Edward is NOT getting on the show if all he does is threaten the safety of everyone involved.

Therefore, Edward must have a real act that meets the Gong Show standards: talented, funny and/or weird. Obviuously, we can immediately eliminate talent. However, he has the other two elements in his favor. There are few people that look stranger than Edward. Consider some of the all-time greatest Gong Show acts. Gene the Dancing Machine. The Worm dance. The old lady playing the tuba. The pre-adolescent, cross-dressing, singing, strip-tease artist American Male. All of them were both very successful and very weird. Now for the funny part. No matter how weird Edward is, no one is going to let him on the show if all he does is smash for ten seconds. BORING. There must be some real humor to his act. Maybe the wine glasses are four feet tall and made of recycled garbage cans. Maybe he only pretends to play while a soundtrack plays in the background. And maybe, just maybe, he actually figures some way of playing Moon River on ordinary wine glasses. In any case, he should be weird and funny enough to survive at least 30 seconds, if not finish the act and get a score.

Jack Tripper, on the other hand, is in serious trouble. He is not weird. Anyone who watched Three's Company knows he's not funny. That leaves talent. Somehow, during the audition, he must have pulled off the Chinese Plate Spinning Trick and earned a spot on the show. But as usual, something will go wrong during the actual performance. He'll get the hiccups. He'll be doused in itching powder. He'll be distracted by seeing his girlfiend making out in the front row. The glue he used in the sudition will melt under the lights. With his talent stripped, he will have to rely on his charisma to prevent being gonged. That should last him all a tenth of a second. He makes all of ten seconds - fifteen if Jamie Farr coordinates a triple - and goes back to his sitcom where he belongs.

Edward, within 95& probability, beats Jack Tripper. Q.E.D.

- Paul Golba, Seton Hall University

Edward Scissorhands will go first. Glass shards flying everywhere will get him gonged just as soon as Jaye P. can reach it while she's cowering behind the judge's table. As Edward leaves the stage, Jack will enter the stage with one of his patented trip-but-recover-without-falling-after-wild-gyrations (tm)...unfortunately, right into Edwards's flailing ginsu-digits. This will occur out of site of the judges, so as a mortally wounded Jack staggers onto the stage, sucking chest wound spurting buckets 'o' blood, they'll think it's some schtick and the judges will laugh their asses off as Jack careens around and finally drops dead from a severed aorta. Jack wins by 7 pints!

- truttan

I am shocked and appalled that John Ritter is getting more votes than Johnny Depp, if I may just step out of character for a moment. Hey, folks, we're talking about ACTORS hers. Y'know, people who make believe? And it is a criminal travesty that people give perfectly good (or for that matter absolutely fake) money for John Ritter to trapse in front of a camera, any camera. The man is an abomination and should not be held up as an example to our impressionable youth. Johnny Depp on the other hand is a not bad actor with some good footage to his credit.

I admit that The Gong Show is not the best venue to judge or see talent, but sometimes the natural laws of the universe have to take hold, and Edward Scissorhands has to win this show, I beg you! For the sake of decency, clean living, and wholesome family entertainment if nothing else.


No contest. Eddie is on the cutting edge of this particular style entertainment. His keen sense of the dramatic will only help to ensure a sharp performance. Expect it to be pointed and poignant.

- walshb

John Ritter passed away unexpectedly from a ruptured aorta on September 11, 2003.
Here is a good tribute to him and his work on Three's Company.

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