Getting the gong: Publicly humiliate yourself tonight at Denver Open Media's Gong Show

Normally, it takes about six beers before there's any real danger of drunkenness-related public humiliation. But under normal circumstances, drinking, a stage, live broadcast television and a gong don't mix. That's why, tonight at Denver Open Media's first-ever Gong Show, you may find your beer-count-to-public-humilation ratio decreasing dramatically -- at least that's what DOM Community Productions Director Deborah Lastowka is banking on.

If you were alive during the mid- to late-'70s, you're already familiar with the concept of a Gong show: An amateur performer does his or her act before a panel of judges, who then rate it -- the catch is, if the performer is particularly awful, any of the judges can hit a large gong, which stops the act. Essentially, if you get gonged, you suck.

"We'll have a studio audience, and people will hopefully do ridiculous things," says Lastowka. And when they do, it'll all be on camera, broadcasting live on Comcast channel 57, one of the three public-access channels DOM runs, and streaming on the DOM website. And just to facilitate a little extra ridiculousness, there will also be cheap beer. "It should be pretty awesome."

Make it a part of your first-Friday festivities on Santa Fe -- the DOM HQ resides at 700 Kalamath Street, right on the strip. Lastowka would like for people to RSVP via [email protected] if they want to perform, but there's some wiggle room there: "We're encouraging people to sign up in advance," she says, "but if people just show up and feel like they want to get up there after a few beers, that's cool. Actually, we're hoping that happens."

The show goes from 8 to 10 p.m., with the always hilarious Andrew Orvedahl on host duties, and it's free to get in.

At this point, there's only one thing lacking: "We don't necessarily have a gong yet," Lastowka admits, "but we're working on it. Worst-case scenario, we'll have some kind of gong sound-effect.

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Jef Otte
Contact: Jef Otte