Not content with just one Masked variety/gameshow, the FOX network – arbiters of the high quality weekly offering of The Masked Singer – has decided to pull a page from the gamebook of other franchise milking institutions and introduce a spinoff from their uber-popular Gong Show Redux (AKA the aforementioned Masked Singer) by offering up – DRUM ROLL, PLEASE – The Masked Dancer. You read it here first, ladies and gents, things are about to get a whole lot cheesier in the world of pop culture for 2020.
Want to know if the concept of a show such as Masked Singer is popular or not? A good indicator is if a network such as FOX hands a straight-to-series order for a show that hasn’t even gone in front of the camera yet, at least not officially. This has happened with the 2020 spin-off of everyone’s favorite car accident that they just can’t look away from (again – sigh – The Masked Singer). Masked Dancer actually comes ready made to ship to the cookie cutter masses courtesy of a popular The Ellen Show segment and who am I really to argue with the wonderful Ms. DeGeneres? I’ve long forgiven her for such cinematic missteps such as Coneheads and Mr. Wrong and am willing to accept that, with her stamp of approval, The Masked Dancer might at least be ironically self-aware. And stamp of approval seems to be what Ellen has given this show; she’s listed as executive producer and that’s good enough for me. Just keep Bill Pullman away from the set and we’re Jake.
Rob Wade, president of Alternative Entertainment and Specials at the network that has brought us classics such as Herman’s Head and The Late Show with Joan Rivers, said in a statement that “We’re still blown away by The Masked Singer’s massive impact on pop culture, but when Ellen debuted her own inventive segment, The Masked Dancer on her show, we were truly amazed. We are thrilled to partner with Ellen on this new format and take The Masked Dancer to a whole new creative level.”
As I call my local liquor store for more Vino in anticipation of copious and haze filled watching parties for this newest Masked endeavor, I’m quietly struck (No, not really; Just needed a dramatic sentence opener.) by the few details that have so far revealed themselves courtesy of our good buddies over at The Hollywood Reporter who originally broke this – ahem – news story. Thus far, the series itself is sans an official episode count and there’s no premiere date on the immediate horizon, but I can report that this will be a co-production of the FOX offshoot FOX Alternative Entertainment along with that of Warner Bros. Unscripted & Alternative Television, home to Ellen herself. What else you might eagerly ask of this intrepid reporter? Well, like the segment on Ellen, the new spinoff will feature renowned celebrities tripping the light fantastic as they parade about in their best Liberace House of Crap inspired costumes.
Attempting to muster an enthusiasm either born of gallons upon gallons of sugar filled Kool Aid (“OH YEAH,” screams the beloved icon Kool Aid Man) or umpteen years in the entertainment industry, Ellen was quoted as saying: “This is gonna be just as fun and suspenseful as The Masked Singer, but with a lot more Krumping. And I cannot wait!” Obviously, Ellen has never had to write weekly reviews of The Masked Singer, thus the enthusiasm. Jus’ saying, y’all.
Whatever the final product might look like, ye olde scribbler of pop culture looks forward to a raucous cheese-fest. Let the dancing begin.