Don Bleu

American Radio Personality and Gameshow Host

Don Bleu


Don Bleu, a seasoned radio personality with a charismatic presence, entered the world of game shows as the host of “The Gong Show” during its revival in 1988-1989. This biography explores Bleu’s early life, his notable career in radio, and his dynamic role as the host of the iconic and irreverent talent competition that captured the spirit of its predecessor.

Early Life:

Born on February 25, 1945, Donald R. Blietz, professionally known as Don Bleu, grew up with a passion for entertainment. Raised in San Francisco, California, his early exposure to the vibrant music scene of the 1960s influenced his career trajectory. Bleu’s love for radio and his engaging personality set the stage for a successful journey in the world of broadcasting.

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The Gong Show:

In 1988, “The Gong Show,” a classic talent competition that originally aired in the 1970s, experienced a revival with Don Bleu taking on the role of the host. The show retained its original format, featuring contestants with peculiar and often comedic talents who aimed to impress a panel of celebrity judges.

Bleu’s hosting style added a fresh energy to the show, combining wit and enthusiasm to guide contestants through their performances. His quick rapport with the participants and ability to maintain the show’s irreverent and humorous tone contributed to its success. Bleu’s radio background infused the show with a vibrant and lively atmosphere, ensuring that the revival captured the essence of the original series.

don bleu, the gong show

The Gong Show’s signature feature was the gong itself, wielded by the judges. If a performance failed to impress, a judge could hit the gong, signaling the end of the act. Bleu’s role involved interacting with the judges, managing the unpredictable nature of the performances, and injecting humor into each episode. His on-screen persona, characterized by charm and spontaneity, resonated with audiences, making the revival a memorable chapter in the show’s legacy.

Radio Career:

Before stepping into the world of game shows, Don Bleu made a name for himself in the radio industry. His career in broadcasting spanned decades, with notable stints at various radio stations, including KYA and KIOI in San Francisco. Bleu’s warm voice, engaging commentary, and connection with his audience contributed to his enduring popularity in the radio landscape.

His success in radio showcased his ability to connect with listeners, a skill that seamlessly translated to his role as the host of “The Gong Show.” Bleu’s experience in radio not only added to his on-screen charisma but also demonstrated his versatility in the realm of entertainment.


Don Bleu’s venture into game show hosting with “The Gong Show” revival in 1988-1989 marked a vibrant chapter in his entertainment career. His infectious enthusiasm, quick wit, and ability to navigate the unpredictable nature of the show contributed to its success. Bleu’s presence as the host brought a contemporary charm to the classic talent competition, appealing to both new audiences and fans of the original series.

Beyond his game show hosting role, Don Bleu’s legacy as a beloved radio personality endures. His contributions to the broadcasting industry, characterized by a genuine connection with listeners, showcase the depth of his talent. Whether entertaining audiences on the airwaves or guiding contestants through the whimsical world of “The Gong Show,” Don Bleu’s impact on the entertainment landscape remains a testament to his enduring charisma and multifaceted abilities.