George Wallace (American comedian)

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George Wallace
George Wallace -28 JAN 2014.jpg
Wallace in 2014
Birth nameGeorge Henry Wallace
Born (1952-07-21) July 21, 1952 (age 70)
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
NationalityAmerican
Years active1977–present
Parent(s)George Wallace Sr. (father)
Mary Lou Wallace (mother)
Relative(s)Steve Wallace (nephew)
Websitegeorgewallace.net

George Henry Wallace[1] (born July 21, 1952) is an American comedian and actor.

Early life and education[edit]

Wallace was born in Atlanta, Georgia to Mary Lou and George Wallace Sr. Wallace was educated at Lynwood Park Elementary School and Lynwood Park High School. His mother died when he was sixteen, prompting him to move to Ohio where he found a job with Firestone Tire. As part of the company's tuition reimbursement program, Wallace enrolled in the University of Akron, in Akron, Ohio. He studied transportation, marketing and advertising.

Career[edit]

Upon graduating college, Wallace moved to New York City to pursue his childhood dream of being a comedian. Initially, success in comedy proved elusive and Wallace worked as a salesman for an advertising agency to pay the bills.

Wallace's break came when one of his clients opened a comedy club. The club owner was amused by Wallace's natural humor and friendly demeanor and offered him the chance to perform stand-up comedy. In 1977, Wallace walked on stage for the first time, wearing a preacher's robe and calling himself The Right Reverend Dr. George Wallace. His routine was completely improvised. He stayed in New York City for several years, perfecting his craft and living with friend and fellow comedian Jerry Seinfeld.[2]

In 1978, Wallace moved to the West Coast, where he quickly became recognized as a talented young comedian. After one of his performances, producers from The Redd Foxx Show asked him to write for the popular series. However, after only one year of writing, Wallace returned to the stage. He became a regular at The Comedy Store in West Hollywood, California, which also featured artists including Richard Pryor, Rodney Dangerfield, Roseanne Barr, Jay Leno and Robin Williams. Wallace also took his comedy show on the road, opening for George Benson, Diana Ross, Donna Summer and Smokey Robinson, among others.

Wallace was named the Best Male Standup Comedian during the 1995 American Comedy Awards. He has explained that his routines are inspired by everyday moments of life. His social commentary proved popular with radio audiences as well. Wallace was a regular on the Tom Joyner Morning Show before joining Isaac Hayes on a popular radio program on the former WRKS radio station in New York City. He also starred in his own HBO special and has appeared on many television shows, including The Tonight Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show and Late Night with David Letterman.

On May 3, 2006, Wallace performed his most famous stand-up bit, which was a diatribe against the young generation's obsession with allowances with the oft-cited catchphrase of "Get Your Mess Right." While Wallace often jokes about the flippancy of modern youth culture (often citing the "dumb dumbs on their smart phones") this one joke in particular resonated with his audience, and he repeats it at every show.[3]

In December 2007, Wallace suffered an onstage injury when he fell during a private-party performance at the Bellagio resort hotel and casino in Las Vegas. He sued the Bellagio, claiming negligence after tripping over loose wires on stage. In April 2014, a Las Vegas jury found in favor of Wallace and awarded him US $1.3 million.[4]

After winning his case against the Bellagio, Wallace announced that he would end his 10-year run as a Las Vegas headliner to pursue other projects. "There are so many things to do. It's time to get into something new."[5]

Personal life[edit]

Wallace has had political ambitions. In 2006, he considered running for mayor of the city of Las Vegas, Nevada. Wallace stated that as mayor, he would update the Las Vegas Strip, with an easy-to-use monorail, close the strip to vehicles, and expand the road system behind the Strip hotels.[6]

He was the best man at comedian Jerry Seinfeld's wedding.[7]

Wallace's nephew, Steve Wallace, played professional football with the San Francisco 49ers[8] and Kansas City Chiefs.

Filmography[edit]

Wallace has had supporting roles in a number of films, including 3 Strikes and the Coen Brothers film The Ladykillers (2004, as Sheriff Wyner). Wallace also appeared in Batman Forever (1995) as the Mayor of Gotham City. Other film credits include A Rage in Harlem (1991), The Wash (2001), Punchline (1988), Things Are Tough All Over (1982), Postcards from the Edge (1990), and Mr. Deeds (2002).

Wallace made a brief appearance in the sitcom Scrubs episode "My Words of Wisdom" (2007), and in the sitcom Seinfeld episode "The Checks", where he played the doctor that was distracted by the song "Witchy Woman". He also appeared in the introduction scene to the home video release of Jerry Seinfeld: I'm Telling You for the Last Time - Live on Broadway (1999) as a fictionalized version of himself. He portrayed a man in a retirement home in The Last Laugh (2019) and starred as the Mayor in Hubie Halloween (2020).

Film[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
1982 Things Are Tough All Over The Champ
1988 Punchline Man with Arm in Cast
1989 Bert Rigby, You're a Fool Bartender
1991 A Rage in Harlem Grave Digger
1992 Bebe's Kids Card Player #4
1995 Batman Forever The Mayor
1997 Meet Wally Sparks Bartender
1999 Catfish in Black Bean Sauce James
2000 3 Strikes Mr. Douglas
Little Nicky Mayor Randolph
2001 The Wash Mr. Washington
2002 Mr. Deeds NAACP Administrator
2004 The Ladykillers Sheriff Wyner
2014 Shirin in Love Officer Henderson
Think Like a Man Too Randy the Dealer
2016 Jerico Greg Parsons
2017 Grow House Mark White
Just Getting Started Larry
2018 Nappily Ever After Driver
George Wallace: The Vegas Bootleg Himself Director
2019 The Last Laugh Johnny Sunshine
2020 Hubie Halloween Mayor Benson
2023 James the Second McMurray
TBA The Ogilvy Fortune Ziggy Pre-production
Garage Sale Grandpa Short film
Pre-production

Television[edit]

Television
Year Title Role Notes
1987 The Dom DeLuise Show George Henry Wallace 1 episode
1991 The Sunday Comics Himself
1993 Tall Hopes George Harris Main role; 6 episodes
1994 In the Heat of the Night Tommy Ammons Season 8, episode 3: "Who Was Geli Bendl?"
1995 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Season 6, episode 5: "The Script Formerly Known As..."
1996 Seinfeld Doctor Season 8, episode 7: "The Checks"
C-Bear and Jamal Hawthorne Wingo Voice
6 episodes
1996-2001 Arliss George Wallace / Father / Deacon Delbert Henry 3 episodes
1997 [Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child]] Farmer Season 2, episode 26: "Mother Goose: A Rappin' and Rhymin' Special"
1997-1998 Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child Baba Mustafa / Farmer 2 episodes
1998 Moesha Game Show Host Season 4, episode 7: "A Terrible Thing Happened on My Tour of College"
Jenny Guy Hathaway Unaired
Episode 13: "A Girl's Gotta Make Room for Daddy: Part 1"
2002 Santa Jr. Norm Potter TV movie
2002-2003 The Parkers Quincy / Quincy DeJohn 2 episodes
2003 Wanda at Large Jimmy Season 2, episode 8: "Back to the Club"
2004 Like Family Bill, Tayna's Father Episode 14: "Daddy Knows Best"
2007 Scrubs Minister Season 6, episode 16: "My Words of Wisdom"
Larry the Cable Guy's Christmas Spectacular Wiseman
Tyler Perry's House of Payne Jimmy Season 2, episode 7: "Crazy In Love"
2009 Funny People George Wallace
2011 The Hot 10 1 episode
The Life & Times of Tim Dante Voice
Season 3, episode 1: "The Model from Newark/Tim's Hair Looks Amazing"
2012 Sullivan & Son Leroy Williams Season 1, episode 4: "Who's Your Daddy"
2015 The Soul Man Clyde Season 4, episode 9: "Who Let the Dog In?"
Drunk History Bill Russell Season 3, episode 5: "Cleveland"
Gigi Does It Melvin Schlanger Episode 5: "Eat Something"
2015-2018 K.C. Undercover Poppa Earl Cooper / Poppa Ear1 2 episodes
2016 Horace and Pete George "Episode 10"
2017 Detroiters Freddie "Motown" Brown Season 1, episode 4: "Devereux Wigs"
Mann & Wife Poppa Bo Season 3, episode 5: "Come On, Mann!"
Heaven's Waiting Room Big Al
2017-2019 Funny You Should Ask Himself Panelist
6 episodes
2018-2019 Bob's Burgers Mr. Huggins Voice
3 episodes
2020 Mike Tyson Mysteries Leonard Season 4, episode 18: "The Stein Way"
2021 The Premise Principal Wallace Episode 3: "The Ballad of Jesse Wheeler"
2022 Atlanta Greg Season 3, episode 9: "Rich Wigga, Poor Wigga"
Everything's Trash Abraham
TBA Clean Slate Henry 1 episode - Writer and producer

Podcast[edit]

Podcast
Year Title Role Notes
1999 Adam Sandler's Audio Skits Skipper Jenkins Season 3, episode 6: "The Champion"

Bibliography[edit]

  • Wallace, George; Ewen, Dan (2013). Laff It Off!. Chaite Press. ASIN B00FY0NOO0.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gurian, Jeffrey (December 18, 2012). Make 'Em Laugh: 35 Years of the Comic Strip, the Greatest Comedy Club of All. ISBN 9781620878682. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
  2. ^ Walkow, Brett. "Part 1 – Interview with comedian George Wallace". ActorsReporter.com. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  3. ^ "George Wallace Has His Mess Right". Affotd.com. August 15, 2014. Retrieved August 8, 2015.
  4. ^ Geer Thevenot, Carri (April 8, 2014). "Las Vegas jury awards comedian George Wallace $1.3 million in suit against Bellagio". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved January 11, 2016.
  5. ^ Jones, Jay (April 14, 2014). "Las Vegas: Comedian George Wallace to end 10-year run on the Strip". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 11, 2016.
  6. ^ Wallace, George (August 23, 2006). "The Roe Conn Show". WLS (AM) (Interview). Interviewed by Roe Conn.
  7. ^ Osborn, Dave (August 19, 2015). "Seinfeld best friend George Wallace goes on tour after decade-long run in Sin City". Naples Daily News. Retrieved January 11, 2016.
  8. ^ Baird, Kirk (August 30, 2002). "World of Wallace". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved January 11, 2016.

External links[edit]