Meet Wally Sparks

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Meet Wally Sparks
Home media cover
Directed by Peter Baldwin
Produced by Leslie Greif
Written by
Music by Michel Colombier
Cinematography Richard H. Kline
Edited by Raúl Dávalos
Distributed by Trimark Pictures
Release dates
  • January 31, 1997 (1997-01-31)
Running time
105 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $4.1 million[1]

Meet Wally Sparks is a 1997 American comedy film directed by Peter Baldwin and written by Harry Basil and Rodney Dangerfield. Dangerfield also stars in the film, alongside Debi Mazar, Michael Weatherly, Cindy Williams, Alan Rachins, Burt Reynolds, and David Ogden Stiers.


Wally Sparks (Rodney Dangerfield) is the host of a sleazy tabloid-style TV talk show who makes Jerry Springer seem gentle by comparison. His show has become so foul that he's alienated his not-especially-discriminating viewers, and his ratings are taking a nosedive.

Lenny Spencer (Burt Reynolds), head of the network carrying his show, gives Wally an ultimatum—he has a week to clean up the content and boost his ratings, or his show gets cancelled.

Wally's producer, Sandy Gallo (Debi Mazar), comes up with an idea—Floyd Preston (David Ogden Stiers) is the governor of Georgia and a staunch conservative known for his attacks on the lowbrow content of Wally's show, so what better way to demonstrate that Wally is trying to change his ways than having Preston on as a guest?

In order to persuade Preston to appear, Wally attends a reception at the Governor's Mansion, where he makes the mistake of getting in a drunken game of strip poker with Preston's wife, Emily (Cindy Williams), while somehow involving himself in a plot to blackmail the Governor. And the complications keep coming when Wally's son, Dean, begins a romantic relationship with the Governor's daughter.


Michael Bolton, Jay Leno, Geraldo Rivera, Roseanne, Jerry Springer, Morton Downey, Jr., Sally Jessy Raphael, Alana Stewart, Rolonda Watts, John Henson, Tim Allen, Richard Bey, and George Hamilton appear as themselves.


Box office[edit]

Meet Wally Sparks opened in 1,552 venues on January 31, 1997 and ranked number 13 in the domestic box office in its opening weekend, earning $2,131,001.[2] At the end of its run, the film grossed $4,073,582.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

The film received largely negative reviews from critics. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 14% of 14 reviews gave the film a positive review.[3]