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George Wallace
Born George Henry Wallace
July 21, 1952 (1952-07-21) (age 57)[1]
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Occupation Actor/Comedian
Years active 1977–present[1]
Official website

George Henry Wallace (born July 21, 1952(1952-07-21)) is an American comedian and actor. He is number 93 on Comedy Central's list of the 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time.[1]

Contents

Early life

Wallace was born in Atlanta, Georgia, to Mary Lou and George Wallace, Sr. He grew up in a loving, religious family. He was educated at Lynwood Park Elementary School and Lynwood Park High School. Since his early teenage years, Wallace dreamed of becoming a comedian. Wallace's 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, George enrolled in the University of Akron, where he studied transportation, marketing and advertising. Upon graduation, Wallace moved to New York City in pursuit of his childhood dream. At first, success in comedy proved elusive and Wallace worked as a salesman for an advertising agency to pay the bills.

Career highlights

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 standup comedy. In 1977, Wallace walked on stage for the first time, wearing a preacher's robe and calling himself the Reverend Dr. George Wallace. His routine was completely improvised, yet it included the same imagery and delivery of the spiritual leaders who had influenced him as a child. Wallace was a hit. He stayed in New York for several years, perfecting his craft and living with friend and fellow comedian Jerry Seinfeld.

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

Among his more memorable jokes was the suggestion that African-Americans should not have to pay Social Security because their average lifespan was only 65 anyway. His best-known bit is People Say Stupid Things, in which he points out the folly of many popularly used phrases. For example, in response to the term untimely death, he asks "When is a GOOD time to die?" He follows this question with, "I wanna hear something on the news like, 'Senator Jesse Helms died today, and it's about doggone time!!!'" Wallace also pokes fun at himself for having the same name as a famous segregationist.

Currently, Wallace has a running show at The Flamingo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Additionally, he calls the Flamingo home and regularly spends time walking the hotel casino floor mingling with hotel guests.[2]

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Filmography

Wallace has had supporting roles in a number of movies, including the Coen Brothers film, The Ladykillers (as Sheriff Wyner). Wallace also appeared in Batman Forever as the Mayor of Gotham City.[1] Other motion picture credits include A Rage in Harlem, The Wash, Punchline, Things Are Tough All Over and Postcards from the Edge. He also made a brief appearance in the sitcom Scrubs episode "My Long Goodbye", and on Seinfeld (The Checks)where he played the doctor that was distracted by the song "Witchy Woman"

Personal life

Wallace has political ambitions; he is considering running for mayor of Las Vegas. As mayor, Wallace hopes to 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.[2]

Wallace was the best man at the wedding of Jerry Seinfeld.[1]

His brother, Steve Wallace, played professional football with the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f George Wallace at the Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ a b Roe Conn. (2006-08-23). Roe Conn Show. [Radio]. Chicago, IL: [[WLS (AM)|]] ABC.  

External links


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