Here Lies Wally George

The story of the father of combat TV as told by female wrestlers, punk rockers and a furniture-throwing pacifist

Kuc: Timothy Leary, I think he was a riot on the show. He wasn't intimidated by [Wally]. He told Wally to "Calm down, calm down." Not even the audience got to him. After he appeared on Hot Seat, I saw him . . . doing a lecture. He was taking questions from the audience, and I asked, "Hey, what do you think about Wally George?" and he said, "He's too nice of a guy."

Jeff Tolcher, frequent Hot Seat guest: [White supremacist Tom] Metzger insulted [Jewish Defense League chairman, Irv] Rubin, and Rubin stood up, took a cup of water and threw it in his face. Next thing you know, security comes up, and they actually had to call the Anaheim Police.

Jim Myers, also a frequent Hot Seat guest: I argued with Irv Rubin one time, and he was a big dude. He . . . ended up in prison for conspiracy to commit murder or something like that and actually died in prison. I accused him of downing an airplane—it just came off the top of my head—and he gave me some static, so I got up like I kinda like to do there, and he got up and literally threw me across the stage. You could see me on the screen, and then disappear off the screen.

In Wally we trust
In Wally we trust

Eventually, George began relying on stock guests he knew were good for a hoot. There was Rudi Krause, the singing Spicolli-look alike who always sported a visor; the tall, mustachioed Tolcher with his huge glasses; and the long-haired, bearded Reverend Bud Green always looking for an excuse to light up.

Craig McIlvany, Hot Seat regular: One time, I actually had to turn him down for an appearance—I forget why. And at that point, I figured something out: if you turn Wally down, he'll start paying you! He said, "Is there any debt you have? Any small debt?" and I said, "Yeah, I owe $90 to Southern California Edison," and he said, "We'll pay that for you!" and from that point on, it became an arranged deal. Like I would go on, and he would pay my utility bills. Whenever I'd need money, I'd call up Wally and say, "Hey, is there anything you need right now 'cuz I gotta pay this bill?"

Tolcher: When I was on the show, I would bring a newspaper article related to the topic we were talking about, and when I was reading from it, he would come over, grab it from me, rip it up, and the audience would go wild. There were certain things he would plan that would make it more entertaining.

Frank Thorpe, frequent Hot Seat Hotline crank caller and audience member: I don't know if Hot Seat would be as great without Larry Rice and Jim Myers. They're like the Kramer of the show. One time, Larry Rice came on to defend freedom of speech—I think this was right after that [Body Count] song "Cop Killer" came out—but at the end of his segment, Jim Myers came out to tell Larry Rice he was wrong this time. Eventually, Larry Rice told him to fuck off, and they scuffled on the stage.

Myers: I was introduced to the show first by Larry Rice, a longtime friend of mine. On that show, we had not planned to get physical; we had just planned to argue. When Larry first introduced me to Wally, Wally said, "Well, what do you want to argue about?" I said, "I'll argue about anything." He said, "Well, for example?" and I said, "Well, all religions are false, and drugs should be legal," and he said, "How about coming on next week?"

Charli Hayes, professional female wrestler: I got him on the table, sat on his chest, picked up his tie and rode him. This was all planned—sorry, guys.

Queen Kong, professional female wrestler who appeared with Wally in GRUNT: The Movie: We never discussed if it was going to be okay for me to grab him or do anything—I just did it, and he rolled with it. He didn't pay me for my last appearance, either. In that sense, he could have used a little work. Other than that, I thought he was a good sport.

Myers: One time, [Wally] said he wanted to go into the ministry, and I said, "The only thing you could go into is old ladies' purses and little boys' pants."

McIlvany: Swearing on television was a funny topic because Jim Myers was on his show the day before me, and I was just learning my ways on how to act on TV, how to make myself more interesting, and Jim Myers says, "Look, this is what you gotta do: When you go on and debate this subject, you gotta point out John Wayne and imitate him and include a few swear words. Don't forget to insult the audience—you gotta do that!" and so I told the audience, "Shut up!" and Wally stood up and held his tie. That was like a comedian counting laughs—when I saw Wally stand up, I knew I had scored a hit. And also when I pointed at John Wayne and I imitated his voice, I said, "Well, I'll tell ya, Pilgrim, why don't you go fuck yourself."

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