Here Lies Wally George

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

Matthews: I went to the funeral. The Reverend Robert Schuller presided over the ceremony; I remember it was held at the Crystal Cathedral. It was mostly people telling Wally stories and stuff. I don't recall it being that somber, except when [his former wife] showed up. . . . She was acting like the distraught widow. They had been apart when he died [for] several years. Everybody wondered if Rebecca DeMornay would show up, but she didn't. That was sad.

Blade: It's not one of those graves where a mystery admirer puts flowers on it every year.

Kuc: Wally may not have been the most popular talk-show host, or the most well-regarded, but he was our talk-show host. He was not distant in some Ivory Tower somewhere. He was somewhere we could go get tickets to see. That accessibility made him special.

Urungus: We need more Wally George. I was truly very sad when I heard he passed. His influence on people was obviously great, and maybe as years go by, he will actually get greater.

Schreck: Because he was just so outrageous, me and the other musicians in Radio Werewolf would constantly quote him for years. To this day, we still say, "You're out of here! You sicko!" We still use Wally jargon all the time.

The Poorman: He was the modern-day P.T. Barnum. He was just a ringleader. He was Mr. Promotion.

Blade: I hate to say this, but his legacy is like throwing a rock into a lake; he made a ripple, but the ripples have gone. I don't think he left a legacy. I don't think his show made any sort of cultural impact. A few people watched it, and a few people laughed at it, and as soon as it was off the air and Wally was gone, the impact went with it. I don't think anyone followed in Wally's footsteps—no one watched that show and said, "I want to be the next Wally George."

The Poorman: I love Wally, but I always worried my own career would end up like his. He tried really hard to go national, and Morton Downey Jr. actually beat him to the punch, but Morton Downey Jr. wasn't half as fun as Wally George.

Tolcher: One of the sad things is that KDOC did not archive all of Wally's shows because they were such a small station. They just recorded over the tapes.

Kuc: That's the beauty of YouTube. [Now] there's a whole new generation of Hot Seat fans. One of the things we want to do is to encourage people to dig into their garages, their closets, and find lost episodes of Hot Seat and upload them. I know somewhere in heaven, Wally is greeting the dregs of humanity at the pearly gates and telling them, "You're outta here!"

Blade: Unfortunately, Wally wanted to reach the stars, but he barely left Anaheim.

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19 comments
artpedroza
artpedroza

Can you believe it Gustavo? Ourfriend Sean Mill worked on this show.

Rabbi_Pedro
Rabbi_Pedro

The greatest TV EVER was when Wally's guest was J. B. Stoner. Stoner complained bitterly about the,"Jews, Niggers and Faggots". I still laugh so hard tears come to my eyes. Also I was also a vicious caller on Hot Seat Hotline!

madmonsterparty
madmonsterparty

Wally George ushered in the angry conservative talk show genre which ultimately led to the Coulters and Limbaughs we now endure. Today angry conservatives are in positions of power shutting down the government and refusing to accept responsibility for having done so. It seems personal accountability is not something angry conservatives believe in.

jose810725
jose810725

I loved wally i was lucky enough to be thrown off his podium 3 times during comments once for calling reagan a nazi. Years later he was cool enough to record a greeting for me on my machine it was great he said on my greeting that i wasn't home because i was out smoking a joint and badmouthing the government it was classic wally! I think it's criminal that kdoc taped over his shows i think it would be great to see those shows in their entirety. Rip wally=jose s. And piss off richard blade you limey fuck!

BillBancroftsStache
BillBancroftsStache

There was no "Hot Seat Hotline".  It was "Hot Seat Highlights," and there were no calls making fun of Wally's wig, etc.  I

Page 1 and it's already wildly inaccurate.  In a word: LUDICROUS!

Pantell Adam
Pantell Adam

I went to a taping of the show with my buddies from high school. I was picked to ask him a question. Rudy Krauss was his guest with the super cosmic visor. I have the footage of the whole episode on DVD. I'm trying to go to Facebook or YouTube but it's the wrong format.

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

Sick of all the spanish because we're white and don't speak spanish.

Two words from him (Gus) last week, "Following Up" and still haven't seen the article or cover page about the Christian Hypocrites that he told me was a 'good idea". Because these people seemingly want to make themselves look like they're above everyone else and make them live thier lives by the Christian ways and rules, when this country was not founded on Christianity but I'm an Agnostic as even Jesus (not Haysoos) as he was reportedly supposed to have been himself back in his day. The Earth is millions of years older than +2000 years old.

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

"My experience with Arellano is that he starts to have communication with you with positive promises, then disappears after the first email exchange, failing to follow up - as if to say he has more important things going on than to deal with readers".

I found his book that was written by him called Ask A Mexican the other day and I was thinking to myself, that's interesting sort of, but alas we all still wish that the old publisher hadn't have been canned in exchange for him because the paper has gotten less thicker than the old version and there isn't much real news in it anymore, I've even seen complaints about it every once in awhile. I don't mean to complain much but after all it's a free publication. And since the Village Voice Media ( a gay publication) picked it up it's got more stories about the fags in it too which detracts from it's quality. I'm not gay so I could really care less about thier lifestyle.

Steve York
Steve York

Wow Richard Blade came off as mean and full of cliches. He can talk down on Wally all he wants but I doubt anyone will be talking about Richard Blade ten years after he's dead. Wally won.

VinceDaniels
VinceDaniels

The word that drove it home that best described George in this article, is Accessibility.  On the show, Wally often said to guests, "you couldn't shine his shoes."    10 years after his death, The Weekly's Gustavo Arellano still can't shine Wally's shoes when it comes to being accessible to the public.  My experience with Arellano is that he starts to have communication with you with positive promises, then disappears after the first email exchange, failing to follow up - as if to say he has more important things going on than to deal with readers.  With Wally, he always showed up.  He always returned a phone call.  Regardless of his on-air persona, that goes a long way in my memory.

ElGalloNegro
ElGalloNegro

When I was a kid, I used to watch Pro Wrestling (NWA, WCCW), then the Hot Seat.  It was perfect.

And I am curious to see a list of people who declined comment for this article.  No Rick Dees?

Frank Balcazar
Frank Balcazar

WALLY. WALLY. WALLY WALLY WALLY. WALLY. WALLY WALLYWALLY. WALLY. WALLY WALLY

Rabbi_Pedro
Rabbi_Pedro

@BillBancroftsStache - Hotseat Hotline was on every afternoon at like 3:30 or 4. 5 minute stupid commentary and then 20 minutes of high school kids calling in and making outrageous insults at him. He would hold up dayglow signs calling us Perverts, Nit Wits and my favorite insult, "You SWINE" with the sound of a pig oinking in the background! God life was good in the 80's. 

BillBancroftsStache
BillBancroftsStache

Oh dear.  Apologies, my own toupee wax fumes confused me.  Of course there was a  Hot Seat Hotline w/ calls.  But let us not forget Hot Seat Highlights!

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GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

@VinceDaniels Wow, talk about having a hard-on for me. I don't even know who your are...when did you email me?

VinceDaniels
VinceDaniels

@GustavoArellano @VinceDaniels I can't remember, it was two or three years ago.l I'm sure I have a copy in my sent file.  You were once or twice a guest on The Jay Boatman Show, a radio talk show that I owned as executive producer. Jay gave me your info because I wanted you on to debate illegal immigration on my show. I emailed you and you replied by saying yes, you'd come on.    To a producer and host (of which I was both), saying "yes" means something to me.  It means that 1/6 of my show was good to go and I can move on to the other 5 half-hour segments, which I needed to have all figured out by thursday night so that I could send out my E-Blast for Saturday's show.   My next step was to continue the email exchange with you and set up the time for the segment, get your number so my engineer could call you, etc.  But you disappeared, never to be heard from after repeated attempts to get ahold of you.  No rhyme, no reason.   You got right back to me the instant I emailed you the first time on a saturday night.  Then I hung on, waited for you to get through your weekend and emailed you again on monday morning, and monday night, and tuesday morning, etc, you suddenly became disinterested, after you had made a commitment.   At least that was the only way I could take it.   Communication had broken down.  All I could do was assume.  No guest has ever blown me off like that in my 10 years of doing my show.

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

@VinceDanielsThat's bizarre—I never turn down radio requests. It could be that your subsequent emails were lost in the morass that is our spam system. I am not trying to make excuses; email that I never receive even after I've exchanged email with someone happens WAY too much. If you still want me on, I'm more than happy to appear—but I'm sure at this point, you wouldn't want me on, which is fine.

 
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