|Birth name||George Henry Wallace|
|Born||July 21, 1952|
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
|Parent(s)||George Wallace Sr. (father)|
Mary Lou Wallace (mother)
|Relative(s)||Steve Wallace (nephew)|
George Henry Wallace (born July 21, 1952) is an American comedian and actor.
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, where he studied transportation, marketing and advertising. Upon graduation, Wallace moved to New York City in pursuit of his childhood dream of being a comedian. At first, 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.
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, 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 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.
In December 2007, Wallace suffered an on-stage injury when he fell during a private-party performance at the Bellagio resort hotel and casino in Las Vegas. Wallace 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. 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."
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.
He was the best man at comedian Jerry Seinfeld's wedding.
Wallace's nephew, Steve Wallace, played professional football with the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs.
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). He also 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).