By Jacqueline Monahan
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George Wallace Celebrates 10 Wild and Wonderful Years at the Flamingo

He claims to work one hour a day and knows how blessed he is.  Tell him where you’re from, and he’ll tell you that he was just there yesterday, be it Burbank or Bangkok.

GeorgeWallace DM cake
Donny and Marie Osmond with George Wallace

On Friday, March 21, a celebrity-filled 10:00 p.m. show celebrated larger-than-life comic George Wallace’s decade-long residency at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino.

The Donny and Marie Showroom’s stage held a single presidential podium leaving no doubt who the night’s fearless leader was.  With his trademark backward Kangol hat, pink-soled shoes, and mile-wide smile, Wallace is never at a loss for words and no one’s immune, even Wallace himself.  Prepare to be skewered, and (maybe) rewarded afterward.

Joined throughout the night by fellow comic Jerry Seinfeld (Wallace was best man at his wedding) singers Frankie Scinta, Donny and Marie, and Gladys Knight, ventriloquist Terry Fator, and magician Murray Sawchuck, Wallace verbally poked and prodded the audience for personal information that launched a series of humorous observations and quips.

That audience, comprised primarily of locals, included Fox 5’s Monica Jackson, Channel 13’s Shawn Tempesta and local radio personality Dennis Bono, although visitors from Detroit, Los Angeles, and Chicago were also in attendance and promptly engaged by the big man with the engaging personality.

Those arriving late were put up in expensive booths with drinks on Wallace, usually after having had some fun at their expense.  If he uses you in his act, you might receive a free buffet, Ethel M chocolates, or his latest CD – if he doesn’t snatch it back from your hand a few times first.

A typical George jab:  “Ladies if you’re going to wear animal print, try to be smaller than the animal you’re representing.” Pointing out that a zebra pattern on a large woman creates more of a “zelephant.”

He also slams those who ask what he considers stupid questions.  For example, when people ask him what he’s doing at an airport, his answer is “Laundry!”  The convenience store clerk who asks if he wants a bag after a 15-item purchase is told, “No, you can just help me carry this stuff out.”

Wallace also turns the sharp tongue on himself.  When Donny and Marie Osmond who wheeled a huge celebratory cake onstage) coaxed him into singing a line from, I’m a Little Bit Country, I’m a Little Bit Rock n’ Roll, Wallace added “I’m big and fat!” when it was his turn.

The generous comedian gives free admission to his show to military, students and first responders.  Policemen, he maintains, are on his list of “people who need their asses kicked. Sittin’ there in the car on their computer instead of tellin’ you why they pulled you over!”

He sneaks in the snark even when he’s doing a good deed, like having three pastors stand for a long time so they can see how it feels.  One of them, an evangelist named Penny, belted out Jennifer Holliday’s “And I am Telling You” for donations from the crowd, which Wallace said he would match.  Cash poured in and Penny’s shoes came off as she wowed the audience with her powerful rendition of the song.  Wallace then told her to “Come back tomorrow.  Wear a different wig. And go to Walgreens to get some lotion for your ashy feet!”

Large video screens showed him getting a hug from President Obama, with a voiceover added to make the Commander in Chief seem a little more sentimental about the meeting.

Just when you think the show is ending, Wallace will extend it by discussing what he’ll be talking about the next night, sneaking in several more routines before turning the stage over to Mo5aic, the five-man a capella group that he calls “his kids.”  Winners of MTV's Top Pop Group and Semi Finalists on America's Got Talent, the quintet serenades the audience to the end of the celebration, knowing that it will all happen again in 24 hours.

And it’s still fresh, still wonderfully Wallace after ten years.

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