By Ariel Worthy
The Birmingham Times
When you go see George Wallace perform, you get the one and the only.
“When you pay $100 in Las Vegas to see George Wallace, you know who you’re coming to see,” comedian George Wallace said. “That man (former Alabama governor George Wallace) has been dead for so long, I’m the only George Wallace they know.”
Wallace will be in Birmingham this weekend through Sunday at The StarDome Comedy Club in Hoover and he says he is the best way to celebrate the week of Valentine’s Day.
“Laughter is the greatest medicine in the world, and that’s why we have to keep laughing.” Wallace said. “This is the show to bring your mama, your grandma, your boyfriend, your girlfriend to. It’s going to be a good time.”
Each show is different with Wallace, he said. “I might see something at Dreamland, or when I drive around the city; I find something new every time.”
Comedy has been Wallace’s passion all his life, he said.
“I was 6 years old when I discovered I was funny, and it’s been the only thing I wanted to do since,” Wallace said.
And he has. Wallace, who currently lives in New York, Atlanta and Las Vegas first hit the stage in 1977 wearing a preacher’s robe and calling himself The Right Reverend Dr. George Wallace. His routine was completely improvised. Wallace said his character came from him constantly having to attend church.
“I didn’t want to be there, so I just would make fun of the preachers,” Wallace said. “They were all comedians, just telling us lies, crooked, and I didn’t like them.”
His relationship with preachers has changed now.
“I love my church now, I go to church (West Angeles Church of God in Christ) every Sunday with Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Magic Johnson, Courtney Vance, Angela Bassett, and Stevie Wonder,” Wallace said. “It’s a church to go to if you want to have a good time.”
Over the years Wallace has been in films such as The Ladykillers, Batman Forever, 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 Seinfeld. His most recent movie role was in the 2014 film Think Like A Man Too.
More recently, younger people have noticed him as the grandfather from his role in a Disney Channel show K.C. Undercover with Zendaya.
Events over the past few years have provided Wallace plenty of material, Wallace said.
“We’re going to talk a lot about this election, these rappers nowadays, and of course the country people in Alabama and the way y’all drive,” Wallace said.
As far as comedy, the content hasn’t changed for Wallace.
“People were stupid back in the day, they’re stupid now. We got Donald Trump as president, and he is about as dumb as he could be. It’s the same old game, new players.”
Wallace will also be on the big screen soon.
“I have a movie coming out soon with Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones called Villa Capri, it will be out in August,” he said. “We just finished it. I also will be on a new show: Detroiters. A show based in Detroit that’s going to be on Comedy Central. I’m shooting two more movies but the most important thing that I’m doing is stand-up comedy.”
Wallace said he always loves coming to Birmingham and appearing at The StarDome.
“There’s good people, good food, good laughter. One of the nicest clubs in America is The StarDome, and that’s why comedians love coming here. You’re comfortable when you go, and it’s always a good time.”