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May 22, 2024 46 mins

Robert is joined by Tom Reimann to discuss Wally George. 


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Speaker 1 (00:01):
Fl media.

Speaker 2 (00:03):
Hey everybody, Robert here.

Speaker 1 (00:05):
As a lot of you probably know, about two months ago,
my dad took al I spent most of a month
in the hospital with him the ICU while he got sicker.
He passed a couple of weeks ago, so I have
lost some worktime. Needless to say, we'll be taking another
break this week, and then we should be back with
new episodes for the foreseeable future. I just needed another

week to get back ahead, get myself going again for reruns.
This week, we're running a trio of great episodes that
we did a couple of years ago with Tom Ryman
from Game for the Unemployed about right wing talk show
guys of the past, the dudes who kind of like
laid down the groundwork that made Tucker Carlson and Glenn

Beck possible. So they're great episodes. Check them out. And
I also wanted to plug the Portland Diaper Bank. Every
year around this time we do a fundraiser for the
Portland Diaper Bank. This is our fifth year in a row.
Last year raised nearly thirty thousand dollars to provide diapers
to low income people, and over the course of the
last four years, this will be our fifth year Behind

the Bastards listeners have raised more than one hundred thousand dollars.
So if you want to help out, just google go
fund me bTB fundraiser for PDX Diaper Bank. That's go
fund me bTB fundraiser for PDX Diaper Bank. Thanks everybody.

Speaker 2 (01:25):
Whooas what? I'm Robert Evans.

Speaker 1 (01:32):
This has been Behind the Bastards a podcast opened, has been?

Speaker 2 (01:36):
Are we are?

Speaker 3 (01:38):
Is that it? Well?

Speaker 2 (01:38):
It was the whole episode, with the whole episode. You
want to try you want to try again? Now, we
don't do second takes.

Speaker 1 (01:45):
The amateur operation you run, you might do things like
second takes in a proper.

Speaker 2 (01:50):
Introduction, but here we just go.

Speaker 1 (01:53):
Whats a tonally and then trail off for several seconds
of dead air.

Speaker 2 (01:58):
Yeah, there's no lighting. Pro Oh man, that's called cinema verite.

Speaker 1 (02:05):
Tom No, mmmmm, I know what that term meets.

Speaker 2 (02:12):
What is this? Is this a show? What's happening?

Speaker 1 (02:15):
This is Behind the Bastards? Episode two on our episode
about the men who built the right wing media landscape
and are consequently ratcheting our world ever closer to calamity.

Speaker 2 (02:28):
Tom Ryan, Robert is your name?

Speaker 1 (02:32):
It is of all the Rymans, I know certainly the
Thomist and absolutely the Rymenist of the Toms that I know. Tom,
you are co founder co host of the Gamefully Unemployed
podcast network, which being Patreon. You write for Collider, and
you are about to listen to a lot of really,
really unpleasant clips of people that are just not very nice.

Speaker 3 (02:53):
If I woke up this morning and I was thinking, Man,
I hope before the sun sets on this day, I
get to hear a bunch of shitheads have terrible opinions.

Speaker 1 (03:02):
Tom, I heard your prayers. I am here to answer them.
I texted them too. Of my prayers, I just text
them to you.

Speaker 2 (03:14):
Yeah, and it's there. They're usually a lot more erotic
than this, but I'll take it. Tom.

Speaker 1 (03:20):
It would take years, by sometimes more than a decade,
before Joe Pine would have a true successor. He was
so far ahead of his time that it was not
until the nineteen eighties he died in nineteen seventy that
the media landscape was truly ready for someone to pick
up the torch seems like the.

Speaker 2 (03:38):
Wrong word, like no, it seems like the right word.

Speaker 1 (03:41):
Yeah it is it seems like yeah. The first man
to follow in his wake was Wally George.

Speaker 2 (03:48):
Have you heard of Wally George? No, and I'm usually
pretty up on my walis, so yeah.

Speaker 1 (03:54):
No, No, he's not of all the Walies, but one
of the most consequential of the Walies.

Speaker 2 (03:59):

Speaker 1 (04:00):
George Walter Perch was born on December fourth, nineteen thirty one,
in Oakland, California. His father owned a small shipping company.
His mother, Eugenia, had been a vaudeville performer and a
child actress in Hollywood. She'd starred in Western's opposite cowboy
actors whose names have apparently been forgotten to time because
they were not Val Kilmer and Tombstone, So who gives

a shit? Wally spent most of his childhood in sam Matteo,
but when he was in high school, his parents divorced
and his mother moved to Hollywood, where he finished his education.
Tom who is the who is the sheriff in Deadwood?
Timothy Olifant, Yeah, Timothy oiler Fant. That's the other one.
That's the other cowboy, Val Kilmer, Timothy Oilavant. That's all
you say? Those are the only Sam Elliot, Sam Elliott,

Sam Elliott, Yeah, of course, Sam Elliot. So you're talking
about Sam Elliott in The Hunt for Red October because
he's honorarily a cowboy, even though he never got to
live out his Montana dreams. Right, Yeah, that's it. So
that's Sam Neil, that's Sam Neil. Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ,
Jesus Christ. How did I do that?

Speaker 3 (05:01):
Those are two very different too, extremely No, I'll say this.

Speaker 1 (05:04):
I'll bet Sam Elliott appreciates ducks too. Sam is a duck.
That's his best friend. I bet Sam Elliott has loved
a duck or two in his life.

Speaker 2 (05:12):
MM cared for a duck.

Speaker 3 (05:14):
He looked those eyes looked like a duck has brought
a twinkleton or twice.

Speaker 1 (05:18):
Yeah, yeahsh Ben. You can't smile the way Sam Elliot
smiles unless you've been friendly with a duck.

Speaker 2 (05:23):
There's a duck in that life. I can tell there's
a duck in that man's heart somewhere in there.

Speaker 1 (05:31):
So Wally spends most of his childhood and San Matteo,
But when he's in high school, his parents divorce, and
that's not common in the forties. Right, It's got to
be a great marriage for that to be happening in
the forties. Alternatively, maybe it's two parents who are uncommonly
aware of how bad a toxic union can be for
a kid. I don't really know what the case was.

I'm going to guess it was a really unpleasant situation,
judging by the probably it becomes.

Speaker 2 (05:56):
Yeah, I don't think. I don't think.

Speaker 3 (05:57):
No fault divorces exist yet existed yet, no California. So
you had to like sue for like a reason. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (06:03):
You had to fist fight a judge to get that
fight to get worse.

Speaker 2 (06:07):
Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (06:09):
So his mother moves to Hollywood, where he finishes his education.
He was immediately drawn to the entertainment industry, obviously his
family's involved in it. At age fourteen, he gets a
gig working as a DJ at an AM radio station
in Glendale. Prior to this, Wally had been a stutterer,
just like Joe Pine. I do find that interesting. Both
these guys are dudes who stutter when they're kids. He

credits his first radio gig with curing him. He kind
of like overcomes his speech impediment on the job, which
I did with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Speaker 4 (06:40):

Speaker 1 (06:41):
He subsequently worked at bit gigs at other local radio stations.
He held ambitions to write for television, and in his
early twenties he did write one episode if the TV
show Bonanza. Okay, all right, short, good work, Wally. Yeah,
that's a real TV show.

Speaker 3 (06:57):
After we listen, after we listen to this, after we
record this, I'm gonna have to go watch that episode
see if anything pops out to me, if there's.

Speaker 1 (07:04):
Anything problematic about Wally George's episode of Bonanza?

Speaker 3 (07:08):
Is there anything problematic about an episode of Bonanza?

Speaker 2 (07:12):
That's the one.

Speaker 1 (07:12):
It's the one Bonanza episode that in the middle has
a seven minute rant about Martin Luther King Junior. So
Wally got his first radio show, the Wally George Show
on kt y NFM in Inglewood. I was trying to
do my radio voice for that one.

Speaker 2 (07:30):
It came across. Yeah, thank you, Tom.

Speaker 3 (07:33):
I love how not imaginative any of these people are.
It's always either just the my Name Show or the
My Name Report or the my Name file.

Speaker 2 (07:43):
That's the only thing they have.

Speaker 1 (07:45):
Yeah, I think there's a degree of it that's just like, look,
you're gonna move, as we saw with Joe Pine.

Speaker 2 (07:50):
It's not uncommon.

Speaker 1 (07:51):
It's just been like a year or less at most
of the places you work you're moving around all the time,
you're trying to build brand recognition, so at least you
want people to like know your name, you know.

Speaker 3 (07:59):
Yeah, And to be fair, everybody doesn't. They don't say
let's watch tonight. So the tonight show. They say, let's
watch Carson, Let's watch le.

Speaker 1 (08:05):
Let's watch Carson, let's watch Leno, Let's watch No, there's
no one else anyone.

Speaker 2 (08:11):
That's it. It's dop. Yeah, that's it. It's done now.

Speaker 1 (08:15):
Yeah, I mean, I have no animosity towards Stephen Colbert,
but my god, late Night TV is just a horrible idea.
We should know that now, we should accept it. It's
it's it's it.

Speaker 2 (08:25):
Needs to go.

Speaker 1 (08:25):
Craig Ferguson needs to be allowed to take it out
behind a barn and shoot it. That's who should do it.
Craig crying like the boy in Old Yeller Is he
loads his dad shotgun.

Speaker 2 (08:39):
So Johnny Pearson's shotgun and this one you So he
gets his.

Speaker 1 (08:47):
First show in nineteen sixty nine, which is the year
before Joe Pine dies. And yeah, he goes through, you know,
he does, like the they all do. He runs through
like a series of shows on different networks, he produces
and co hosts talk radio programs, one with LA's mayor
Sam Yorty for like nearly a decade, so he's in
like talk radio for a while, but kind of a
respectable turn of talk radio. He starts his own radio

show and it does well enough that he's able to
uh In nineteen seventy nine, he starts his own talk
radio show again, and this one does well enough that
he's able to launch his own TV show off of it,
called hot Seat, which first airs in nineteen eighty three
at an independent radio station in Anaheim, California. Now nineteen
eighty three is a year before Rush Limbas started his
first political radio show and a decade before the first

episode of the Jerry Springer Show in nineteen ninety one.
Hot Seat with Wally George would include elements from both
of these later shows. From an article in Timeline Quote,
George had a way of riling even the most collected
and intelligent guests. In his first year, for instance, George
invited then ACLU lawyer and later journalist Jeff Cohen to
talk about police brutality and surveillance of lawful, politically motivated organizations.

At first, Cohen's responses to questions like why do you
want to handcuff the police depart from catching criminals seem prepared, choreographed,
but after a few minutes the interview intensifies. Both raise
their voices, the audience clatters and gesticulates. George interjects with
an age old challenge, I have nothing to hide, so
what do I care if police watch me? The audience
braves with joy. But for all his cruel, bravado and

personal attacks, George consistently stumbled when the tables were turned.
His ideology was full of contradictions. In one episode, he spits,
I say, Martin Luther King does not deserve a national
holiday in his name. There are many more Americans who
deserve it a heck of a lot more so.

Speaker 2 (10:31):
That's the kind of guy he is.

Speaker 1 (10:32):
We're no longer like the genteel playing at being polite
kind of guy. He's very much a recognizable sort of
right wing media figure.

Speaker 3 (10:40):
Yeah. In November, Yeah he's keeping it the authentically asshole.

Speaker 1 (10:45):
Yeah, keeping it authentically asshole. In November of nineteen eighty three,
Whallely earned his first national news story when he so
irritated his guest Blaze Bond Pain a pacifist in Human
Rights Act.

Speaker 2 (10:57):
Best name rules.

Speaker 1 (10:58):
That is a good name right now. The short version
of the story is that Blaze got angry and flipped
Wally's desk. He had to be escorted out by security.

Speaker 3 (11:06):
That's like, this really happens. It's like something a person
named Blaze would do.

Speaker 1 (11:09):
It does it does because he's a Blaze man, He's
full of fire.

Speaker 2 (11:12):
Sounds like an American gladiator.

Speaker 1 (11:14):
It's gonna flip pecifically while he gets like a pacifist
activist to flip his desk.

Speaker 2 (11:19):
On TV's desk. What has never really happened before.

Speaker 1 (11:22):
This is like a huge deal, Like this is the
first Heraldo getting hit with a fucking chair. You know, God,
what a great moment that was. I found an interview
with Blaze that sheds more light on this incident and
what came after. Because this incident really like you could
draw a direct line from this to Jerry Springer.

Speaker 2 (11:38):
Sorry, what year was this again?

Speaker 1 (11:40):
This is nineteen eighty three. Eighty three starts in ninety one, okay,
And this is really like this, this this chunk I'm
gonna read is interesting because it gives you, It gives
you a sense of the way in which Wally is
helping to give birth to not just the cultural space
that guys like Jerry Springer occupied, but like what reality
TV becomes. So this is him, This is Blaze talking
about what happened after he flips that desk and gets

escorted off by security.

Speaker 2 (12:03):

Speaker 1 (12:04):
He called me this had to be nineteen eighty three
and asked if I could come on his program. It
was right during Reagan's warren Grenada. In a phone conversation,
he seemed just delightful. I was in the background listening
to his interviews just before me, a Mexican American attorney,
and Wally was just insulting him with racial slurs and
so on, and I was quite irritated just hearing him operate.
When it was my turn, I went to the interview
and he had a large group of young people in
the audience, and just as he was getting started, I

tore towards the audience and I said, I hope you
won't go and die as the enemy in a place
like Grenada where you're not wanted. He got a little
upset when I made that comment. He came over and
assaulted me and battered me. He attacked me from behind.
It was a little difficult for a long standing boxer
to not respond, but I thought that would be a
terrible thing to do. So I looked at his desk
and I saw there was no one near it and
no one that would be harmed. So I just flipped
the desk over and walked out. I came home and

I told my wife and children how surprised I was,
and within moments we saw it on ABC, CBS, NBC.
It was all over the country. I think that particular
episode has been played a thousand times across the country.
I still see it. It's amazing how it made an
impact on TV. There was no staging. However, after the
securityman ushered me to my car, I went home, and
the following morning, Wally called me and said, Blaze, we

have a terrific thing going here. We can do this
all over the country. I said, Wally, you're a charlatan
and there will be no further interviews, thank you. See,
like Wally doesn't believe in shit. No, Wally is just like, yeah,
I'll bring this guy like I want him to throw shit.
I want to like, this is great TV.

Speaker 3 (13:25):
So that's more the thing that I was talking about
last episode where it's like, is he genuinely getting pulled
in this direction or is he getting pulled in this
direction because like this makes good TV? And yeah, that's
like the guiding light of a lot of these chuds
is that they don't actually believe in a lot of things.

Speaker 1 (13:41):
If anything, at all, believe in whatever gets them the money, gets.

Speaker 2 (13:44):
Into the attention. I think Joe Pine might have believed
in things.

Speaker 1 (13:47):
He certainly fought for something at one point, I Wally
clearly doesn't, like he's just happy to like, yeah.

Speaker 2 (13:55):
Like the next day, like it was a pro wrestling match. Yeah, exactly, like, yeah,
we can do this, all of it and we can
turn the countries. What the fuck are you talking about?

Speaker 1 (14:04):
Joe Pine is like not a good person, not a
nice person, pretty racist and bigoted, I'm sure in a
lot of ways, although I doubt excessively for his time,
which is not saying anything good about him. It's talking
about like the white dudes in the nineteen sixties is
his generation. We're pretty fucking racist. But I don't think
I wouldn't qualify him as a bastard based on like
the things he intentionally did. Once we're at Wally, George

we're in like the like full bastard territory, like wheat,
because Joe Pane is a guy who's like willing to
do things and like judge up controversy, but also can
listen to people and like has something he believes in
and is trying to get across With Wally George, it
is peer. I'm into this right wing shit just for
because it's what it gets the rage views, it gets

people angry, gets people riled up. I don't care who
I have on. I want folks to fight. I just
want to like tickle people's amygdala and make them angry.

Speaker 2 (14:56):
You know, does he start selling brain pills? Robert? No, No,
he does not, not to mine. Know, Well, I don't know.

Speaker 1 (15:02):
Maybe I can't comprehensively say he never sold brain pills.
I cannot make that claim to a point of certainty. Tom,
I was gonna be so excited as he showed up that,
Like Alex Jones and like a lot of the folks
who came after, Wally George built an audience that was
cult like in its devotion. By nineteen eighty four, an
audience of mostly college age men were waiting up to

six months for their chance to sit in his eighty
person studio audience. People would like sign up for this
shit way ahead of time. They'd shout Whali Whally and
wear shirts with American flags on them, roaring until he
forced them to stop. Where Joe Pine could be mocking
and even cruel, as long as he maintained an air
of genteel politeness, Wally George was free to scream, shout,

and even strike people. He told one interviewer in nineteen
eighty four. They say that I'm a lunatic, that I'm
a maniac. But why do you have to smile at
your guests and be nice and let them say what
they want to say? In this Wally completed the transition
from Joe Pine, a right wing firebrand whose work was
still firmly rooted in the outward civility of the nineteen fifties,
to modern right wing media. Whially would not sit and

listen to, for example, a transwoman explaining her life. He
had no interest in letting guests say their piece. The
central conceit of his show was that left leaning guests
would be allowed to show up and try to make
an argument, while Wally and his audience harassed and insulted them.
I want to play this segment from his show where
he has a popular radio DJ on the DJ brings
you two albums to hand out to the audience. It

was nineteen eighty four, and he chastised, and he chastises
Wally for having previously claimed the band were devil worshippers,
which is an argument Wally George made a number of times.
Here's Wally's reply.

Speaker 4 (16:38):
Were you said you two a bunch of devil worship
they are? They're terrible that Christians three of the four. Chris,
you're saying I'm wrong, You're wrong?

Speaker 2 (16:48):
Why is never?

Speaker 3 (16:49):
Oh my god, that's what he looks like to me,
because he looks like Rick Slayer with a wet we're
getting be on, really take it down.

Speaker 2 (17:02):
Of the same time, it looks.

Speaker 4 (17:04):
Like is cracking down on what they call it spiritual radio,
shock radio. And I say it's about time. I say
the FCC should crack down. There's a lot of nonsense,
a lot of really filth and sexual innuendo that little
kids are listening to. And I say it's about time

that the FCC cracked down on these filthy radio stations.

Speaker 2 (17:32):
All right, all right, that's enough. Of this clip.

Speaker 1 (17:35):
So, first off, he looks incredible. He looks incredible.

Speaker 2 (17:41):
It looks the amazing thing about Wally looks like a
carnival magician.

Speaker 3 (17:47):
You you watch, he looks like a guy that ties
balloon animals.

Speaker 1 (17:55):
You watched thirty seconds of Wally George, and every fake
media figure from a Paul Verhoven movie in the nineteen
nineties suddenly make because they're all him. They're all Wally George.
Like every media figure that like got mocked in one
of those like surreal nineties movies is fucking Wally George.

Speaker 3 (18:13):
He looks like Julian Sands as a TV preacher. He
looks like if Julian Sanje was a warlock. Yes, yes,
if a vampire bits Julian Asanja's neck, he would turn
it into It's incredible.

Speaker 1 (18:32):
He's in for those of you who aren't going to
look at the picture. He has like shoulder length white
hair that can't be real.

Speaker 2 (18:38):
Cannot be real.

Speaker 3 (18:39):
It's either a wig or like so flat ironed that
it just lays there.

Speaker 1 (18:45):
And he's got a white suit. He looks like mister
White from the Venture Brothers, but not at all.

Speaker 2 (18:50):

Speaker 1 (18:55):
He's just an amazing amazing commitment to a very speci aesthetic.

Speaker 3 (19:01):
Yeah, he's like, this is my thing and I'm just
gonna blunt force it.

Speaker 1 (19:05):
I am the nineteen eighties. A third of my body
weight is cocaine.

Speaker 3 (19:10):
It's he does he looks like somebody like he looks
like the shredded dumped mutagen on the pilot cocaine.

Speaker 2 (19:16):
Yeah, and like that creation was a man. That's Wally
Churis mutated. So Tom. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (19:24):
Here's him talking to Larry Rice, a same sex marriage
advocate and an AIDS awareness activist.

Speaker 2 (19:30):
Oh boy, hooray a gay pride parade.

Speaker 4 (19:37):
I say, my man, it is very offensive. It is
very offensive for gays to be running around or groping
each other in the park.

Speaker 3 (19:48):
What do you think about that? I don't think.

Speaker 2 (19:52):
I don't think.

Speaker 4 (19:53):
I don't think it's very fair for you to make
fun of people who's whose lifestyle is not the way
you want it to be.

Speaker 2 (20:00):
I think it's all really.

Speaker 4 (20:01):
I think it's kind of sad, you know, because like
they don't hurt you what they do. And you know,
I said, I have offense of you. Stupid.

Speaker 2 (20:10):
It's offensive and you're offensive.

Speaker 3 (20:16):
It's not fair.

Speaker 2 (20:17):
I'll tell you what because people like you.

Speaker 4 (20:20):
Here are the people that cause the problem. Look, look,
people who are gay, people who are gay, they do have,
they do have.

Speaker 2 (20:34):
They are very rough. They have it very.

Speaker 4 (20:36):
Rough in this world, okay, because of people like you.

Speaker 2 (20:39):
And I think, wait a minute, wait a minute, a minute,
this is very upsetive. I think that people make.

Speaker 4 (20:46):
It so hard for them to live that they have
a lot of my mental disorders and things. Oh yeah, all.

Speaker 2 (20:51):
Right, that's probably about enough of that. He's it's man,
if you guys listening can stomach it's.

Speaker 3 (21:01):
It's horrible his audience, and they're just like like huge, nothing.

Speaker 2 (21:06):
But high school bullies, like screaming disguises. He's sick. It's horrible.

Speaker 3 (21:11):
He's just trying to get his point out, and he's
saying like this these completely rational things.

Speaker 2 (21:16):
Oh my god.

Speaker 1 (21:16):
But it's also one of these a couple of things
that are interesting. Comparing him to Joe Pine. Number one,
you can think back to Joepine again, I'm certain held
very regressive views on gay people, but asking with genuine interest,
Oh so someone who is a who's a transvestite isn't
necessarily a homosexual. Oh that's interesting to me as opposed
to Wally George, who just starts screaming at how offensive
like the thought of a gay person existing.

Speaker 3 (21:36):
It's like his with his flaxen shoulder length hair and
long sleeved turtleneck with a blazer, and he's screaming about
how gay Pride parade is offensive.

Speaker 2 (21:45):
I'm like, that's Roger Stone vibes.

Speaker 1 (21:47):
Yeah, he definitely has done Roger that Roger Stone would
wear look like a disguise.

Speaker 2 (21:57):
In a Bond villain wig. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (22:00):
And the other thing that's different is that, you know,
Joe Pine could be We played him being very rude
to some people, but also they were all people who
could go toe to toe with him rhetorically, like Krasner.
You know, obviously he didn't respect Krasner. Krasner's media trained.
Krasner was ready for what. You know, he gave as
good as he got. This poor man Larry Rice nothing
against him because he's saying very reasonable things. He's clearly

not media trained, not reading, he's not really he's not,
and he's so nothing against him. The clip is so
upsetting because you can see there. It's part of why
it's part of like the bad faith of like debate
me because the tactic is just to keep shouting at
you these things to keep you off topic. And it's like,
not only is this guy battling this overbearing dipshit of

a host, but the entire audience is jeering at him
the whole time. It's like, I can't imagine being in that,
like even if you are media trained, Like, even if
you are media trained, being in that situation, it's like Jesus, like,
I can't. I can't find footing to even make my argument.
No one can do well in that kind of an environment.
But no, And it's again, it's one of those things.

I do think that like Joe Pine was someone who
did want to debate people and would debate people, and
would go out of his way to get people who
who could present themselves well on television, even if what
they were saying was like and I'm not going to
say that maybe this was comprehensibly true of everything he did,
but all of Wally George is like this. It is
nothing but this, It is just hate. I want to

point out that his little turtleneck matched the wallpaper of
his set.

Speaker 2 (23:30):
It did, it, sure did.

Speaker 3 (23:31):
He's got a little behind him is a frame photo
of a of a space shuttle taking off. It just
says USA at the bottom. Yeah, so his set is
like a little boys room.

Speaker 1 (23:44):
And it's I keep bringing up Joe Pine, like positively,
not to say nice things about Joe Pine, and please
don't take this as like me trying to defend his legacy,
but to point like how badly things have degenerated, Like
how sixteen seventeen years dark.

Speaker 3 (23:56):
The difference is, Yeah, I'm sitting here trying to think of, like, man,
what happened, And you know, a lot of things happened
Reagan for one yees between nineteen seventy and nineteen the religious.

Speaker 1 (24:05):
Right became a political block, which it wasn't when when
Joe Pine was on the air. The religious right was
not a political block. That didn't happen till seventy nine.
So yeah, it's just it's a very bleak, but very clear.
He's also slide downhill. He's proto seven hundred Club too.
Just the way he looks, the way he looks. I
don't know if he was proto when did the seven
hundred club step?

Speaker 2 (24:23):
That's true Solid Radio Google nineteen sixty six. So he's
the seven hundred Club. I gotta give you that.

Speaker 1 (24:34):
Okay, Yeah, but Tom, you know what did come before
the seven hundred Club, and.

Speaker 2 (24:39):
We'll be there long after. I don't know, I don't know.
Are you gonna tell.

Speaker 1 (24:45):
Me the products and services Tom, that support this podcast?

Speaker 2 (24:48):
Yeah? Wow, solid solid throat to add man.

Speaker 1 (24:58):
We're back and we're we're we're not better than ever.
We just are continually sliding down hill.

Speaker 2 (25:05):
No we're not even We're not even better than Ezra
at this point. No, we're not.

Speaker 1 (25:10):
Now, Tom, So let's talk some more about that horrific
interview with Larry Rice.

Speaker 2 (25:15):
They really upset me, It's really upset it.

Speaker 1 (25:19):
And again it's the kind of thing like you just
didn't feel that way listening to the Joe Pine clips,
even when he was being a shithead, not that kind of.

Speaker 3 (25:28):
Well, it's it's the it's it's frighteningly close to a
lynch mob.

Speaker 2 (25:32):

Speaker 3 (25:33):
Yeah, I think if he'd ordered them, they would have. Yeah,
it's it's really alarming. It's it's a it's very upsetting
clip to watch.

Speaker 2 (25:39):
It's really fucked up, and it gets a lot worse.

Speaker 3 (25:42):
And he's clown to like the Joker on vacation, fucking
Wally George.

Speaker 2 (25:52):
That's a clown name. That's a clown shoe name.

Speaker 1 (25:54):
Wally motherfucker. So he goes on in that interview to
say here in the United States, we don't want perverts
marrying each other. And then when they start discussing AIDS prevention,
he tells Larry, I don't want these gay AIDS carriers
to spread their disease to all of us heterosexuals. People
like you were spitting at me. I could catch AIDS
from you. Just a mountainous shit dressed in a terrible suit.

Speaker 2 (26:18):
Now, when it comes to evaluating.

Speaker 1 (26:19):
The appeal and the impact of Wally George, I think
this passage from that timeline article does about the best
job possible. Quote hot Seat commodified old white man anger
and gave it room to fester. George's fury was the
entire point. It gave audiences permission to act out their
basest impulses. During the conservative Reagan era, the allure of

the show was merely having an outlet for anger.

Speaker 2 (26:42):

Speaker 1 (26:43):
It was a contractual yelling match with the viewers invited.

Speaker 3 (26:47):
Yep, that makes sense. Yeah, I like that. All ties
together seems relevant. Gosh, somebody else really rose to prominence
the eighties. Gosh, who was that major and Howard sterns
is a big major media figure being facetious, Rush Limbaugh, yeah,

Lima Trump Yeah, Trump.

Speaker 1 (27:10):
Yeah, this is this is this is the era there all,
this is where all.

Speaker 2 (27:14):
All of them dickheads came from.

Speaker 1 (27:16):
All those real pieces of ship. Now, during his rise
to prominence, as we stated, there were a number of
dudes inhabiting a similar field. Rush Limba gets on the
radio a year later. Don Imus and Howard Stern, who
are less offensive figures, not much less in the case
of Don Imis, are starting around this period. But the
fact that Wally George worked most prominent, worked most prominently

on TV, giving his viewers and live audiences an outlet
to vent their rage and frustration on human beings made
them made him unique. In his nineteen again, it's it's
like half a lynch mob, and that's half of the appeal. Yeah,
what Wally George does. In his nineteen ninety nine autobiography,
he coined the phrase combat TV to describe the thing
that he invented. And now that's like all news programs. Yeah,

it's just bleak. One of Wally's most popular guests was
a special piece of shit named Tom Metzger, the head
of a Nazi organization called White Arian Resistance. I suppose
you could critique him again like Joe Pine platforming a Nazi,
and he is kind of doing that. But Wally, I
don't know. Wally can't be certainly can't be accused of
equivocating on Nazism, because I'm going to play you a

clip of that next.

Speaker 4 (28:24):
All across this great country now in our eleventh year
and we have the future r.

Speaker 2 (28:28):
Tom Metzger. He's stressed like a batman villain.

Speaker 4 (28:36):
As I was about to say before we went to
our break, some of you don't know what Tom Metzger
has been involved in. I'm going to go back to
that case up in Oregon where some of Tom Metzger's
followers went up to Oregon and they beat a black
man to death with don't you applaud that, you idiot?

They beat this black man to death with baseball bats.
Followers of Tom Metzker. You see, he sits there with us.
He sits there with that smug little grin on his
face because he doesn't get his hands bloody. He sends out, wait,

he sends out his henchman and his followers to do
his dirty work for him.

Speaker 3 (29:26):
All right, all right, all right, So it's very it's
very very telling that he had to tell somebody in
the audience stop clapping.

Speaker 2 (29:34):
That's exactly right, that's that's the point.

Speaker 1 (29:37):
Out because he is certainly not in like to the
synthy platforms Metsker. He's mostly screaming at him. But you
can see again where things have gone that, like, yes, stop.

Speaker 3 (29:47):
His hind fla, you're encouraging it's bringing these people in
Wally like it's fascinating.

Speaker 1 (29:55):
But it's also there's something so bleak about that too,
because there are a lot of mostly horrible things you
can say about Wally. And I'm sure Tom went on
his show because he saw it as a platform, but
Wally never for a second pretended that this guy need
to be heard out. He just had him on to
scream at it, which, again, as bad as Wally George,
just makes him better than a lot of right wing

media today. Like even it's even gone hill downhill since
Wally George is the point I'm making, not trying to
like praise Wally George, but it's.

Speaker 2 (30:23):
Like the bar has lowered even more than this cesspool.

Speaker 1 (30:27):
Yeah, and I don't know, maybe like if fucking Richard
Spencer he would have heard out. I don't know, I
don't He didn't often hear people out, so I don't
know that he would have invited anyone on that he
couldn't have just screamed at.

Speaker 2 (30:37):
But yeah, it's it's a little bleak.

Speaker 1 (30:41):
That said, he was very happy to capitalize off the
outrage that bringing a guy like Metzger on generated. And
I sure don't want to be praising him for yelling
at Tom Metzger. He's doing it to make money. I
want to quote from an article on Wally by OC Weekly,
Orange County, which is, for those of you who do
not know, like the Republican and one of the biggest
Republican stronghold in California.

Speaker 2 (31:02):
Pretty much what made those hot.

Speaker 1 (31:04):
Seat appearances by Metzger in the nineteen eighties and nineties
so relevant was just how clearly the lines between good
and evil were drawn. George wore the white hat literally,
and Metzger was the bad guy if there was no
gray to be found, and the audience reaction corroborated those roles.
George's last interview with Metzger was around nineteen ninety two.
Against the backdrop of that year's LA riots, and George
absolutely laid into Metzger. George repeatedly scolded Metzger for being

Unamerican and referred to War as a bunch of dumb Nazis.
George kicked Metzger off his stage after an unprecedented but
understandable four minutes. It was a proud moment for Orange
County Conservatism as embodied by George. It stood up to
the emblematic scourge of white supremacy. And obviously I don't
particularly agree with that take, but it's interesting that like,
this modern oc conservative writer is looking back at Wally

George and be like, remember when we yelled at Nazis
as supposed to marching with them in the streets. Like
I'm not trying to say that this guy's right, because
this shouldn't be a proud moment for conservatism.

Speaker 2 (31:59):
He's he brought him on his fucking show.

Speaker 1 (32:02):
So it's interesting to me that this guy looking at
like because he's I'm sure he's referring to like these
mobs you've had, like attacking vaccine sites and fucking wispaw
and whatnot in LA some of which include fucking Nazis,
and he's like, oh, remember when we used to at
least yell at Nazis.

Speaker 2 (32:19):
It's bleak.

Speaker 1 (32:21):
Wally filmed his show in Orange County, and he was
a local institution and incredibly influential to the combatative form
of conservatism that exists in that enclave to this day.
But as the author of that article points out, modern
oc conservatives, though very much the descendants of Wally George,
often lack his very minimal ethical convictions. Quote Prescient of
what occurred in Charlottesville and Trump's reaction to it, the

nineteen ninety two interview with Metzger captured a moment in
time when conservative Republicans rallied openly against white supremacy in
the Nazis. Watching that episode at his equal parts antiquated
and orwellian, with George orchestrating an audience full of young,
mostly white conservative Orange County men and fomenting and rallying
viciously against Metzger and what he stood for. To riff
on Trump's own axiom, George made it clear that there

were not very fine people on both sides. In a
fitting into the segment, George stood up behind his desk
and let his audience in a recitation of the Pledge
of Allegiance, with particular vocal emphasis on the last line,
with liberty and justice for all. He then expanded on
that theme to his audience as he looked deploringly at Metzger,
reminding him the phrasemant to encompass all races, all religions,
and all creeds. And yeah, it's a it's bleak.

Speaker 3 (33:29):
I mean, I feel like George Wally's all. Wally's the
kind of dude that would have this guy on to
scream at him. Not because he really personally finds his
politics all that distaste.

Speaker 1 (33:42):
Because I don't think he cares about any I don't think. No,
I'm sure he finds the because I don't think he
cares about politics much.

Speaker 2 (33:48):
No, it was just of one. I don't know.

Speaker 3 (33:51):
It was just a thing, creating a situation where he
could be the good guy, yeah, and generate you know,
ratings for his TV show.

Speaker 2 (33:57):
I don't know. I refuse to plot him for any part. No.

Speaker 1 (34:01):
No, I'm not quoting this to applaud him. Quoting because
it's interesting to see someone writing from that perspective of
age County Conservative going remember when.

Speaker 2 (34:09):
We when we didn't like Nazi.

Speaker 3 (34:10):
Remember when we remember when we had at least that
line that we.

Speaker 2 (34:14):
Crossed, and when you're looking back at Wally George, Yeah, standard,
we believed in things.

Speaker 3 (34:21):
And there's this guy that like calls a dude who
flipped his desk over the next day. We should turn
the country with this, We should tour the country believe
in anything.

Speaker 2 (34:30):
He believe me, he doesn't believe in a goddamn thing.

Speaker 4 (34:33):

Speaker 1 (34:33):
It is unclear to me whether or not Wally George,
living in the modern era, would have fully embraced embraced
the white nationalist authoritarian politics that have since devoured the
gop I suspect so in a way that I don't
know if Joe Pine would have as racist as I'm
sure Joe Pine was.

Speaker 3 (34:48):
Joe Pine at least was in World War Two. Like
I think he might fight not he might brush up
against that little bit.

Speaker 1 (34:56):
I think if he saw a dude with a swastika
flag in a march, he'd be like, well, fuck those guys.

Speaker 2 (35:00):
Yeah, whatever's happening over there, Whatever happening over there, and
don't like that flag?

Speaker 1 (35:05):
Yeah, yeah, So yeah, it's I don't know. I can't
say what Wally would have done clearly. But if we're
to judge purely off his TV appearances.

Speaker 2 (35:14):
Maybe no.

Speaker 1 (35:15):
If we're to judge what we know about him morally,
probably yes.

Speaker 2 (35:19):
He seems cut from the same grift cloth. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1 (35:22):
And Wally is it's worth noting one of the very
first conservative political voices to use a phrase that has
since become infamous. We must make America great again. Wally
said this regularly on his show throughout the nineteen eighties
and early nineteen nineties. Alongside Rush Limbaugh. He also popularized
phrases like liberal lunatics, calling his detractors strippers, mud wrestlers,

and bimbos of all sizes and shapes. By the nineteen nineties,
Hot Seat was no longer close to unique. Jerry Springer
and Rush Limbaugh had both entered TV by then. Russia's
foray didn't last long, but in nineteen ninety six, Fox
News started up and provided a much more respectable than
you for far right hate speech. Meanwhile, Jerry Springer delivered
a gleefully a political approach to combat television that more

people found appealing than Wally's right wing rants. The fact
that Springer himself was a much more pleasant person than
George may have had something to do with this.

Speaker 2 (36:15):
In nineteen ninety.

Speaker 1 (36:16):
Five, George's wife left him in the least surprising turnover.
She took their seven year old daughter with her, Thank
God Jesus Christ. We do not know how many times
Wally was married, at least four, some sources say as
many as six times.

Speaker 2 (36:32):
I like it. It's like a fucking legend, like we
don't know it. It's like we don't really know.

Speaker 3 (36:37):
Of course, that fucking crip keeper looking dude, We don't know,
don't know how many wives he's got locked in a
closet like surviving, right exactly.

Speaker 1 (36:46):
Yeah, Yeah, Wally had several kids, but he was not
really a father to any of them, like he would
have kids, but he was no one's father.

Speaker 2 (36:54):
I think it's fair to say, man, judging by his set,
I thought he would have delighted in having little.

Speaker 1 (36:58):
Kids, having a little kid around you guys, in her
rocket ships.

Speaker 2 (37:04):
And blue turtlenecks.

Speaker 1 (37:07):
His most prominent child, Tom was the actress Rebecca de Mournay. No, yeah,
that's his daughter, Wally George's daughter. Tell us about Rebecca
de Mournay. Oh, they have kind of the same hair,
like you can see it. Man, that's that's fucked up.
I mean, I mean, she's in Hand that Rocks the Cradle.

She's in that The Sweet Three Musketeers, you know, the
Disney one with with Oliver Platt and Charlie Sheen and
Keithith Sutherland.

Speaker 2 (37:36):
It's in that TV.

Speaker 3 (37:38):
Version of the Shining she is in that TV version
of the Shot Town. That's uh, man, that just shattered
my entire universe. You didn't expect that, did not expect that.

Speaker 2 (37:47):
Didn't expect to learn that today, did you?

Speaker 3 (37:51):
Was she?

Speaker 4 (37:52):

Speaker 3 (37:52):
That that's too late. I was gonna say, was she
the one that the that the wife took?

Speaker 2 (37:55):
But no, she was Rebecca to Morney was already movies
at that point. Yeah, I think she was. Ye know,
he was just having kids in abandoning. I'm left and right.

Speaker 1 (38:03):
You know who else has kids and abandons them?

Speaker 3 (38:05):
The person the sponsors are responsible for these delightful products.

Speaker 1 (38:10):
Not a single one of them, not a single one
of them, raise their own kids.

Speaker 2 (38:14):
Well that's gonna help us get sponsors.

Speaker 1 (38:16):
Robert, thank you, Sophie, thank you sobe. Look, I think
some people, you know, like to like raise their kids
in a loving environment, and some people like the song
A Boy Named Sue and think that that's a good
way to raise a kid. And both options are equally respectable.

Speaker 2 (38:31):
And what does that have to do with our sponsors.

Speaker 1 (38:33):
Well, if you can abandon your kids as long as
you name them Sue, it's fine. As the song shows,
they'll turn out. Okay, we'll also learn how to fight.
We'll also accept ramblin Man. Ramblin Man share absolutely great
great child rearing advice in ramblin Man. All right, well that's.

Speaker 2 (38:48):
Going to lead us to ads.

Speaker 1 (38:55):
We're back, and we're all just silently appreciating the song
A Boy Named Sue, which again and contains all of
the parenting lessons. Anyone listening to this will ever need to.

Speaker 3 (39:03):
Know, certainly anyone we're talking about, well, certainly ever ever observed.
So Rebecca de Mornay, am I saying her name right
as far as I know? All right, yeah, you know
she is obviously what's she in?

Speaker 2 (39:19):
What? What's that? What's her big ship? I just rattled?
Are you serious? I just rattled? Tom?

Speaker 1 (39:24):
Okay, well my brain doesn't work, Tom.

Speaker 2 (39:26):
Hand the rocks the cradle is probably your biggest thing.

Speaker 1 (39:28):
Right hand that rocks the cradle I'm sorry, I'm on
I'm on drugs, and it's more that i've I'm most
mostly sober now. It's more that I was on drugs
for thirteen straight years. My memory doesn't do so great.

Speaker 3 (39:41):
Yeah, I mean, really, you knew me. I remember that
in the money was smoking. Yeah, you were there for
that that night. I gave everybody way too much. You
put Dave in the hospital hallucinating.

Speaker 1 (39:52):
Yeah, I mean, in fairness, Dave, Dave decided the hospital
was the right place to be at them.

Speaker 2 (39:58):
That's true. That's true.

Speaker 1 (40:01):
I haven't been able to watch back to the future
since we were coming up during that when we realized
we had grossly misjudged the amount of Podcat he'd.

Speaker 2 (40:10):
Taken a whole lot.

Speaker 1 (40:16):
It was something like sixty sixty doses or so.

Speaker 4 (40:20):

Speaker 1 (40:20):
His most prominent child was the actress Rebecca de Mornay,
who fucking hated Wally George. She like publicly attacked him,
and Wally blasted her in interviews as bitter, twisted and
out to ruin me. I found an old La Times
article that provides more context to Wally during the downswing
of his career. You know she's my daughter, don't you
asks George. He can't help basking in the reflected glory

of her celebrity status, even while conceding that she grew
up in England without knowing him and wants nothing to
do with him. Now, what really bothers me more than
anything is that she's given interviews saying I never tried
to contact her until after she became a star. It's
not true I embarrass her. She hangs out with left
wing actors like Robert de Niro and Jack Nicholson and
Harry Dean Stanton. They don't like me because I bad

mouthed Hollywood. They've convinced her I'm bad for her career.

Speaker 2 (41:06):
I just love that that trifecta. It's like Robertson, Hero.

Speaker 1 (41:11):
Jack Nicholson, Harry Dean, famed leftists all. It's very funny.
In fact, yeah, sorry, yeah, it's very funny. And it's
one of those things like probably nothing would have maybe
saved his career more than if he'd actually like made

up with his daughter and like done a big TV
special about it.

Speaker 2 (41:35):
But she never gave into that shit.

Speaker 1 (41:37):
Like that's clearly what he wanted was some kind of
like big public you know, for show. Right, He obviously
didn't give a shit about her.

Speaker 2 (41:43):
He abandoned. No, I'm sure, but I'm sure once she
was on his TV show.

Speaker 1 (41:48):
Yeah, absolutely, yeah, yeah yeah. By the mid nineteen nineties,
George's audience was too small for the Nielsen Company to rate,
which means it reached less than twenty four thousand households
in the Los Angeles area. As result, in order to
chase notoriety and attention, he was forced to find weirder
and weirder guests for Hot Seat. One frequent attendee was
Odoris Urungus, the lead singer for Guar. Otoris loved. Tom

turns his head, odoris loved Wally tell him one interviewer. Honestly,
of all the talk shows we've been on, everything from
Springer to Joan Rivers to Jimmy Fallon, it was our
favorite one, that cheesy little public access show with that
weirdo Wally George. He kicked ass on all of those
other multimillion dollar, fucking Hollywood TV creation constructed human being Yuck.

Speaker 2 (42:30):
Those people really made me sick.

Speaker 1 (42:32):
Yeah, fucking gar I mean, I get why a man
who dresses up as a monster for a living would
enjoy being on Wally George's show.

Speaker 3 (42:40):
Yeah, I mean that was their whole thing.

Speaker 2 (42:43):
They just wanted to offend people in chocko.

Speaker 1 (42:45):
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I get why Wally George and him
hit it off. Dexter Holland, lead singer of The Offspring,
was also a guest on The Wally George Show and
described it as punk, which I do think gets at
something important for many of his young fans, especially the Peel.
Wasn't that Wally was right wing. It was the rock
because they weren't. And it wasn't that they didn't hate
right wingers. They weren't left wing. They just didn't care

about politics. They liked that he was raucous, violent and unhinged,
and they liked that as members of his live audience,
they could be raucus violent and unhinged. They could scream
and shout at people and threaten them and sometimes even
get into fucking fights on the show. And there's more
than a little Wally George in the alt rights DNA,
like I don't care as much about the politics that
I'm claiming as I do about getting to offend you.

You know, that's Wally George and that's a big part
of modern conservatism. Now, other regular guests who sparred with
Wally expressed a belief that he was not really conservative.
He was a showman first and foremost, and would happily
platform anyone fringe enough to be entertaining. Still, there was
more than a hint of lynch Mob to Wally's audience.
Nicolas Shrek, lead singer of Radio Werewolf, recalled it was

like Wally was a microcosm of Hollywood taking over politics.
In a way, it could seem harmless or like it
was just a joke, But when we were actually in
the studio and Wally was presenting me as a scapegoat
for societyal ills, the audience was whipped into a genuine frenzy.
They did not take it as a joke, and it
felt very dangerous to be there. It's easy to think
he was a humorous phenomenon, but it was part of
the whole. It was a very violent craziness to the

eighties that I don't think Americans can remember exactly how
it was. I went to a Ronald Reagan rally in
nineteen eighty four and I sensed that same inherent violence.
You know the novel Lord of the Flies, It reminded
me of that.

Speaker 2 (44:24):
Yep, there's a lot in there. It feels a little relevant,
doesn't it. Yeah, Nicholas Shrek onto something there.

Speaker 3 (44:30):
Yeah, that's that's yeah. Like I said, that's one of
the main things about watching that clip that was so
unpleasant and upsetting is is how close it is to
a lynch mob. It's just like he's a big goofball.
Like we had a lot of fun talking about how
ridiculous he looks, but like that is a.

Speaker 2 (44:47):
Frightening there's no, yeah, nothing funny about absolutely not no
that I have.

Speaker 1 (44:54):
I have gone toe to toe with more or less
that audience in the street with a bunch of weapons
on their side. It's the same fucking people. It's fair,
the same motivation, it's it's oh man, it's.

Speaker 3 (45:03):
So it's so parallel to like Trump, because like Trump himself,
the man is a big stupid idiot that's ridiculous looking,
and you can just look at him.

Speaker 1 (45:10):
You'd have just as easily been a Democrat if that
had been the easy way to get what he wanted.

Speaker 2 (45:13):
Yeah, yeah, just a look at that big stupid asshole.

Speaker 3 (45:15):
But then you look at the crowds that follow and
be like, oh, there's nothing funny about that.

Speaker 1 (45:19):
Like, it's not at all humorous. No, it's just scary.
Wally's health started to fall apart in the early nineteen nineties.
By nineteen I know, tellm this is really going to
break your heart.

Speaker 2 (45:30):
Brace yourself here, No, don't tell me. I can't take it.

Speaker 1 (45:34):
By nineteen ninety three, he had to quit recording new
episodes of his show, but since Hot Seat had been
daily for like a decade, the show stayed in reruns
for another decade, and Wally would regularly record new introductions
and conclusions to various best of episodes. He died in
two thousand and three of pneumonia. Hmmm, so we have
a lot to thank cigarettes and pneumonia for but none
of them work fast enough.

Speaker 2 (45:55):

Speaker 3 (45:56):
Satan called home another angel, another one of his glorious angels.

Speaker 1 (46:03):
Speaking of Satan's angels, Tom, don't get any plugg ables
to plug.

Speaker 3 (46:08):
That's the end.

Speaker 2 (46:11):
That's the end of part too.

Speaker 1 (46:12):
We gotta, we gotta, we gotta, we got we got
one more. We got one more in the chamber. Oh okay,
all ran a little longer, So all right, well.

Speaker 3 (46:18):
Yeah, I run a podcast network with my buddy David Bell.

Speaker 2 (46:22):
We we worked at Crack together.

Speaker 3 (46:24):
If you want to head o a Patreon dot com
slash game for unemployed, you can support our network. We
do a bunch of free podcast Talker. We also do
a bunch of exclusive podcasts just for patrons like uh
Foxholder's Maniac, Tom and Jeff watch Batman and start with
mis Futurama, So check that out if you would, please, Yeah,
assholes do it.

Speaker 2 (46:40):
Behind the Bastards is a production of cool Zone Media.
For more from cool Zone Media, visit our website cool
Zonemedia dot com, or check us out on the iHeartRadio app,
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