“hahaha ohhh he said it!”
~Adoring Las Vegas crowds
It’s been a while since you’ve heard from the crew at America Fun Fact of the Day. Part of that is that we’ve been busy working on a reality TV show called “Inside The Lives Of Real Americans” which we got fired from after we went through the entire liquor budget that TLC allowed in two days. And part of that is that, after getting fired, we decided to spend some time in Las Vegas.
“But why Las Vegas, and why am I here as a flimsy humor article rhetorical construct?” you might be screaming at the computer, possibly while soiling yourself. “And seriously, if you’re going to put words in my mouth, please don’t make me seem like some deconstructed ruin of where humanity can fail” you might add while smashing frozen tater tots into a waffle iron and serving the end result on the last clean T-shirt that you own, which happens to be a Pearl Jam Summer Tour 1997 shirt.
But to answer the question of this shambling mess of a human being which we’ve apparently decided to fictitiously create to embody you, the reader, why wouldn’t we go to Las Vegas? It has everything. There are alcoholic drinks that come in glasses a yard long, nothing ever closes, you get free drinks for legally gambling, and you can solicit the services of a prostitute and come to the conclusion that you can never undo the things that you’ve done, and that doesn’t bother you because you’re dead inside.
And, of course, there is the 10PM show of “The New Mr. Las Vegas” himself, George Wallace, at The Flamingo every night. We realized that this man knew comedy in a way that we could only dream of, and we can’t think of a better way to pay him tribute than to give him his very own fun fact, stealing/recycling his jokes so the world can appreciate him without having to pay $30 in Vegas.
George Wallace Has His Mess Right
George Wallace was born in 1952 in Atlanta, Georgia, to a loving, religious family, and if you’re reading that sentence and saying to yourself “hoooo boy, I bet he got himself a whooping or two growing up” we have some exciting news for you. He did, and he talks about it ad nauseam.
“Kids these days,” he once said in one of our favorite comedic bits, “they have it easy. I see them young folks today, snapping on their chats and twittering their tinders, and I go up to them and say, boy? When I was growing up, I had tinder too. Only I called it TIMBER, and if I didn’t chop enough firewood, boy, my pops would give me a whooping I tell you what. Get your mess right!”
After a family tragedy, he moved to Ohio where, at the age of 16, he got a job with the Firestone Tire. To hear Wallace talk about it, he’d say, “When I was 16, I got myself a job with tires. Now, I was full of sass back then (still am, to be honest!) and I’d give my boss a hard time. Now of course, back then if a youngin’ gave their elders a hard time, they’d just do their job reaaall slow. Nowadays? Kids be talking back at their elders every chance they get. I tell you to put on a damn tire, you better put on a damn tire, don’t instagram it with your smart phones. Get your mess right!”
After studying at the University of Akron (which he remembers fondly, saying often, “I went to the University of Akron, though kids nowadays probably call it the University of AKON, bout that fool that don’t even sing right. Get your mess right!”) Wallace moved to New York where, after working as a salesman in an Advertising firm, a client of his opened a comedy club and invited Wallace to do stand-up, as he loved his demeanor and natural humor.
Wallace first did stand-up in 1977, dressed in a priest robe and calling himself the Reverend Dr. George Wallace. He frequently talks about this in his Vegas show, telling audiences, “You know, I been doing these stand-up shows since 1977. That’s a long ass time ago! That means that my comedy career is older than all the members of the One Directions! You heard about these dumb dumbs? Apparently some British white boys with crazy hair making all the teenage girls acting all crazy. Buncha dumb dumb looking funny talkers, if you ask me. If you gave me a tickets to them One Directions, I’d look you straight and the eye and say, boy? GET YOUR MESS RIGHT!”
During his time in New York, he was roommates with Jerry Seinfeld, and he was the best man at Seinfeld’s wedding. About the occasion, Wallace often says, “You know, I’m blessed to have a friend as good as Jerry Seinfeld, you know, from the TV. That man is funny as hell, and I’ll tell you what, he’s someone that’s got his mess right. You don’t like Seinfeld? I say, get your mess right!” From there he moved to the West Coast, and gained a reputation as one of America’s best stand-up comics before taking up a residency at The Flamingo in Vegas in 2003.
George Wallace is arguably best known for his rant about allowances that resonates with the family-friendly audience at his shows. When he first launched into the diatribe on May 3rd, 2006, he admits he was improvising, as he had not prepared the joke, but rather attributed it to “a moment of divine inspiration.” While the delivery changes from night to night, the initial monologue is considered by most comedy historians as the pinnacle of his career, and many have gone as far as to say it is the most important stand-up joke the world has ever seen. We’ve transcribed it below, completely unedited.
“Who out there’s got them some children? Oh damn, y’all must be in a sorry state! I got a few youngins myself, and let me tell you, kids nowadays, with their pants and such, they don’t appreciate how good they got it! My son goes up to me the other day and he goes, he says, ‘Dad, can I get an allowance.’ He said that! Allowance! I told him, boy? I’ll ALLOWANCE you a roof over your head! I’ll ALLOWANCE you three square meals a day! GET! YOUR! MESS! RIGHT!” *remainder of audio undecipherable, as the roaring laughter and cheers overloaded the recording equipment*
While comedy has treated George Wallace well, he has treated America far better. Apart from his humor, which is historic, he considered running for public office- specifically as the mayor of Las Vegas. In his words, “I look around and see all these dumb dumbs on their smart phones, and them girls that ain’t got enough respect to put on hardly any clothing, and I see a city that needs a little George Wallace, getting their mess right. Now, I ain’t no politician” (at this point, generally, members of the audience shout “hooo boy! you sure aint! hahahah!”) “but I know a thing or two about common sense. A penny? that some common sense” (again, at this point the audience tends to interrupt to say, “Hahahah! Classic! CENTS!”) “and the most common sense of all? GET! YOUR! MESS! RIGHT!” (at this point, the audience usually descends into a delirium of laughter. Paramedics are on hand at all George Wallace shows to ensure the safety of the audience members writhing in spasms of guffaws in the aisles).
We of course salute George Wallace, American comedic hero, and anxiously await the return of his NBC show from the late 90’s-early 00’s (Get Your Mess Right with George Wallace). You can sign the petition to get the show back on the air here, but until then…
Well, you know the rest.