RIP Wally

So this happened.

I have many memories of KDOC.  Channel 56 on the pre-cable dial, it broadcast out of Anaheim (home of Disneyland, the Los Angeles California Angels of Anaheim or whatever the hell the baseball team is called now, and (technically speaking) me from about 3-18 (although culturally I was a native of neighboring Placentia, due to odd school-district gerrymandering)).

As I recall, back in the 80s their programming consisted of:

  • Reruns of Combat, an early 60’s WWII show starting Vic Morrow, who John Landis later beheaded with a helicopter, presumably as a sacrifice to some eldritch deity.
  • Reruns of Dark Shadows, later murdered by Tim Burton.
  • Request Video in the afternoon after-school hours.
  • Vietnamese programming all day Sunday
  • (possibly some non-Vietnamese Jesus shows late Sunday night as well).

And then the channel’s highlight, produced at their own studio: Hot Seat with Wally George.

Hot Seat aired every Saturday night at 11pm.  Basically, Wally was a hardcore Republican talk show host (though mostly it was for show; I’m not sure anyone knows how much his actual political beliefs tracked with his stage beliefs).  Some of the show’s more interesting guests included GWAR, The Mentors, and Rick Dees (Los Angeles area DJ and artist behind the smash 1976 hit Disco Duck), who broke* a chair across Wally’s back.  Mostly, though, he had a number of recurring guests; the Reverend Bud Green, who advocated smoking pot for Jesus (or something like that) was a mainstay, as was a college professor who my dad recognized, as he had taken his class on the History of the American Presidents**.

Wally would whip the audience into a frenzy, yelling at his guests while the audience cheered and chanted “Wally! Wally!” or booed and chanted “Sick! Sick! Sick!” after Wally called a guest sick, one of his favorite put-downs.  Later in the show Wally would give the number to call for free tickets to be in the audience; giving the area code 714, he would then repeatedly yell 999, to which the audience would respond 5000!

Needless to say, it was a great show to watch while high and/or drunk.

For a while, Wally also had a half-hour call-in show on weekdays.  It ran in the late afternoon, conveniently providing all the local high-school kids enough time to come home from school and get high before crank-calling*** him.

Anyways, Wally George is dead and KDOC sucks now.

* This was totally fake as fuck bullshit.

** According to my dad, the semester consisted of anti-war rants, anti-capitalist rants, pro-communism rants, and occasionally turning all the lights out and listening to rock music.  At the end of the semester, the professor said, “I have to give you a grade, so turn something in.”  My dad’s 20 page paper on John Quincy Adams, which I cribbed from heavily for my own high-school report on John Quincy Adams, earned him an A.

*** I haven’t gone through all of these videos, but I’m sure some of the calls are either from me or people I know.

Leave a Reply