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George Wallace has made a name for himself in Las Vegas.
George Wallace is one of the lucky ones—he discovered his gift early. At the age of six he watched comedians like Moms Mabley and Red Buttons. Drawn to the laughter and emotion they elicited, he tested some material on his schoolmates, and a star was born.
Wallace was raised in a tight-knit community in Atlanta, during a time when the concept of “it takes a village” was wholly embraced. Values like respect, love, and kindness were at the heart of his upbringing. He looks back on the time fondly. “We had three churches and one parent—whoever was around you at the time,” Wallace says.
Following his mother’s death, a 16-year-old Wallace left home to attend college at the University of Akron in Ohio. His father loved to travel, and Wallace recognized the importance of the transportation system in its delivery of goods and human cargo. The University of Akron offered a major in the discipline, and having family in the area made the choice an easy one. He graduated with a degree in transportation and marketing.
Eventually, Wallace moved to New York to pursue his comedic dreams, but the early years were a struggle. Several young comedians formed a close fraternity, including Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld. Seinfeld and Wallace struck up an immediate friendship and became roommates. Wallace says, “I was the messy one, but he was so meticulous, I was afraid to mess anything up.” Thirty-two years later, the two remain best friends. Wallace was the best man at Seinfeld’s wedding and also present during the circumcision of his son, actually having the “honor” of holding one of the baby’s legs during the procedure. “I tell you, every time I see that kid, he looks at me like there’s something in the back of his mind…” Wallace says.
Wallace has done it all: TV, movies, radio, even an appearance on the “Oprah Winfrey Show.” Yet, through the years, his dream remained to perform in Las Vegas. He is currently in his fifth year at the Flamingo Hotel and is flexing his entrepreneurial muscle. Unlike many acts on the strip, Wallace is his own boss. He rents the showroom from the Flamingo (called four-walling), does his own advertising, and has 23 employees.
The future is bright for the tall comedic genius with the million-dollar smile. He has an indefinite run in Las Vegas and ongoing stand-up performances, but for now he’s just enjoying what he has. Wallace wraps it up this way: “Birth certificates come with an opening date, but no closing date. If I die tomorrow, God don’t owe me nothing.”