Legendary comedian George Wallace makes his way to the City of Oaks for three nights of side-splitting stand-up.
“If you can’t laugh in Raleigh, you can’t laugh anywhere.” So says “world-renowned funny guy” George Wallace of most cities he stops in… but we’re convinced he really means it re: Raleigh.
Raleigh Magazine got the chance to chat up Wallace—and laugh, natch (!) in front of his three-day stint in Raleigh this week (Nov. 25–27) for his Triple Threat Comedy tour at Raleigh Improv (along with Myra J. and J. Anthony Brown). And flashing that comedic flair that appeals to all ages, he’s willing to talk trash about everyone, especially youngsters. “I love talking about you young kids and the things that you do, like your music and all your hip-hop and rappers,” he jokes. Spoiler alert: Waka Flocka Flame is his curse word of choice.
You’ve no doubt seen Wallace on the screen—from features on major networks to recent appearances on hit shows like Bob’s Burgers to his own Amazon Freevee comedy series, Clean Slate. Add to that his mention in Rolling Stone’s top 25 funniest Twitters in the world (!), and there’s no question Wallace is a comedy king.
Without further ado, the comedic rebel who “doesn’t give a damn” and is “willing to eat cupcakes out of a pan and pancakes out of a cup”—aka funnyman George Wallace.
What excites you about bringing your stand-up back to Raleigh?
I’ve been to Raleigh many years ago when Charlie Goodnights first opened. I haven’t been in a long time because I’ve been in Vegas for 15 years, but it’s gonna be great to get back to that crazy city so we can laugh. There’s so many crazy things in Raleigh, and I hear there’s some good BBQ, so I’m coming for that. I’m a BBQ connoisseur, and people tell me the best BBQ is in North Carolina.
Give us the scoop on your stand-up sets—what’s in the works for your shows?
J. Anthony Brown, Myra J. and I were all on the Tom Joyner Morning Show years ago, and now we’re together and we’re coming to Raleigh to have some fun. We’re always writing and getting our jokes together. I’m gonna talk about the city and whatever is going on in Raleigh because there’s gotta be some crazy stuff going on there. I never know what direction my show is going to go in—I just get up there… and, after 40 minutes, I say, ‘goodnight!’
What got you into the funny business?
I knew from the age of 6 that I wanted to become a comedian, watching other comedians like Redd Foxx, Johnny Carson, Milton Berle, Richard Pryor and Joan Rivers. I just love to make people laugh—and comedians make people laugh. Anytime you hear people laughing it’s the greatest thing in the world. I have the greatest job in the world, and I thank God every day for what I do.
Give us the lowdown on your comedic chops.
I just love to lie and just make stuff up. I don’t lie as much as the weather person, but I do lie. And a lot of my jokes come from observing what goes on in the world today—from watching television to people saying stupid things, like hearing someone say they’re comfortable in their own skin. I think I’d be a lot more comfortable in Jeff Bezos’ skin or Oprah’s skin. I might even feel better in Al Sharpton’s skin, even if it’s gonna be a little tight. … So if you say anything to me, I’m gonna try to turn it into a joke.
Give us the tea on the Twitterverse!
Twitter is something I thought I’d never do because I’m an older African American man, but I thought, wait a minute… there’s over 500 million tweets per day, and some of these people I’d never get to see. Now I’ve got friends and Twitter followers all over the world, almost a million right now, and that’s a lot of people who would never get a chance to see or hear George Wallace talk trash. I don’t know why people think my tweets are funny, but the answers I get, the replies—ooh. I love that. Give me a follow, @mrgeorgewallace.
Why should locals come out for a laugh?
It’s Thanksgiving weekend. You’re gonna be tired of your momma, you’re gonna be tired of your family and you’re definitely gonna be tired of turkey, so come on out and laugh. We are gonna have nothing but fun, fun, fun. Laughter is medicine. We encourage people to overdose on laughter, so come on out and get a dose.
*Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.