Believe it or not, last night was the first time George Wallace appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. The comedy legend even teased Kimmel about this, who also said it was hard for him to believe he hadn’t been on in his 18 years on the air.
Wallace was actually supposed to be on the show two weeks ago, but was bumped in favor of the MyPillow guy, Mike Lindell. On that show was also Tom Jones, who Wallace spent five years opening for in Las Vegas.
“I don’t mind being bumped for Tom Jones. He’s one of my best friends ever, and he taught me a lot about comedy,” Wallace states. “Most comedians had to open for singers back in the day. They had to do 15-20 minutes. But he would make me do 45. And that’s a long time. […] They told me that the first five ladies sitting down front every night would not be in the audience, because they see him every night. But you know those ladies came to my show every night and supported me every night. We did two shows a night at Caesar’s Palace. And they would throw their underwear up onstage at me. And I would say ‘Eat your heart out Tom Jones!’”
He concluded that the experience of performing for the same five women in the front row ultimately helped him, because it meant he had to do new jokes every night and be kept on his toes. “So that’s why I talk a lot now and enjoy what I do.”
So there you have it. Lessons in what it takes to be a comedian can come up when you least expect it, even when you’re opening for Tom Jones in Las Vegas.