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George Walter Pearch, known as Wally George (4 December 19317 October 2003) was an American conservative radio and television commentator. Calling himself the "Father of Combat TV," George gained national fame as the host of the television talk show Hot Seat, originally a local show produced for KDOCmarker Channel 56, a UHF station then located in Anaheim, Californiamarker.

Early life

Born in Oakland, Californiamarker, George's father was a shipping company owner. His mother, Eugenia Clinchard, was a vaudeville performer and a player in the Essanay Studiosmarker westerns starring Broncho Billy Anderson. Wally's trademark appearance included gray slacks, navy blue blazer, white dress shirt, and an American Flag tie. George was a longtime Garden Grove, Californiamarker resident, often seen around town running errands. In his later years, he lived in Sherman Oaks, Californiamarker.

Career

George was famous for his combative, almost farcical interview style and shocking antics. For example, he often brought strippers onto his show to denounce them for being "bimbos"; when the strippers would (almost inevitably) begin to strip, George, with obviously feigned outrage, would wait until the very last moment to have them escorted out by security while his fans chanted: "Sick! Sick! Sick!" George also advertised "gentlemen's clubs" on his show and, in his later years, made many staged appearances at them around Southern California.

Wally gave out the phone number to get tickets to the Hot Seat by working up his studio audience with a cheer of his phone number. The number was 714-999-5000, and Wally would yell out 4 or 5 times: 'Nine Nine Nine!' and each time the audience countered with 'Five thousand!'

In 1983, self-proclaimed pacifist Blase Bonpane overturned the host's desk onto George and stomped out of the studio. Clips played on national news and George made references to the incident long afterward, saying that similar incidents which later took place on other shows (notably those hosted by Geraldo Rivera and Jerry Springer) were "copycat combat".

At one point, George hosted controversial Los Angeles-area Baptist preacher Robert L. Hymers, but since the two of them disagreed on nearly nothing, the encounter degenerated into potty language on both sides, and barely contained giggles by both George and Hymers, as they desperately tried to find something to disagree on and insult each other about.

He appeared in a few motion picture films, mostly as himself, including Repossessed, Grunt! The Wrestling Movie, Club Fed, and A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child. He released a four track 12" (30 cm) EP entitled Wal-ly! Wal-ly! on Rhino Records in 1984.

George was a contributor to a TV Roller Derby program known as Rollergames in the 1989-90 season; on the show, George provided halftime 'studio analysis' and sometimes delivered "engame news," such as the final result of the controversy between "Mizz" Georgia Hase, Ralphie Valladeres, and the T-Bird twins. He also appears in the Nintendo Entertainment System game of the same name after the final boss has been defeated.

Personal life

He was a staunch supporter of Ronald Reagan and always touted the Reagan Revolution, even after Reagan left the White Housemarker.

He was the subject of a The E! True Hollywood Story documentary in 2000.

He appeared on The People's Court after being sued by an attorney who specialized in representing accused pedophiles. The lawyer claimed he should have been paid because the contract stated, "I agree that the only compensation shall be my appearance on television." The lawyer said that Black's Law Dictionary defined "consideration" as "a promise to pay." Judge Wapner told the lawyer never to cite Black's Law Dictionary to a judge, because that is a resource only first year law students use to learn basic legal terms.

George married and divorced four times. For over fifteen years prior to his death, George had been estranged from his actress daughter Rebecca De Mornay. He also had two other daughters, Holly, with whom he was very close, and Debra, who resided on Guammarker.

Death

Following years of declining health, George died of pneumonia at Fountain Valleymarker Hospital on 2003-10-07. His memorial service was held at the Crystal Cathedralmarker in Garden Grove, Californiamarker with the evangelist Robert H. Schuller presiding over the service, which had over 100 mourners. He was interred at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood Hillsmarker, Californiamarker.

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