George Wallace tests new material at Atlanta Comedy Theatre May 12-14: bring your mom!

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – MARCH 04: Comedian George Wallace attends the Inaugural Los Angeles Fatherhood Lunch to Benefit Baby Buggy hosted by Jerry Seinfeld at The Palm Restaurant on March 4, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Baby Buggy)

This was originally posted Wednesday, May 10, 2017 by Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com from his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

I’m on vacation from May 5 to May 16 so I am not posting any breaking news at that time. In the interim, I am posting a few things I wrote in advance. If you are seeking breaking entertainment news, check out Jenn Brett’s buzz column at buzz.blog.ajc.com or Melissa Ruggieri’s music.blog.ajc.com

Atlanta native George Wallace used to room with Jerry Seinfeld in the 1970s when they were both starting out as stand-up comics in New York City.

Four decades later, Wallace recently re-joined his buddy to tape Seinfeld’s upcoming Netflix special. They shot it at the Comic Strip, the same club they used to work at all the time back in the day.  They had the same guys introduce Seinfeld as if it was 1977 all over again. “We even moved the stage back to where it was,” Wallace said.

Time, to him, has gone by in a blink. “We know it’s been 40 years, but we still think we’re in our 20s,” said Wallace, who is 64. “That’s the problem!”

Nonetheless, Wallace is still hustling, touring constantly since he left a long-time residency at the Flamingo in Las Vegas in 2014. Retirement is not in his vocabulary. He is stopping by the Atlanta Comedy Theater in Norcross Mother’s Day weekend May 12-14. (Buy tickets here.)

Wallace recently shot a Christmas action comedy movie “Villa Capri,” in New Mexico starring Tommy Lee Jones and Morgan Freeman, set to be out Thanksgiving weekend. He plays a friend of Freeman’s character, a freewheeling manager of a luxury Palm Springs retirement resort in the film. Freeman couldn’t stop messing with Wallace off camera: “He spent six weeks talking about my mama!”

But Wallace had nothing but mad respect for the man: “He’s 79 and still kicking [butt]!”

He also recently taped an episode of Jay Leno’s CNBC show “Jay Leno’s Garage” driving a 1955 Buick Roadmaster. “Jay still works like crazy,” he said. Standup, he noted, “is like drugs. We’re hooked. We don’t know what else to do but bull****. Too bad Donald Trump is beating us at our own game in the BS department.”

Wallace is not a man who needs to work. He said he has done very well for himself in real estate, owning properties in multiple cities including a place in Buckhead in Atlanta, a spot near Lake Oconee and 11 acres near Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. While I talked to him, he was enjoying his view of Central Park from a luxury apartment he purchased in New York City in 1998.

He said he also bought stock in home-town airline Delta when it had bottomed out below $4 a share in 2009. Shares have been above $48 recently. “My degree was in transportation,” he said, when he attended the University of Akron, and he knows his product. He travels all the time and loves it. “It’s in my blood,” he said. “I used to study maps. I love go to to new places, understand new cultures. I wish more people traveled. It would alleviate prejudices.”

Starting at age 21, Wallace said he lived in Paris, Rome and Greece. He goes to Barcelona any chance he can get. He loves Istanbul. One of the few countries he has skipped is Russia after spending time in East Berlin before the wall went down. “Never wanted to go there,” he said.

Watching the United Airlines dragging a doctor off the plane and hearing he pocketed a huge settlement, Wallace has added jokes in his routine about it. “I used to go to the airport when I was young on Thanksgiving Eve when all the planes were sold out and volunteer to get bumped for free tickets. It was legal, too. Now I could be professional flight leaver. Just sit there and get $10,000!”

He is friends with J. Anthony Brown, who recently moved from the Tom Joyner morning show to Steve Harvey‘s morning show. He thinks change is good for everyone though he worries Harvey’s cast may be a little crowded with six regulars. “You don’t hear Nephew Tommy as much,” he said.

Wallace encourages people to bring their moms to his shows this coming weekend. “It’s not too blue,” he said. “It’s a comfortable show. My show is not blue at all. Except I love the name Waka Flocka. I can use that as a curse word. Look at this Waka Flocka. I love the names of new rappers. Fetty Wap. Future. He doesn’t even know the music he’s singing yet. He’s way ahead of us!”

RELATED: My review of Jerry Seinfeld at the Fox Theatre last month. 

RELATED: My 2015 interview with Wallace.

RELATED: My interview with Jay Leno in February, 2017

COMEDY PREVIEW

George Wallace

Friday, 8:30 p.m., 10:30 p.m.

Saturday: 7:30 p.m., 10 p.m.

Sunday: 7:30 p.m.

$26.50-$146.50

Atlanta Comedy Theater

4650 Jimmy Carter Blvd. $114b, Norcross

www.atlantacomedytheater.com