birds . . . BAAH-loons for sale. . .”
In the tradition of Ali vs. Frazier, Godzilla vs. Tokyo, ASU vs.
U of A, there was Ladmo vs. Mr. Grudgemeyer! Played by Wallace,
the grumpy Grudgemeyer engaged Ladmo in epic battles for possession
of a park bench. All Mr. Grudgemeyer wanted to do was to commune
with his little animal friends in the park. Ladmo would interrupt
with the loud crunching of potato chips (actually anything Ladmo
did bugged him). The fight was on: hats were smashed, benches
were overturned and birdy food was strewn about.
The character of Grudgemeyer was created before Gerald to be
a comic foil for Ladmo, someone with whom Ladmo could engage in
some slapstick humor. He couldn’t fight with Wallboy. They
were pals!! So lo and behold, enter Mr. Grudgemeyer. For Grudge’s
voice, Wallace imitated the-then general manager (Dick Rawls)
of Channel 5.
Who Played Mr. Grudgemeyer?
Where did the park bench come from?
it for $5.00 from the City of Phoenix Parks Department from one
of their municipal surplus sales. The bench came from Encanto Park.
Who painted the backdrop?
friends Rick and Pete Kersten.
What was that background violin music?
found the background music from an LP entitled “Emery
and his Violin of Love.” The selection is called, AND
I KID YOU NOT, “I Love You Much Too Much.”
I Love You Much Too Much :
(Download Clip - 1.3 MB)
How did they afford to smash all
those Styrofoam “straw” hats
that Grudgemeyer wore?
Wallboy’s good friend,
Bert Easley (of Bert Easley’s
Fun Shop) would save defective hats (it might have a little
nick out of them) when a new shipment would come in. They couldn’t
be sold and he gave them to Wallace for the Grudgemeyer bits.
Wallace had this to say about Mr. Grudgemeyer:
played one [character], Mr. Grudgemeyer.
I was imitating the general manager at that time, Mr. Rawls.
He used to come in the studio, and one day he caught on and
funny!’ He liked it. He was a nice guy and got a big
kick out of Grudgemeyer. [In a nasally tone] He
sounded like this. You’d walk into his office and before
you could open your mouth he’d go ‘NO!’ That’s
what Grudgemeyer was like.”
one of my favorite characters. He was on The Ladmo
Show. Lot of slapstick
humor. A lot of that stuff was, you might say, taken from
Laurel and Hardy. They used to do that in their movies. Watching
two guys destroy each other’s stuff. We did a lot of
Grudgemeyer because it was so good and a lot of people liked
“Mr. Grudgemeyer! Those eyes and the glasses. That weird,
nasally voice. The grumpiest man on the planet. Grudgemeyer sometimes
lost the battle to Ladmo, but sometimes he won! The funniest Grudgemeyer
bit of mine was when he and Ladmo were tearing off each other’s
shirts in one of their frequent fights. He tore off two strips
of Ladmo’s coattails. [He] held them up and said, in the
great tradition of matadors around the world, ‘Grudgemeyer
is awarded two ears!’ That still cracks me up today.”
“All the characters were great with their own ‘personalities.’ Captain
Super making references to commies (it was funny to me even before
I really knew what a commie was). Marshall Good always asking for
a handout. Gerald always being a brat. Aunt Maud reading ghastly
stories in which cute little animals died. Boffo the Clown, the
clown who hates children. But even as a little kid, I always looked
forward the most to seeing Mr. Grudgemeyer. Wallace would announce ‘And
now let’s go over to the park for a visit with Mr. Grudgemeyer.’ Then
there would be a title card of a very colorful drawing of a park
with a gazebo with the words ‘Meanwhile, Back at the Park’ printed
on it. It was years before I realized that Wallboy was playing
Mr. Grudgemeyer was great. He was always in a foul mood. First
of all, he looked funny, he sounded funny, and they played the
most mournful violin music in the background. It was fun just to
see what would set him and Ladmo to fighting each other. It was
usually the park bench. I remember Grudgemeyer would often throw
Ladmo’s hat to the ground and then do a flamenco-style dance
all over it. When toppled with the park bench to the ground, Grudgemeyer
would flail his legs like a dying insect. It was really, really
Wallace on Grudgemeyer (2007)
Sweep The Park, 1968
Balloons for sale:
(Download Clip - 445KB)