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Mr. Grudgemeyer

“Feed the 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Played Mr. Grudgemeyer?

Where did the park bench come from?
Wallace bought 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?
Wallace’s artist friends Rick and Pete Kersten.

What was that background violin music?

Wallace 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.

Bill "Wallace" ThompsonWallace had this to say about Mr. Grudgemeyer:
“I 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 said ‘Very 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.”

Ladimir "Ladmo" KwiatkowskiLadmo:
“Grudgemeyer was 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 it.”

“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.”

-Christopher W.

“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 Grudgemeyer.

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 funny.”

-Steve H.

Grudgemeyer footer

Wallace on Grudgemeyer (2007)

Sweep The Park, 1968

Balloons for sale:

(Download Clip - 445KB)

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