KID ROCK Which long-running TV show featured a cynical clown who despised children? If you answered The Simpsons, you’re either jailbait or a transplant. Decades before Krusty slurred his first “Hey, Hey, Hey,” actor Pat McMahon was doing a similar shtick on Phoenix airwaves. “It was an incredibly unusual kids’ show,” says Ben Tyler, writer and director of The Wallace & Ladmo Show, a stage production inspired by the 35-year-long series. “All of the other shows had silly clowns that talked down to kids. And they sucked.”
Actors Theatre and Desert Foothills Theater will attempt to recreate the magic of the original Wallace and Ladmo (complete with Ladmo bags, which were like kiddy crack).
Tyler’s take tells the story of Hub Kapp and The Wheels, a faux rock band headed by McMahon that became so popular he debated leaving the show for musical fame. “It was meant to be a joke,” Tyler quips. “It took off and they became a sort of one-hit wonder.”