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Thanks for Tuning In
By Richard Ruelas
Boffo Books
198 pp. / 6.00 in x 9.00 in / 2005
Cloth (978-0-9752-8220-5)
Paper (978-0-9752-8221-2)
Related Interest
  - Western Americana / Regional Interest

When the Arizona Historical Society created its hall of fame, the first inductees included Barry Goldwater, Sandra Day O'Conner and Wallace and Ladmo.

This is the story of "Wallace,"
A welcome and highly recommenced addition to the growing library of books about influential and popular American television programming of the mid=20th to late 20th century

—The Midwest Book Review

who was born Bill Thompson and was the creator of Arizona's most celebrated children's television show. It is a broadcasting story, chronicling how Thompson was able to keep a children's show on the air for 35 years, long after every other kids' show across the nation got the axe, longer than most shows in television history.

It is also an Arizona story, telling how a wide-eyed college dropout who grew up the scion of a wealthy family in upstate New York decided to reinvent himself out West. Thompson's relatives found fortune discovering copper in the ground of Arizona. This book tells how Bill Thompson came back to claim the airwaves. What he created in Arizona was unique across the nation—a funny, topical, edgy show that entertained not only children, but also teenagers, college students, and adults.

Thanks for Tuning In reveals behind-the-scenes details of Arizona's most beloved show, while telling, for the first time, Thompson's own story. It reveals how Thompson's privileged childhood served as fodder for the show's villain, Gerald. It tells the tale of Thompson's adventures as a bullfighter. And it chronicles the truth behind the end of the show, and the deterioration and reconciliation of Wallace's friendship with his partner Ladmo.

For those who didn't grow up with Wallace and Ladmo, it's a chance to see what all the fuss is about. For fans, it's an illuminating glimpse into the person who greeted them on television every day. Consider it a "thanks" for tuning in.

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