"Jerk! Jerk! Jerk!"
Description: Popular catchphrase chanted by the rowdy audience members of the controversial 1980s syndicated talk show HOT SEAT WITH WALLY GEORGE/SYN/1983-1991.
Wally George is a talk show host with extreme, right-wing political views who is quick to insult his guests or audience members who don't agree his opinion. Those who did not were often taken off stage by a security guard in the employ of the host.
At the beginning of each show, the camera panned the audience which cheered on their ultra-conservative talk show host by yelling, “Wal-ly! Wal-ly Wal-ly!”
As the show continues, Wally reads letters sent to the show, with such sentiments as “You and your show both STINK!!” Before Wally can finish reading the letter, the audience begins chanting “Jerk! Jerk! Jerk!"
To keep the audience in a frenzy, Wally regularly featured guests who advocated abortion, homosexuality, nude dancing, drugs (like 1960s drug guru Dr. Timothy Leary) and fringe political groups, like the Ku Klux Klan and Nazis, like Tom Metzger, a white supremacist leader.
Once, Wally ejected a guest off the show, who said, “The Bible was the work of the Devil”; and when pacifist guest Blase Bonpane, who opposed the U.S. invasion of Grenada got under Wally’s skin, he shouted, “Get the hell out of my studio!” The ex-Marine promptly overturned Wally’s desk and left the set. Of course, the audience went wild, shouting, “Jerk! Jerk! Jerk!” The incident made the national news.
Note: The Hot Seat program (influenced by 1960s radio/TV personality Joe Pyne) would go on to inspire more "Combat TV" styled programs like the ones hosted by Morton Downey, Jr. and Jerry Springer.
Wally George is the father of actress Rebecca DeMornay. He died in 2003.