Meet Wally Sparks
Meet Wally Sparks is a film about Wally Sparks, a talk show host, known for his crazy guests and his crude/rude behavior, on and off the camera. Even though he is hated by the elite society, he is loved by the laborer. After his latest show, about a man in love with his dog, Wally receives word from upstairs, informing him that he has one week to change the shows format, or be canceled. Later that day, Wally is shocked when he receives an invitation from his biggest adversary, the governor of Georgia, inviting him to a society ball at the governors mansion. Wally's producer, Sandy Gallo, thinks that this is the perfect way to show the station owner, Mr. Spencer, and the public, that Wally Spark's can be an up-standing citizen when he wants. He accepts the invitation and journeys to Atlanta Georgia. Upon arriving at the ball, Wally and Sandy part company to mingle. What starts out as a quiet evening of fun turns into a chaotic adventure, as Wally's best behavior is too crude for this crowd. When he needs a breath of fresh air, he heads for the stables where he shares his whisky with a white horse. After the two animals, human and horse, become inebriated, Wally rides the horse through the open patio doors and into the house. When the party is over, Wally, unable to walk, is bedridden in the governor's mansion. Of course, he is faking the injury in order to convince the governor to do his show. While indisposed, he tapes a show from the mansion and his guests are two groups of wrestlers, one pair enters the set carrying a python. During taping, Dean, his son, arrives at the mansion and brings with him Wally's dog, Egypt. Shortly after their arrival the two groups of wrestlers get into an argument and a fight starts. The end result is pandemonium and total destruction of the room at the mansion. In the meantime, Miller, Mr. Spencer's assistant, also travels to Atlanta. Convinced that Wally is faking his injury, Miller tries everything from climbing trees outside his bedroom and even breaking into the house, just to get a picture of Wally standing. Wally's deceit is finally uncovered while taping a show with the governor on national television. He finds out that the governor is being blackmailed and devises a plan to rescue him. Wally uncovers the plot of blackmail and all of the principle characters involved by showing a video tape of the blackmailers on live television, exonerating the governor. In the end everyone is happy and Wally is given a second chance with his show.
- Starring: Rodney Dangerfield
- Director(s): Peter Baldwin
- Producer(s): Wally Sparks Productions
- Screenwriter(s): Harry Basil, Rodney Dangerfield
- Distributor: Trimark Pictures
- Animal Coordinator: Unknown
- Release Date: Friday, September 13, 1996
- Rating: Acceptable
Featured Animal Action
During the society ball, Wally gets drunk with a horse and rides him into the ballroom. The horse rears twice, then turns in a circle several times, knocking over a table/flower stand. Wally grabs a flag pole nearby and it breaks off of the stand. After the horse stops spinning he looks around the room and spots the bar. He then starts to lick his lips and paw the floor, before charging towards the bar with Wally still aboard holding the flag pole. The governor sees the horse and rider coming, so he grabs the chandelier above him, clearing out of the way. People are seen running for cover from the drunk horse as he runs under the chandelier. The horse slips on the hardwood floor as he comes to a screeching halt. He lands in a sitting position on the floor with his front legs spread-eagle in front. At this time Wally goes flying off of the horse through the window. The horse is next seen licking the spilled liquor off of the bar. Four horses were used for this scene. A trained rearing horse was used for the shots of the horse rearing. A stuntman rode the horse into the ballroom. The stuntman used the heel of his shoes against the lower barrel area of the horse to gently cue the horse to the right. At the same time, he pulled the reins to the right to get the animal to spin four times. When the horse stepped back, the stuntman used the same technique with his heel but, this time pulled the reins back to cue the horse to step back. To accomplish the segment when the horse looks around the room and licks his lips, trainer one held the reins which kept the animals head down for a few seconds. Peanut butter was applied to the horses upper-gum area to encourage him to lick. Trainer #1 then lets go of the reins which enables the horses head to rise. Trainer #2, waved his hat and sprayed an aerosol can of air to encourage the horse to move his eyes. The floor was mopped down with water prior to the segment where the horse gallops towards the bar and comes to a sliding stop. The stuntman, with a flag pole in his hand, gallops the horse forward about 15ft. and then firmly pulls back on the reins, achieving a sliding stop. The trainer was waiting for the horse and rider at point B. and stopped the horse by grabbing the reins. The flag pole was always handed to the rider after mounting. For the shot of the horse at the bar, the horse is led to the bar and trainer #1 sits behind the bar while trainer #2 is in front keeping the horse in place. Applejuice was poured onto the surface of the bar and the horse merely licks at the juice. For the close-up of the drunk horse, trainer #1 is to the right of the animal approximately 15ft away, sitting on a four foot ladder. While on the ladder, the trainer shakes a bucket of grain to help get the horse's attention. Trainer #2 is moving his hat, whip, or turning a drill off and on to encourage the horse to move his eyes and ears. A transparent string was tied to the right side of the bridle so trainer #2 could slowly pull his head to the right. The next day, suffering from a hangover, the horse is seen going down on his front legs in his stall. Three men try to administer some medication with a hypodermic to the animal, to ease his discomfort. For this scene, the trainer merely stood in front of the horse holding a lead rope and used a crop to cue the horse to sit, lay down, and stand. The actor with the hypodermic is never seen coming in contact with the horse. There is a scene in Wally's bedroom, at the governor's mansion when the governor walks in to speak with him. Egypt, the dog, is sitting on the settee at the edge of the bed and the governor tells him to get up. The dog gets up and jumps on the governors back, placing his front paws on his shoulders. He then licks the back of the governor's neck as he humps the gentleman's legs. For this scene, trainer one placed the dog on the settee using verbal commands to stay. The trainer placed a rubber mat on the floor for the dog to stand on and then placed food under the actor's collar. He then used verbal commands to cue the dog to jump up on the actors back, placing his paws on the man's shoulders. When the dog is licking the actors neck he is actually licking the food that was placed under the collar. Trainer two is in the bathroom and used verbal commands to call the dog to him. In one scene while Wally is out, Miller sneaks into his bedroom and presses the bedside buzzer, which the governor answers. With the governor on his way to the room, Miller then moves towards the window, to exit the way he came in. Unfortunately, Egypt has seen him and starts to growl. Miller scurries out of the window to the ladder just as Egypt lunges at the ledge and snarls at Miller. The ladder becomes unstable and Miller grabs the window sill as Egypt grabs his tie with his mouth. Just then the governor's son, Robby, walks in and commands the dog to "release." The governor is heard coming towards the room, so Robby puts Egypt in the bed and covers him up, hoping to fool the governor. For this scene, the trainer released the dog and, using verbal commands, cued him to bark at the actor. Then the trainer placed the dog's paws on the window sill and again used verbal commands to cue him to grab the tie. The tie was a break away and the actor merely played tug of war with the dog. When the dog is seen in the bed, the trainer placed the dog on the bed, covered him up, and used verbal commands to keep him on his mark. There are several other scenes where Egypt is seen. In one scene, the governor's daughter and Dean, Wally's son, take the dog for a walk on his leash. The couple remove the leash and Egypt is then seen running on the grounds around the mansion. While roaming across the grounds, the dog finds a wallet and picks it up. For this scene, the trainer gave the actor food and cued the dog to stay with the actor. When Egypt picked up the wallet, trainer one released the dog as trainer two called him to his mark, cueing him with verbal commands to pick it up and to leave. He is seen several times with Wally during his convalescent period, either sitting next to him on the floor or on the settee in the bedroom. During the taping of a show at the governor's mansion, Egypt comes running in to see Wally. Trainer one released the dog, as trainer two used a squeak toy to get him to run to his next mark. There is a scene when Wally is taping a segment of his show at the governor's mansion and his guests walk on carrying a python. When the guests sit down the snake is not in their possession. The next time the snake is seen is when a fight starts during taping and the governor's aide is seen sitting in a chair with the python around his neck. For this scene, the trainer placed the snake around the actor but stayed with the snake at all times, out of camera range. Three trainers carried the snake on and off the set in order to give proper support to its body. In one scene, Wally and his friend are sneaking back into the governor's mansion. Wally is climbing up a tree and a squirrel is seen climbing up the tree and then up Wally's pant leg. Wally then falls out of the tree. The squirrel is seen several other times throughout the film. In one scene, Miller is in a tree and the squirrel is seen climbing up the tree and up his pant leg. The squirrel is not seen after that but the camera cuts to the actor and he gives the impression that the animal is performing a sexual act. In a later scene, Miller and the squirrel are seen on a talk show. The topic is about a man in love with a squirrel. Miller is seen holding the squirrel in his lap, stroking its head. A trainer acted as a double for the scenes when the squirrel attacks Wally and then later Miller. Trainer #1 propped open his pant leg and placed a buzzer and food inside. Then trainer #2, released the squirrel, and trainer #1 called the squirrel using the buzzer and food. When Miller is seen holding the squirrel on the talk show, the actor merely held the squirrel and stroked his head. The trainer retrieved the squirrel after completion of the shot. In the opening scene, a man, Mr. Karp, is holding a dog on his lap while on Wally's talk show. The topic is "It's Hard To Believe." Mr. Karp is supposed to be in love with his dog and Mrs. Karp is jealous. During taping the Karp's get into an argument. Mrs. Karp rolls up a newspaper and starts to chase the dog. The dog is seen on the floor grabbing the edge of Mrs. Karp's dress. A tear, along with a growl is heard. Then we see a quick shot of Mr. Karp as he walks off carrying his dog. When the actor is seen sitting down with the dog, the trainer merely placed the dog in the actors lap and when the actor started to stand the trainer cued the dog to get down using verbal commands. To get the dog to tug on the woman's skirt, trainer #2 wore the skirt while trainer #1 released the dog and cued her using verbal commands to get the skirt. The dog playfully grabs the skirt and tugs on it as trainer #2 tugs the skirt back, encouraging the dog to continue. Other animal action consists of horses seen in the background at the stables in their stalls or being walked from A to B.