At Disneyland’s Golden Horseshoe Revue, Wally Boag blasted audiences with squirt guns, spit out a mouthful of “teeth,” and sculpted whimsical animals out of colorful balloons five days a week, five times a day, for nearly 27 years. By the time he retired, in 1982, from his role as the outrageous Pecos Bill, Wally had performed in nearly 40,000 productions of the popular Revue!
Listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest running stage production in show business history, Disneyland’s Golden Horseshoe Revue proved to be good steady work for the former vaudeville performer, who recalled, “My longest job before the Golden Horseshoe Revue was 54 weeks. And to think it all began with a two-week contract I signed with Walt Disney when the park opened [in 1955].”
Wallace Vincent Boag let out his first “yahoo!” September 13, 1920, in Portland, Oregon. At age nine, he joined a professional dance team; by 16, he was running his own dance school; and by 19, he had turned to comedy, performing in nightclubs and theaters across the country and around the world. Among them, Wally played Radio City Music Hall, moving on to such theaters as the Palladium in London and the Tivoli Theatres in Australia and New Zealand.
In 1945, he won a contract with Metro-Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), appearing in such films as “Without Love,” starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, and “The Thrill of Romance,” with Esther Williams.
In 1955, a friend told him about auditions for Disneyland’s Golden Horseshoe Revue. Wally won the role and quickly became one of Walt’s favorite comedic actors, appearing on such television shows as the original “Mickey Mouse Club,” “Disneyland” and “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color,” as well as motion pictures, including “The Absent-Minded Professor,” “Son of Flubber” and “The Love Bug.”
At Disneyland, Wally also provided the voice of the Audio-Animatronics parrot, Jose, in the Enchanted Tiki Room, and later, opened the Diamond Horseshoe Revue at Walt Disney World, in 1971. His original act in the Golden Horseshoe Revue was also featured in a Danny Kaye television special celebrating the 25th anniversary of Disneyland, in 1980.
Wally often toured and consulted on special projects and promotions for The Walt Disney Company. In 1980, he entertained audiences across the country during a 28-day, 20-city tour promoting the re-release of Disney’s animated classic “Lady and the Tramp.” He later traveled to Japan to help translate material for the opening of Tokyo Disneyland in 1983.