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Phoenix Zoo to unveil sculpture honoring ‘Wallace and Ladmo Show’

(Wallace and Ladmo I.P., LLC)

PHOENIX – Generations of Phoenix-area kids grew up watching “The Wallace and Ladmo Show,” so it’s only fitting that characters from the iconic TV show will be honored in bronze at the Phoenix Zoo.

A sculpture of a bench depicting life-sized versions of Wallace, Ladmo (holding a coveted Ladmo Bag) and Gerald will be installed at the zoo this fall.

“Although other locations were considered, the Phoenix Zoo best represented the spirit of the show,” Rita Davenport, former Valley TV host and president of the Wallace and Ladmo Foundation, said in a news release issued Thursday.

“It’s a multigenerational gathering place that showcases kids and animals — near and dear to us all. In the end, this was the only place that felt exactly right.”

A soft-launch event was scheduled for Tuesday at the zoo’s main lake, where the bronze bench will be installed at a yet-to-be-announced date.

Longtime Valley media personality Pat McMahon, who played the the show’s bratty Gerald character, among many others, will be on hand for the event. He’ll be joined by David Thompson and Robin Kwiatkowski, the sons of the title characters. The sculptor, Arizona artist Neil Logan, also will appear.

Ladimir “Ladmo” Kwiatkowski died in 1994, and Bill “Wallace” Thompson died in 2014.

Designs for the sculpture show Wallace sitting on the bench, with Ladmo holding one of his goody bags behind him and Gerald standing to the side.

“The Wallace and Ladmo Show” was the longest-running children’s program in Valley history, airing from 1954 to 1989. The show and its characters remain ingrained the popular culture of the area.