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KTAR’s Pat McMahon revives ‘Gerald’ to promote education

PHOENIX — One of the Valley’s all-time most popular local television characters has been revived.

Gerald was the spoiled rich brat who antagonized audiences on the “Wallace and Ladmo” show for over 30 years.

He was played by KTAR’s Pat McMahon, who has brought Gerald back to life for a new video by a group called Expect More Arizona, which is trying to improve education in the state.

In the video, Gerald explained that he “went to an Ivy League preschool, where I learned calculus, world geography, lordshipping, and how to oppress the masses for fun and profit.”

Gerald doesn’t want Arizona’s education system to change. “Let’s face it, your kid will never amount to anything,” the character said in the video. “So what’s all the fuss about?”

“The fuss,” said Expect More Arizona CEO Pearl Chang Esau, is that Arizona’s education system must improve, and it’s got a long way to go.

“Half of Arizona’s high school graduates don’t qualify to enroll directly into any of our three state universities,” Esau said. “Sixty percent of them have to remediate when they’re in the community college. We know that’s just not good enough. We have to help all of our students reach their potential. We owe that to them.”

The group’s idea is to use the videos featuring Gerald to encourage people to get more involved in making Arizona schools better. And it’s offering an incentive to get people online to watch the videos.

“The show and Gerald have issued us five Ladmo Bags to give away,” said Esau. “If people go on our website, watch the video, write a message to Gerald, and give us their e-mail address, we will enter them into a raffle to receive one Ladmo Bag.”

Beginning Aug. 16, the group will give away one Ladmo Bag every Friday for five weeks. The group will announce more details on the Ladmo bag drawing Aug. 12.

As of Friday morning, the website does have an area for messages to Gerald, but makes no mention of the Ladmo Bag giveaway.