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Friends, fans pay tribute to Bill ‘Wallace’ Thompson at Tempe gathering

TEMPE, Ariz. — Hundreds of people attended a special tribute to Bill “Wallace” Thompson at Harkins Tempe Marketplace Cine Capri on Monday evening.

Fans started showing up 12 hours in advance, including the president of the Wallace and Ladmo fan club.

Chris Williams was first to arrive at 6 a.m. and said he was sad when Thompson died last month. “We have to remember he doesn’t want us to be sad,” Williams said. “His life was about humor and making us smile.”

Thompson created, produced and co-hosted “The Wallace and Ladmo Show” for 36 years, the longest-running, locally produced kids’ shows in American broadcasting history.

He passed away at the age of 82.

Close friends and former show guests shared memories of the beloved Valley icon during the two-hour tribute.

The event was hosted by Dan Harkins, owner and CEO of Harkins Theaters and longtime friend of Thompson.