It premiered as It's Wallace?, a vehicle to showcase cartoons for KPHO. The show was hosted by Bill Thompson, who created the character of Wallace Snead when he appeared on the Golddust Charlie Show (also on KPHO). It aired on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 6:30 PM. Within a year, Ladimir Kwiatkowski (who had been a cameraman for the station) joined the show as Ladmo, the rubber-faced sidekick to Wallace. In 1960, Pat McMahon joined the cast and developed a list of characters (such as Gerald, Aunt Maud, Captain Super and Marshall Good) that parodied various popular culture icons. (McMahon was also a popular talk radio host for KTAR in the Phoenix market.) In addition to the daily broadcasts, the cast of the show also performed regular stage shows at such venues as local movie theaters and malls, Encanto Park (in central Phoenix), and the Legend City theme park.
In 1968 the show was renamed Wallace & Company and again in 1970, to its better known title, The Wallace & Ladmo Show. In 1973, the time slot of the show split with a morning and afternoon show but taping of the two shows was still in the afternoon so children could attend the audience after school.
Not long after the addition of Ladmo, the Ladmo Bag appeared on the show. The Ladmo Bag was a prize won by children in the in-studio audience or at stage performances. Originally the Ladmo bags were large paper grocery bags filled with candy, potato chips and so on, but as the show progressed, the Ladmo Bags were in smaller paper grocery bags but still stuffed full of candy and assorted coupons.
To diehard fans and collectors, an authentic Ladmo Bag from the original show can be worth a considerable amount of money. However, very few of these bags still exist intact, as most children that won the prizes consumed the candy inside and discarded the bag. Some natives of the Phoenix area use the expression "I never got a Ladmo Bag when I was a kid" as a metaphor for "I had a deprived childhood."
Kwiatkowski died from cancer in 1994. However, during special events in Arizona, particularly the Arizona State Fair, Ladmo bags are still won by select people attending. The last Ladmo bag that was given during the last telecast was won by Alice Cooper, a musician and longtime Phoenix resident.