Watermelon smashing comedian Gallagher dies at 76

Arcademan

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Gallagher, Comedian Known for Smashing Watermelons, Dies at 76

Gallagher, the inventive prop comedian known for smashing watermelons as part of his act, died Friday of organ failure, his former manager Craig Marquardo confirmed to Variety. He was 76.

Gallagher had been in hospice care in California after suffering multiple heart attacks in recent years.

Born Leo Anthony Gallagher Jr., the mononymous comedian became a household name in 1980 with “An Uncensored Evening,” the first standup comedy special to ever air on Showtime. Gallagher would go on to create 12 more hourlong specials for the network, as well as several popular programs for HBO.

Gallagher’s signature bit involved a handmade sledgehammer he called the “Sledge-O-Matic,” which he would use to smash food onstage and spray it onto the audience. His hammer’s trademark victim was the watermelon. Gallagher also became famous for his witty wordplay and sharp observational comedy.

While his contemporaries went on to host talk shows or star in sitcoms or movies, Gallagher remained on the road in America for nearly four decades, touring steadily up until the COVID-19 pandemic and playing over 3,500 live shows throughout his career. In his later years, Gallagher led a long-running Geico commercial and appeared in his first movie, “The Book of Daniel.” In 2019, he embarked on a farewell tour dubbed the “Last Smash.”
 

Tung Fu ru

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HellioN

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Dupe police!
Guess I missed that.
Oh well.
 

Neo Alec

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Sad news for people. Good news for watermelons.
 

Xavier

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His sludge'oMatic bit at the end of his shows was kinda dumb, guess that was his gimmick though.
He used props a lot too, costume changes, some of it was whatever...

Another comedian who had days and days of material, versus many stand-ups who have just 5-15 minutes worth.
Edit: Like WIlliams, Carlin.. they are other comedians who had tons of material

He used a lot of word play. His jokes were clever but still simple..even children should be able to understand many of them.
In fact he appeared to have a childish view, like he never grew up. Some props he liked were a giant hot wheels he would ride around on stage and roller skates and pogo sticks.

He also slipped in a bit of social commentary and activism. -Say climate and equality
You might not recognize much of it today because he was right and his views ended up winning.
He wasn't an asshole or scolding about it though either so that's why it worked.

 
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terry.330

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Yeah he's had dozen shows, specials and tours and rarely recycles material.
Are you saying George Carlin only had 15 minutes of material? Because that's the way you worded it.
 

wataru330

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In 2003, Gallagher ran for Governor of California.

In his campaign, he vowed to sing the National Anthem in Spanish and to

"clear Southern California freeways with the help of military helicopters,"

"I have insults for both sides," he added.
 

LoneSage

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Gallagher visited (not Gallagher's brother, remember that controversy?) my city for a show in 2010 or 2011, I went to it. He got some laughs, but the one thing I remembered was how he didn't have energy, that stage energy that comedians need. It was very much a going through the motions kind of performance. Damn, thinking on it, it was definitely a guy doing the same act since 1980. He was 65-ish at the time so whatever. I'm glad I got to see him.

I went to the hotel bar after the show and got to meet him when he was leaving. RIP dude.
 

wataru330

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Maybe he had his first major heart attack, not long after you met him. Would explain his low energy.
 

HellioN

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Are you saying George Carlin only had 15 minutes of material? Because that's the way you worded it.
I'm pretty sure he was saying that guys like Gallagher and Carlin had lots of material to pull from and went on to do a bunch of shows without repeating much.
Unlike some who you only ever hear from once then they vanish.
 

Lagduf

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Listen I like Xavier alright but as I’ve said before I can only understand what he is getting at in about three out of every five of his posts.
 

Neo Alec

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It was like seeing an old band in concert and expecting to hear the hits. The audience would've come away disappointed if they went to one of his shows and the first few rows (in the "splash zone") didn't get dirty. There was an expectation when you bought the ticket. Audience members brought huge tarps.
 

StevenK

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Listen I like Xavier alright but as I’ve said before I can only understand what he is getting at in about three out of every five of his posts.
I think of xavier giving out military orders and i think friendly fire
 

Xavier

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Video game related he had an arcade game on the American Laser Games system.
Same system that had Mad Dog McRee and Crime Patrol.
It was a laserdisc player attached to an Amiga.
Gallagher's Gallery:


's Gallery is a laserdisc game created by American Laser Games in 1992. In this game, you must shoot at things that Gallagher tells you to shoot at. Some of the items are school lunches, cans of spinach, glass jars, fish tanks, telephones, gumball machines, and many other kinds of objects. If you make it through all the levels, you go on to the final round, "Death By Melons". In this round, you must stop Gallagher from smashing watermelons with his trademark "Sledge-O-Matic".

Looks kinda stupid actually.
Never got a home port and appears to have barely gotten past beta stage.
I've never seen it in person and I collected this system and never could find the laserdisc but had or made a romset for it.
(I had all the other games)
 

100proof

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RIP or whatever but let's slow our roll putting Gallagher on comedy Mt. Rushmore. The guy was a hacky prop comic and a joke thief who was a laughing stock in the comedy community.

If Pryor was the Beatles and Carlin was the Stones, Gallagher would be Ratt: a one-hit wonder that still toured for 35 years because people wanted to see the one hit but was largely seen as a joke past the few years when he was famous. The dude was a county fair act for 75% of his career. Carlin sold out theaters for 40 years and successfully reinvented himself multiple times.
 

Xavier

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Whaasa da matter wid you?

Who said any of that?

Google says his net worth is 300-500k that means if he has a nice house in a decent place he might have debt.
I say he's a hustler but doesn't have much to show for it. That's reality.

Seems to me everybody has hated prop comics for 30+ years. as long as I can remember.
Carrottop was hot for a second and then everybody has hated him for decades too.

Pauly Shore uploaded a interview with him yesterday, both of them are 10's on the weird eccentric scale.
He says he broke in it and doesn't have a house.

Screw it another video:

Anyways Carlin has large swaths of his career where he wasn't funny.
To the ininitaited he comes across as a grumpy old man at the end.
I bet if he hadn't of gotten that couple seconds in Bill & Tedd I never would have heard of him.
 
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