Gallagher, watermelon smashing comic, useless at 76


Comic Gallagher, finest recognized for his watermelon-smashing comedy routine and plenty of well-liked specials within the Eighties, died Friday morning, in accordance his supervisor Craig Marquardo. He was 76.

In accordance with a press release offered to CNN by Marquardo, the comic died “after a short health battle” and “passed away surrounded by his family in Palm Springs, California.”

Gallagher, born Leo Gallagher, grew to become a family identify within the early ’80s with a comedy particular titled “An Uncensored Evening,” the primary comedy rise up particular ever to air on cable tv, in accordance with an obituary shared by Marquardo.

Gallagher’s most well-known bit concerned a hand-made sledgehammer he known as the “Sledge-O-Matic,” which he would use to smash meals on stage, spraying the viewers.

“That was something else he liked to claim credit for, which was physically engaging the audience in that manner,” the obituary mentioned.

Gallagher, a Fort Bragg, North Carolina native, earned a chemical engineering diploma from the College of South Florida earlier than transferring to Los Angeles and growing his comedy act at legendary venue The Comedy Retailer, positioned on the Sundown Strip, in accordance with his biography on the web site for Selak Leisure, a reserving company.

Individuals started to take discover in 1975 when he carried out his model of prop comedy on Johnny Carson’s famed “The Tonight Show.”

TV was good to him and in 1978, he made an look on “The Mike Douglas Show” and the subsequent yr appeared on “The Merv Griffin Show.”

However it was his Showtime Eighties comedy specials that firmly cemented him in popular culture, and he would go on to do greater than a dozen for the community over 27 years.

He was additionally an early staple of MTV and Comedy Central.

“While his counterparts went on to do sitcoms, host talk shows and star in movies, Gallagher stayed on the road touring America for decades,” the obituary mentioned. “He was pretty sure he held a record for the most stand up dates, by attrition alone.”

Gallagher toured steadily till the Covid-19 pandemic hit and used the break to spend time together with his son, Barnaby, and daughter Aimee, the latter of whom had appeared with him on his specials when she was a toddler.