Gallagher died at 76 on Friday, November 11. The comedian, whose full title was Leo Anthony Gallagher Jr., handed away as a result of organ failure, in accordance with a press release from his supervisor Craig Marquardo to CNN. The comic’s rep confirmed his dying in a press release to Itsnews. “He handed away immediately in Palm Springs, California, in hospice care,” they stated.
Known for his bombastic stage present, which included him smashing watermelons, Gallagher was beloved by audiences for many years. The comic had quite a few Showtime comedy specials and carried out everywhere in the nation. After many years within the highlight, he’s been broadly referenced in numerous parodies and tributes through the years. He’s survived by his daughter Aimee and son Barnaby. Find out extra in regards to the comedian right here.
1. Gallagher was a touring comedian for over 40 years.
Gallagher’s comedy profession started within the late Nineteen Sixties, the place he carried out on the Comedy Store and Ice House. He made his debut on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson in 1975, which is taken into account a ceremony of passage for a lot of comedians. He carried out many instances on the present through the years. As a comic book, Gallagher was thought-about an innovator of prop comedy, and earned the nickname “The Wizard of Odd,” per The New York Times.
While he used a big selection of props, his signature joke was most well-known because the “Sledge-O-Matic,” which concerned him taking a sledgehammer to all kinds of fruits, however probably the most remembered have been the watermelons. He stated it was the primary routine that he wrote in a 2011 interview with Marc Maron on his WTF podcast. He launched his first particular An Uncensored Evening in 1980, and his most up-to-date efficiency was at New York’s Gotham Comedy Club in 2014 for Gotham Comedy Live.
2. He had a level in chemistry.
While his prop comedy act could appear quite simple, Gallagher’s early profession earlier than performing might shock some. He graduated with a level in chemical engineering from the University of South Florida, with a minor in English. After he graduated, he labored briefly as a chemist and in addition as a supervisor for musician Jim Stafford. He admitted that he wasn’t certain what he would’ve utilized his diploma in the direction of, however advised maybe most cancers analysis within the aforementioned WTF interview. He additionally stated he continued to satisfy with physicists as he toured in his profession.
3. In later years, his act was criticized for offensive stereotypes.
While many beloved Gallagher’s foolish type of prop comedy, some points of his efficiency courted controversy later in his profession. He was reported to have made racist and homophobic jokes throughout his act in a 2010 overview by The Stranger. Marc Maron confronted Gallagher about drawing on racist stereotypes throughout the 2011 WTF interview, which led to the comic strolling out on the podcaster. “Why are you taking the opposite facet of every little thing I say?” Gallagher requested shortly earlier than strolling out.
Aside from his controversial jokes, Gallagher was sued by individuals who stated they have been injured due to his act. A lady in 1990 claimed she was hit by a prop and unsuccessfully tried to sue him, per The Los Angeles Times. He additionally claimed that he was sued by viewers members who have been injured by a few of his prop comedy in a 2009 interview with The AV Club. “My insurance coverage was truly canceled at one level as a result of somebody sued me saying that that they had been harm severely by a sweet bar within the balcony. Somehow a sweet bar I hit with a tennis racket so the folks on the balcony might have sweet? Said that she was injured in her eye, and the insurance coverage firm determined to not combat her case and pay it off and canceled me!” he stated. Gallagher would additionally sometimes heckle comedians who have been employed to open for him.
4. He sued his brother over the ‘Sledge-O-Matic.’
During the 90s, Gallagher’s youthful brother Ron Gallagher started to tour and carry out his brother’s routine, initially with the unique’s blessing. Ron carried out beneath the title “Gallager Too” or “Two.” He carried out lots of the similar prop comedy jokes that his brother did in his act, per The Baltimore Sun. Gallagher later sued Ron for utilizing the “Sledge-o-Matic” routine in opposition to his needs and in addition that his performances have been marketed as being deceptive, per Variety.
5. He ran for governor of California.
Aside from his comedy profession and scientific pursuits, Gallagher additionally had political aspirations. He ran as an impartial candidate for governor of California in 2003, however he solely garnered about 5,000 votes, in accordance with election records.