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Gallagher, American Comic Identified for Smashing Watermelons, Dies at 76


Comic Gallagher, greatest identified for his watermelon-smashing comedy routine and plenty of fashionable specials within the Eighties, died Friday morning, in accordance with his supervisor Craig Marquardo. He was 76.

In accordance with a press release offered to CNN by Marquardo, the comic died “after a brief well being battle” and “handed away surrounded by his household in Palm Springs, California.”

Gallagher, born Leo Gallagher, turned a family title within the early ’80s with a comedy particular titled “An Uncensored Night,” the primary comedy get 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 one thing else he favored to say credit score for, which was bodily partaking the viewers in that method,” the obituary stated.

Gallagher, a Fort Bragg, North Carolina native, earned a chemical engineering diploma from the College of South Florida earlier than shifting to Los Angeles and creating 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.

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

TV was good to him and in 1978, he made an look on “The Mike Douglas Present” and the subsequent 12 months appeared on “The Merv Griffin Present.”

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.

“Whereas his counterparts went on to do sitcoms, host speak exhibits and star in films, Gallagher stayed on the street touring America for many years,” the obituary stated. “He was fairly positive he held a report for probably the most get 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.

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