Leo Anthony Gallagher (born July 24, 1946) is an American stand-up comedian famous for his observational humor and Smashing Watermelons with a huge hammer. He emerged as a popular comedy performer in the 1980s, and tragically stayed there, overshadowed by his own gimmick.
As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki.
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: 1984's Melon Crazy has a 20-minute long guest spot by comedian Bill Kirchenbauer. He and Gallagher also do an early version of a Whose Line Is It Anyway? 'Props' routine.
- Arch-Enemy: Allegedly Joel Hodgson, who caught him rifling through his props for new ideas, and insulting Hodgson for just using props for the sake of using props.
- Audience Participation: Since his heart attack, he usually brings people from the audience up to smash things instead of doing it himself.
- Bald of Awesome: Surrounded by a fringe of hippie-esque long hair. As he put it, "God wanted me to look like a pencil with the eraser chewed off?"
- Covered in Gunge: The audience of any of his shows. People used to bring ponchos, garbage bags, etc. to his performances because they knew they'd wind up covered in applesauce, water, chocolate syrup, watermelon glop, and everything else he could smash.You're quite correct to have your plastic sheets up at this time.
- Drop the Hammer: On apples, cantaloupes, cottage cheese, watermelon, etc
- Early Installment Weirdness: His early TV specials featured Sledge-O-Matic as just another weird stunt instead of the Grand Finale, and frequently included things like roller skating stunts, song and dance routines, and erotic balloon animals.
- 1981's Mad as Hell special omits Sledge-O-Matic entirely.
- 1982's That's Stupid was a series of sketches where Gallagher examines stupid things in and around his suburban LA home.
- Erudite Stoner: "I don't experiment with drugs. I'm into full-scale research."
- Explaining some of his new, big-budget props: "That's right folks, I finally make more money than I can smoke."
- "I went through the metal detector at the airport the other day, and it didn't go 'ding' because weed ain't metallic."
- Eye Scream: In his 'Messing Up Texas' special he smashes a pie pan full of mustard that sprays into his eyes, leaving him so debilitated he has to solicit volunteers from the audience to wield Sledge-O-Matic.
- The same thing happens with mouthwash in his 'Sledge-O-Matic.com' special.
- Infomercial: Parodied.Ladies and gentlemen! I didn't come here to make you laugh, I came here to sell you something! I want you to pay particular attention! The amazing Mastertool Corporation, a subsidiary of Fly-By-Night Industries, has entrusted who - me! - to show you the handiest and the dandiest kitchen tool you've ever seen, and don't you want to know how it works?!
- Insane Troll Logic: A huge part of his routine was pointing these out in everyday life."How come it is that when you write a check that bounces, the bank charges you more of what they know you don't have any of?""I saw a smoke detector the other day with a guarantee. Why? If it doesn't work, what's left?""Then you park on a driveway and drive on a parkway. Cargo goes by ship, a shipment goes by truck, you have a pair of panties but just one bra."
- Heart Trauma: Due to a heart condition, he had retired from performing for a while. He's currently (as of this writing) on a national comedy tour ("The Joke's on You" tour).
- Last-Name Basis / Only One Name
- Nice Hat: Many, but mostly his signature flat caps and modified bowler hat with handle for spinning.
- Only in Florida: Gallagher was born in North Carolina, but guess where he grew up?
- Precision S Strike: From "Stuck in the Sixties":In the modern kitchen there is the standard rule'That for every kitchen task, you must have the proper toolSo we have your corers, your boarers, your graters, your shreddersYour hashers, your mashers, your hammers and frammersYour mailers and tailors, corkscrewers and skewers,That your knifesy wives and dishwashing daughtersWill find in the depths of your dirty dishwaterBut do you want all that shit in your drawers?
- Spectator Casualty: Downplayed; the front rows of at least some of his shows had plastic sheeting for the audience to pull over their heads when things got ... messy. It didn't work very well (see Covered in Gunge, above).
- Uncanny Family Resemblance: His younger brother Ron Gallagher actually had a minor career touring, entertaining, and Sledge-O-Maticing as 'Gallagher Too'. Yes, The '80s were a weird decade.