Archive for November 15, 2022

RIP, Gallagher…

November 15, 2022

There’s something in the American character that delights in smashing things for fun, which is why I suppose we have demolition derbies. Tapping into the lust for therapeutic wanton destruction was the late iconoclastic comedian Gallagher, whose brilliant if unconventional performance art wrapped observational and prop comedy in a keen sense of the absurd, delivered by a large wooden mallet, the Sledge-O-Matic…

As Steve Martin aptly observed, “Comedy isn’t pretty,” so it was prudent to attend a Gallagher performance wrapped in a plastic rain poncho or at least covered by plastic sheeting if you were sitting in the first several rows of the audience to protect you from the side spray of the mallet mayhem. All kinds of fluid-containing smashable foods (but especially fruit) came under the hammer…

Now what is it about watermelon, anyways, that makes people want to be mean to them? Well, fruit in general tends to be funny, as we can tell from the frequency of banana jokes and the supposed hilarity of slipping on banana peels. Watermelon is just a really big fruit, and it almost begs to be abused, being green and striped and all. Gallagher aside, you can find videos of people seeing how many rubber bands it takes to stretch over a watermelon before it simply explodes. Watermelon rights activists, of course, might take issue with this…

Gallagher showed us how to deal with annoying fruit and other such nuisances. His last performance was in 2014, and he took a lot of fruit with him. His shows could be oddly purgative and therapeutic, kinda like primal scream therapy for comedy. He will forever be memorable, and may he rest In peace… 🍉.


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