RIP, Gallagher…

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… 🍉.

Explore posts in the same categories: absurdities, alternative realities, comedy

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3 Comments on “RIP, Gallagher…”

  1. johnlmalone Says:

    fascinating tribute —

    Liked by 1 person

    • carycomic Says:

      I remember the first two times I saw him on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. The first appearance, he was “selling” the home game version of the Tonight Show! The 2nd time, of course, featured the debut of the Sledge-o-matic.

      “It makes acres of apple sauce. Mounds of mashed potatoes. It’ll even make French fries! But, I swear, you gotta crack that sucker juuuuust right.”

      “It can also remove unwanted fingerprints from wall…and unwanted walls from fingerprints. Now, these usually go for $9.95 a piece. But, I can let you have it for ten dollars, cash money; two for twenty-five!”

      Liked by 2 people


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