In addition to crushing watermelons on stage, Gallagher was renowned for his observational humor and prop comedy. His longtime manager announced that the comic passed away on Friday at the age of 76.
After a “brief health fight,” the comedian passed away in Palm Springs, California, accompanied by his family, according to a statement sent to USA TODAY on Friday by the comic’s former manager Craig Marquardo. Marquardo noted that Gallagher had previously had many heart attacks.
Even if he had his critics, Marquardo noted, “He was an obvious talent and an American success story.”
On July 24, 1946, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, comedian Leo Gallagher was born. With the help of his comedy show “An Uncensored Evening,” he became well-known in the 1980s. Over the next three decades, he went on to perform in more than a dozen Showtime specials.
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He is well renowned for his physically demanding comic performances, especially his “Sledge-O-Matic” skit, in which he would crush food and other things with a big wooden mallet before concluding the show with a watermelon.
According to Marquardo, Gallagher was the top comic in America for 15 years, with the rise in his popularity being attributed to stand-up specials on MTV during its formative years.
Gallagher took humor to a new level, according to a tweet from Comedy Central on Friday.
On Twitter, comedian Dane Cook also paid tribute to Gallagher: “When I first started out, Gallagher gave a concert in Boston. He made everyone in the room start laughing. It was impressive to see. Adieu, Gallagher.”
Barnaby, Gallagher’s son, and Aimee, his daughter, outlive him.
73-year-old Jeff Cook of Alabama, one of the co-founders of the country band, passes away after a Parkinson’s struggle.
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