Leo Gallagher, an American comedian, is said to have passed away on November 11, 2022, when he was 76 years old.
The comedian gained national recognition in the 1970s and 1980s by appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and in several Showtime specials.
Gallagher rose to fame with his signature act, “Sledge-O-Matic,” in which he used a heavy mallet to break food on stage before presenting the main event: a watermelon. It quickly rose to prominence as the comedian’s most well-known joke and a favorite subject for copying.
His former manager, Craig Marquardt, announced his passing and said that the comic “succumbed to his ailments” in his California home. The statement continued:
He held the top spot for comedy in America for 15 years, in large part due to the popularity of his stand-up specials that debuted on MTV in its early years and attracted a whole different audience.
Gallagher, a Fort Bragg, North Carolina native, earned a chemical engineering degree from the University of South Florida before moving to Los Angeles and perfecting his comedy act at the renowned venue The Comedy Store. In 1975, he made his television debut on The Jim Stafford Show on ABC.
In 1978, he made an appearance on The Mike Douglas Show. He appeared on The Merv Griffin Show the next year. The comedian has also been on several talk shows throughout his career, including Howard Stern’s TV and radio shows, Match Game, David Letterman’s NBC and CBS shows, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and many others. He has made appearances on Comedy Central and MTV.
17 comedy specials have been produced by the talented comedian throughout his nearly 50-year career. Comedian Paul F. Tompkins portrays him in the upcoming movie Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. In his senior year, Gallagher also appeared in a Geico ad for the movie The Book Of Daniel.
Arnold Schwarzenegger defeated Gallagher in the 2003 recall election for governor of California, which featured more than 100 contenders. With 5,466 votes, Gallagher received the 16th-most votes out of 135 contenders.
According to a statement made by Marquardo to The Rolling Stones, Gallagher passed away in Palm Springs, California, from organ failure while being visited by his family. He allegedly suffered numerous heart attacks and was ill. As news of his passing circulated online, a large number of Twitter users began to pay tribute to the renowned comic.
The late-night comic had a history of stirring up controversy. His younger brother Ron started as Leo’s impersonator before getting Leo’s first approval and going on to become a comedian. The latter filed a successful lawsuit against Ron in 2000 for trademark infringement and deceptive advertising.
Ron was hence prohibited from using his brother’s methods. Leo Gallagher has been under increasing fire lately for misrepresenting Mexicans and making homophobic and racial slurs. Even after being questioned about his opinions during an interview with Marc Maron in 2011, he stormed off.
The 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time compiled by Comedy Central last listed Gallagher in 2004. He voiced his displeasure with his low position to Ed Condran of the Oregonian:
“I produced 13 one-hour Showtime specials that are available on VHS,” the author claimed. “I created the one-man cable show.”
Till the Covid-19 outbreak, Gallagher spent the majority of his career performing on an American tours. After that, he made the most of the break to spend time with his daughter Aimee and son Barnaby, both of whom had appeared with him as children on his specials.
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