(PALM SPRINGS, CA)– Veteran comedian Gallagher, the sledgehammer wielding funnyman who rose to fame by smashing watermelons, has died his longtime manager announced on Friday.
He was 76.
Gallagher had been under hospice care in California for some time before succumbing to “massive organ failure” according his manager.
Born Leo Gallagher in Fort Bragg, NC, he started his career in the late 1960s with a mixture of prop and observational comedy.
By the 1980s his popularity had exploded on the strength of several Showtime TV specials and sold out nationwide tours.
His signature routine, the ‘Sledge-o-Matic’, is what he is most remembered for, where he used a wooden mallet to smash food on stage, with a watermelon serving as the grand finale.
Gallagher continued working through the 90s and 2000s but was beset a series of heart attacks starting in 2011.
He is survived his daughter Aimee, and Barnaby, his son.