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After smashing nearly 15,000 watermelons throughout his lifetime, iconic comedian Gallagher has decided to return to his stand-up roots for his final hurrah. Leo Anthony Gallagher was born in North Carolina and raised in South Tampa, Florida. He graduated from the University of South Florida where he studied Chemical Engineering and English Literature. After college, he changed his focus and began working as comic/musician Jim Stafford’s road manager. In 1969 Gallagher and Stafford traveled to California. It was then that Gallagher decided to attempt performing his own comedy. He proceeded to hone his craft working at both the legendary Ice House Comedy Club in Pasadena as well as the world famous Comedy Store on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood.
Gallagher recorded his first, and only, stand-up comedy album at the Ice House Comedy Club in 1978. Since then he has opened at 100 shows for Kenny Rogers, he has performed 14 comedy specials for Showtime, and in 2004 Comedy Central rated him as the 100th best stand-up comedian of all time. He can be credited as one of the main reasons that Comedy Central was originally created. Gallagher has truly become one of the most popular and recognizable American comedians.
After suffering four heart attacks, Gallagher has decided to hang up his hat and in May 2014 he embarks on his farewell tour “Gallagher’s Last Smash.” During this tour, on May 22, 23rd and 24th, he will be recording his second, and final, stand-up comedy album at the Ice House Comedy Club in Pasadena, CA.
Sure, he’s the famous watermelon smasher. Yes, he literally INVENTED the television stand-up comedy special. Absolutely, 14 Showtime specials is a big deal. And certainly 3,500 live shows to capacity crowds is worth mentioning.
But how about that he is the reason they invented Comedy Central? Or that before him no one ever had that level of interaction with a live audience? Or that he was the #1 comedian (in ticket sales and ratings) for almost 15 years?
Gallagher has led an extroardinary life, with an even more spectacular career. His fanbase is one of the most loyal there is, and he rewards them every chance he gets. Now on his farewell tour, he will do it one last time.