1980s comedian Gallagher says he will retire

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 24, 2012 12:03 AM
1980s comedian Gallagher says he will retire

By Kim Palmer

Cleveland (Reuters) - Wacky 1980s comedian Gallagher, famous for using a variety of props and smashing things during his act, said he does not plan to return to the stage after he was placed in a medically-induced coma for four days earlier this month.

Gallagher, 65, born as Leo Anthony Gallagher, was best known for his signature "Sledge-O-Matic" routine that involved smashing things on stage, most famously watermelons.

The comedian spoke to Marion, Ohio WDCM radio host Scott Spears on his show "Over Breakfast with Scott Spears" Thursday morning. Spears called the comedian to ask how he was doing after his second heart attack March 14th. It was the second heart attack in a little more than a year, in Lewisville, Texas.

Gallagher said he had two coronary stents replaced and experienced some memory loss after he regained consciousness. "I was surprised that I was in the hospital and my son and daughter were there," Gallagher told Spears, according to an audio tape of the interview.

The comedian also expressed disillusionment about the end of his 32-year career.

"It is babysitting people who can't handle alcohol," he said of his performances of late. "That's why I really don't want to get on stage because I can't remember what I said or what the word is — I don't want to be pitiful."

Gallagher was also briefly in the spotlight when he ran as an Independent for Governor of California in 2003. He finished in 16th place in the voting that subsequently elected Arnold Schwarzenegger.

(Editing by Greg McCune)