Leo Gallagher Obituary, Death -Leo Gallagher, a legendary comedian died Friday morning, according to his manager Craig Marquardo, best known in the 1980s for his watermelon-smashing comedy routine and many hit specials. He was 76. Marquardo claims that the comedian died “after a brief health battle” and “passed away in Palm Springs, California, surrounded by his family.” Gallagher, born Leo Gallagher, became a household name in the early 1980s with a comedy spectacular dubbed “An Uncensored Evening,” the first comedic stand-up special ever to air on cable television, according to an obituary published by Marquardo.

Gallagher’s most famous performance saw him drenching the audience with a hand-made sledgehammer he called the “Sledge-O-Matic.” According to the obituary, he “liked to claim credit for physically engaging the audience in that sense.” According to his biography on the Selak Entertainment booking agency’s website, Gallagher, a Fort Bragg, North Carolina native, earned a chemical engineering degree from the University of South Florida before moving to Los Angeles and honing his comedy act at the legendary Sunset Strip venue The Comedy Store.

Everyone drew notice when he performed his brand of prop comedy on Johnny Carson’s legendary “The Tonight Show” in 1975. He first appeared on “The Mike Douglas Show” in 1978, then on “The Merv Griffin Show” the following year. But it was his 1980s Showtime comedy specials that cemented his place in mainstream culture, and he went on to make more than a dozen for the network over the next 27 years. He used to be a regular on MTV and Comedy Central.

According to the obituary, “while his contemporaries went on to make sitcoms, host talk shows, and star in movies, Gallagher remained on the road touring America for decades.” “He was certain he held the record for the most stand-up dates by sheer attrition.” Gallagher continued to tour until the Covid-19 pandemic occurred, using the time to visit with his son Barnaby and daughter Aimee, the latter of whom had appeared in his specials as a child.