Gallagher plans a smashing good time at the Egyptian Theatre
December 22, 2015
His name is Leo Anthony Gallagher Jr., but to the comedy world, he is known as Gallagher. And he is coming to Park City.
The funny man, known for smashing watermelons and other objects with the huge wooden mallet called the Sledge-o-Matic, is looking forward to his weeklong residency at the Egyptian Theatre that starts Saturday, Dec. 26, because he wants to try out some new routines.
"I’m developing this Donald Trump routine," Gallagher said during a phone call to The Park Record. "I’m working on that. I think it will help with the fun and excitement of the show."
Before anyone gets worried, Gallagher said he would not be smashing watermelons donned up as the Republican presidential candidate. Instead, he has written a routine about Trump to the songs, "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" and "Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off," also known as the "You Say Tomato" song.
"I also have a series of Old Mother Hubbard rhymes that are about Donald," Gallagher said. "I thought that would be endearing to have him reading a newspaper to the kids and on the way have him put in all of his political jibes and comments."
In addition, the comic has drawn artwork that will accompany the routine.
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"I want to smooth these out and add them to the show," he said.
Once he refines the jokes during his Egyptian Theatre performances, he wants to put them online.
"There are so many ways to go in this electronic age," Gallagher said. "What I’m going to do is post the routine on the Internet at the beginning of the new year. So, I may be video taping at the theater during some of the last shows."
This is how Gallagher works, he said.
"This is how I did 14 specials for Showtime," he said. "I would stop doing my old material and just work on new stuff."
Some of the new things may include an invention or two. Like when he attached a car door to a tricycle so he could roll down the window during a traffic stop.
"A good idea is a terrible burden," he said. "Yes, they just pop into my mind and I have to put them on the list. But by doing that, it unfortunately makes more for me to do."
That’s why Gallagher has to be selective in what projects he tackles next.
"It’s very difficult to figure out where you put your time," he said. "I always say ‘everything you do kills everything you could have done."
That means he has to forego some of his other classic bits during select performances.
"I have my job to do and I need to try to things out on an audience," he said. "I mean, if you never try it out, you will never try it out.
"It seems like most comedians are afraid to work with new stuff, so once they get a routine, they stick with that for as long as they can," Gallagher said. "That’s the hole that some of these other entertainers get in. Night after night they get lazy and decide they do the same show over and over again and then to play golf, or whatever it is they do."
Gallagher said he doesn’t have time to golf.
"I spend all day working on something new and then once I get a product finished and put it on the Internet, I move on," he said.
Those familiar with Gallagher know he can smash a melon just a quick as he can decimate a political issue in his act.
"I say that I’m like everybody’s uncle or brother," he said. "I won’t say I’m everybody’s father, because there are some really old people in my audience. But I can at least be their uncle or their equal who points out inconsistencies in what people say or do.
"Before I got into comedy, I really wanted to be a scientist," he said. "I had my own nitric acid plant before I could drink beer, and I’ve trained my mind to find anything inconsistent or illogical in people’s behaviors."
For example, Gallagher doesn’t believe everyone has a right to vote on a hot-button issue such as gun control.
"If you don’t ever leave your house and your house is armed like a fortress, you shouldn’t have anything to say about guns, because that should be done by people who want to go to concerts and do public things," he said. "They’re the ones at risk and they should be the only ones who discuss this and vote on this."
Another thing that irks Gallagher are opinions posted on Yelp or other social-media sites.
"When people get online and post their opinions about something like a show, whose to say or ask what other shows they have critiqued, you know?" he said. "It seems everybody’s an authority, but I mean what are their standards? It doesn’t make sense to me."
The comedian also has a problem with the logic of employers.
"When a person retires, they are given a watch," he said. "That’s something they don’t need anymore. When they retire, they won’t have to get to work on time. They won’t have deadlines, meetings or appointments. I think people should get a watch when they’re hired on.
"Our traditions, if you look at them like an analyst, things don’t make sense," he said. "I mean, who thought about putting telephone poles so close to the road?"
Gallagher moved from science to comedy when he met stand-up comic Jim Stafford.
"I thought I could help him because I have a degree in English Literature and love the language and writing," Gallagher said. "He had a career going and offered me travel and excitement. It was something I could hang my wagon on."
So, Gallagher planned Stafford’s appearances, wrote the order of his jokes and arranged his costuming.
"I didn’t have to go to small clubs and work my way up, because I was in it all," Gallagher said. "Then I looked around and saw that I was 30 years old and wondered if I should go back to science."
then Gallagher already had his Sledge-O-Matic routine.
"I had sent the idea off to George Carlin, because I thought it would be fun to say I wrote something for him," he said. "I gave away a multi-million-dollar idea because I was a scientist. But then George wrote back and told me that he does his own jokes."
When Gallagher comes to Park City, he will share the stage with his son, Barnaby.
"He plays banjo music on a sitar," Gallagher said. "He’ll be playing as the audience comes into the theater. He’ll put a mood to the room."
Stand-up comedian and icon Gallagher will perform a week-long series of shows at Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St., from Saturday, Dec. 26, through Saturday, Jan. 2. All shows begin at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $29 to $45 and can be purchased by visiting http://www.parkcityshows.com . For more information, visit http://www.gallaghersmash.com . For more information about Barnaby Gallagher, visit http://www.barnabygallagher.com.
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