Gallagher, the prop comic famed for shattering watermelons onstage and splashing audience members up close, died today of organ failure at his Palm Springs residence, according to a family friend. He was 76.
Leo Anthony Gallagher Jr. had been in poor condition and had undergone many heart attacks, according to his son-in-law.
Gallagher thrived during the late ’80s/early ’90s Golden Era of stand-up comedy, and his defining piece was using the “Sledge-O-Matic,” a sledgehammer-like wooden mallet he used to crush watermelons and other products.
Front-row attendees were offered the option of wearing see-through plastic covers to escape the sticky mess.