How Did I Spend My Weekend? Wondering about Gallagher.

Because one of Venice’s friends has a daughter who’s recently gotten into tool-facilitated-vegetable-demolition, we started a conversation about the comedian Gallagher. Gallagher, for those who don’t remember much about mid-1980s cable comedy, used to do specials for Showtime that involved telling innocuous jokes–“why do we park on a driveway and drive on a parkway”–and smashing fruit with big hammers. (He displayed his continued, and I must say formidable skills at the latter in a GEICO commercial recently.)

More recently, apparently bored by his former act, Gallagher has decided to add large amounts of racism and homophobia. He also, at one point, tried out a Spanish language version of his act, despite having only a 1st semester of high school understanding of the language. Patton Oswalt describes it all, brilliantly, in a radio interview:

Like Oswalt, I wonder what kind of James Ellroy-novel nightmare turned Gallagher from innocuous prop comic to vile, racist prop comic. How did he come to this? Did Gallagher’s sledge hammer bounce back from a smashed melon and hit him hard in the head? Or did Gallagher step through an inter-dimensional wormhole, changing places with the Gallagher from the Spock-has-a-beard universe? If so, we’ve got evil Gallagher while the good one tries to make a living in the evilverse:

“TELL THE JOKE, WORM!”

“But I don’t hate gay or transgendered people.”

“TELL IT OR GET READY TO HURT!”

“Okay. Jesus. Put away the iron hooks…um…okay…’People like Cher’s daughter—figure that out…’ Oh, God! How did I get here?”

“VERY FUNNY, AFTERBIRTH. NOW NAME A MELON OBAMA AND SMASH IT.”

“But I…”

“SMASH IT!!!”

So, anybody know what happened to Gallagher? And if so, is there a simple inoculation to prevent it from happening to anyone else?

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