Friday, April 21, 2017

Gallagher


There are celebrities I don't like. Some are extremely successful, like Tom Cruise, but others are in sad decline and I feel guilty for not liking them. So it's such a relief when they turn out to be horrible people I can freely hate.

I don't know how I got into this, but I listened to a couple of interviews with '80s comedy sensation Gallagher on YouTube.

Gallagher was a prop comic who was huge in the '80's. He had 14 specials on Showtime in his day. I only saw one. His thing was smashing watermelons with a sledge hammer. That's how he would end each show.

Gallagher is now 70. He hasn't modified his look since the 1980s. Bald on top with long hair on the sides.

But he's turned angry, bitter and racist, attacking Arabs, Jews, Mexicans, gays, lesbians, and I don't know who else. He also attacks other comedians all of whom he considers his inferiors. He's outraged that comics drink water on stage.

Marc Maron interviewed him on his podcast. It didn't go well. Maron seemed to feel bad about it. He spoke at length before playing the recorded interview (which Gallagher walked out on.) He didn't know Gallagher and Gallagher seemed to know nothing about him. But their agents spoke and they were both in Portland, Oregon, at the same time, so they did the interview in Maron's hotel room.

Gallagher said he had been out to make a lot of money but didn't see how this shaped his career. He couldn't understand why he didn't have a talk show. I don't necessarily think he felt entitled to one, but, as Maron said, he seemed to lack self-awareness. He didn't know how he ended up where he is today, and he doesn't understand why he was being attacked for his anti-gay or anti-Arab jokes. He mentioned an anti-Semitic joke perhaps not knowing Maron was Jewish.

"Can we tell a Jew joke that they don't want to pay?" Gallagher said.

"Why?" Maron said. "It's not true."

"It's not true---why do people laugh?"

"Because it's a stereotype, that's been established. Most people that laugh at those jokes don't have a Jew in their life."

Here is Galagher on Opie and Anthony. The late Patrice O'Neal tries to be helpful, advising Gallagher to update his look, quit the melon thing and use his full name.

And here is Marc Maron on Opie and Anthony discussing his interview with Gallagher.

They All Laughed

By the way, there was Peter Bogdanovich's 1980's movie, They All Laughed. It wasn't bad, but it was a disaster at the box office for various reasons. I watched it and thought one of the characters was modeled on Gallagher, a frizzy-haired adult on roller skates. It stood as grim testament to Gallagher's popularity at the time.

And another thing----I mentioned Gallagher's outrage at comics drinking water on stage. Didn't Steve Martin, a bit of a prop comic himself, do a thing back then----he would take a drink of water, spill a little on the stage and think it didn't matter, then he would grab the mic stand and pretend to be electrocuted. Drinking water isn't a new thing.

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