Art

Watermelon-Man Gallagher, Sans 'Stache, Hits Arts Garage on Sunday

Donald Trump is probably the funniest comedian of 2015, but his biggest impact in the world of comedy might be that he convinced Gallagher to shave off his trademark mustache for the first time in 40 years so he could imitate the bombastic presidential candidate. Leo Gallagher, the one-time pop-culture sensation who took watermelon-smashing to the masses, will bring his act — sans facial hair — to the Arts Garage in Delray Beach on Sunday. But beyond his Donald Trump imitation, for which he combs his hair over his bald spot, he has little intention of sharing what audiences can expect at his show.

"Are you going to put it in the paper?" he asked New Times.

We tell him generally that's the reason we do these interviews, so readers can be informed of their entertainment options.

"Well, I don't want to tell you what I'm going to do, so you can put it in the paper, Mr. Newspaperman. Is the paper for people who want to know what went on in the show with no intention of going there? It's a nightclub act. You don't tell people what you're doing in the daytime in a paper; you do it when you're drinking and the sun's been down awhile."

Fair enough, we tell him, but then he adds, "My doing a nightclub act is only the tip of the iceberg of my creativity."

"My nightclub act really beats the shit out of the audience."

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At this point, he spoke uninterrupted for 20 minutes about his countless interests at a faster pace than his "Sledge-O-Matic" routine. It was unclear whether this was his act or his reality. He said he was meeting with Lady Gaga's costumer later that evening to discuss clothing ideas. He owns a patent for internet slot machines. He wrote a screenplay for Jennifer Lopez, since she shares his birthday, about a lingerie backpack that pops out angel wings, but it's not important if she plays the role. He also revealed that the stage play he told New Times about last year — in which gay men change clothes so they can decide who leads on the dance floor — has now been converted into a screenplay.

"What is your email address?" he asked and then began to inundate us with emails from an address that had melon in its name. Included are several epic poems about Ireland, random jokes about Tom Cruise and Hillary Clinton, and then come the shocking photographs of a mustacheless Gallagher as Donald Trump.

Our loud laugh opens Gallagher up to reveal details about his act a bit. "I'm Donald Trump's apprentice. I suggest the best ways he can next put his foot in his mouth." One of those bits of advice to Trump that Gallagher sent us in one of his many emails is, "I suggest Mr. Trump should say, 'Boy... Bruce Jenner sure went to a lot of trouble just to run into Bill Cosby. If I ever run into Bruce, I'll tell him his show needed a catchier title, like The Dick Then Dyke Show.'?"

Some of his bravado begins to come out as he fills up our inbox. "My nightclub act is really good and really fast, and it beats the shit out of the audience, and they leave exhausted. I'm going to release endorphins in their body that fight cancer because they laugh so much. Doing nightclub jokes isn't that much of a challenge. I can write my entire act in a couple of days; that's not going to occupy my mind. I want to make the world a better place."

But before that can happen, there are watermelons that need to be destroyed.

"Watermelons for everyone!"

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David Rolland is a freelance writer for New Times Broward-Palm Beach and Miami New Times. His novel, The End of the Century, published by Jitney Books, is available at many fine booksellers.
Contact: David Rolland