Gallagher, comedian known for his watermelon smash routine, dies at 76

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — Comedian Gallagher, best known for his watermelon comedy routine and many popular TV specials in the 1980s, died Friday morning, according to his manager Craig Marquardo. He was 76 years old.

According to a statement provided to CNN by Marquardo, the comedian died “after a short battle of health” and “passed away surrounded by family in Palm Springs, California.”

Gallagher, born Leo Gallagher, became a household name in the early ’80s with a comedy special called “An Uncensored Evening,” the first comedy special ever to air on cable TV, according to an obituary shared by Marquardo.

Gallagher’s most famous piece involved a handmade sledgehammer he called the “Sledge-O-Matic”, which he used to smash food on stage, pulverizing the audience.

“It was something else that he loved to claim credit for, that physically engaged the audience in that way,” the obituary said.

This is a developing story. This article will continue to be updated as new information becomes available.

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