Back in March Gallagher suffered three separate heart attacks and it seemed like the very appropriate time to post a long-gestating Gallagher piece we had been planning to write. Well, obviously, two months have passed, but during that interim we kept this tab open in our browser, a reminder that, eventually, we needed to get to it, to talk about Gallagher, to try to make some sense of this fallen from grace comedian in the twilight of career, and possibly of his life.
We should preface this by detailing our own personal history with Gallagher. We very clearly recall watching his cable specials as a child, filling time slots in the early years of Comedy Central and possibly even on VH1, before they had Celebrity Rehab to occupy the bulk of their schedule. Of course we remember the watermelon smashing – the Sledge-O-Matic – but we also vividly remember a giant couch, outfitted with a trampoline under the giant cushions, and as an eight year-old that seemed like the coolest thing ever. It was like Lily Tomlin’s Edith Ann, but crossed with a playground, with a purpose. We wanted one. The stage, with its oversized props, was quite literally a giant toy store, and Gallagher was the wily proprietor, with a sparkle in his eye and a mischievous grin. We’re not sure at the time that we really understood “comedy,” but we liked whatever he was doing. It may not have been comedy, but it sure as fuck was entertaining to a kid still five-years shy of his Bar Mitzvah.
We’ve admitted to having a soft spot for Gallagher, having vivid memories of watching his stand up specials that were replayed on Vh1 in the early 90s, and, in fact, seeing him live when he played Westbury Music Fair in the late 90s (and he was totally generous about autographing the t-shirt we had our parents buy us). While we certainly don’t agree with his politics, or really any of his views in general, we still think he’s gotten somewhat of a raw deal, at least in terms of the perception of his career. He might be hanging on now, truly a lion in winter, and his act might have gone off the rails, but there’s no denying he was a star for a time, and that few comedians have achieved the degree of success that he did. And, in fact, his most popular bit was his undoing, as the watermelon smashing Sledge-O-Matic routine has unfortunately come to define him (well, maybe until now), obscuring the more creative, cerebral parts of his act.
It’s doubtful we’ll ever witness a full-fledged Gallagher comeback. By now he seems to have lost or screw or two. Or perhaps he was always missing a couple, but their absence just manifested itself in less crazy and bitter ways. But at least we know that if our car ever gets stuck on a bridge that Gallagher has our back.
Earlier today we noted that Tony Danza has transitioned from reality TV star to web comedy personality. And now we know what a sketch comedian does after being let go from SNL. They turn to recurring roles on hackneyed cable sitcoms! Because you can now find Casey Wilson on TV Land’s newest clearly targeted at older viewers show, Retired at 35. Here she is as Amy, George Segal and Jessica Walter’s unappreciated, romantically challenged daughter:
Well, at least she’s finally getting laughs, even if they’re added in post.
Later we find out that her totally real boyfriend is totally gay because he likes to cook and wears pink. We guess if the show is going to specifically try to appeal to older viewers they might as well use twenty-year old jokes. Way to not even try, Retired at 35!
Seriously, in a post for another day, is this an obscene use of the laugh track? Or is the device just so foreign to us now?
Well, no. Not even close. But over on the terrific comedy blog Splitsiderwe take a closer look at the overlooked legacy of the ill-fated, short-lived MTV show.
And, while you’re here, check out this brilliant instructional video parody from the show, written by Delocated‘s Jon Glaser and featuring Mr. Show‘s Jay Johnston and John Ennis, one of the few comedic high points for The Jenny McCarthy Show.
Well the good vibes had to end at some point, and after a string of strong and then stronger episodes, that run ended rather abruptly with last week’s episode, “Christening.” We actually don’t have too much to say about it, which is to expected since it aired a week ago, but also because it was a rather forgettable episode.
Ah, the good old days, when TV characters could ask if someone was gay through a simple effeminate, flamboyant gesture meant to resemble of how every gay man ever acts. And for bonus points is David Schwimmer AS Ross Geller. Crossover alert!
Lesson learned: if you admire a sweater worn by someone of the same sex then you’re a big-time homo. Thanks Must See TV!