Self-described "comedy legend" Gallagher made news in the comedy community today with his appearance on popular comedy podcast WTF, hosted by Marc Maron (who KPCC listeners may also know from KPCC's Comedy Congress). Gallagher made his name in the '80s for his comedy that prominently featured smashing watermelons with a mallet. He ended up being the first guest Maron's ever had walk out on his podcast in the middle of taping a show.
Maron apologized on his podcast for not handling the interview better and perhaps helping keep the conversation on track. Maron noted that he was approached by Gallagher's representation to be on the podcast; Maron's podcast has gained added notoriety recently after an article about it appeared in the New York Times.
The interview started out relatively calm, with Gallagher talking with Maron about Gallagher's career, starting as a chemist and becoming a huge star thanks to his watermelon bit, though Gallagher voiced frustration with his place in comedy and opportunities that had been offered to other comics. The interview turned contentious when Maron and Gallagher started talking about accusations that Gallagher's recent comedy is racist and homophobic, ultimately leading to Gallagher walking out.
Some of the notable/controversial quotes from Gallagher's interview on the WTF podcast:
"Why don't I have my own TV show then? If I'm a well known comic, shouldn't I have a talk show, a sitcom, some kind of reality show? Why doesn't my phone ring?"
"Why can't I have 'the Tonight Show'?"
"These kids study Pokemon cards."
"I tell jokes somebody else wrote."
"Can I pick on Arabs? ... They're the enemy!"
"There's no blacks in my audience. Not one."
"You can't tell a lesbian joke in Boston, Minneapolis, Portland and Seattle. 'Cause they'll boo you. Their politics is different."
"There's not hate involved here. We're telling jokes. I'm not angry."
"I'm the problem?! Do you think when I'm dead, gays will finally have an opportunity in America? Have I really been holding them down?"
"Can we tell a Jew joke that they don't want to pay? It's not true, why do people laugh?"
"Black comedians only talk about the differences between blacks and whites."
"Most comedians are terrible. They should listen to me. And I will help them when I can."
"Comedy is not therapy."
Gallagher: "He can't work a state fair."
Maron: "Who the f--- wants to work a state fair necessarily?"
Some of Gallagher's '80s comedy, culminating in watermelon smashing:
What do you think of Gallagher's brand of comedy, both old and new? Let us know in the comments.