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Comedian Gallagher retires following heart attack, medically-induced coma

Gallagher smashing watermelons, as he is wont to do.
Gallagher smashing watermelons, as he is wont to do.

Gallagher, the over-the-top comic with a fondness for smashing produce, is hanging up the sledgehammer. He’s retiring after 32 years on stage. (Yes, he was still performing.) He's just out of the hospital following a serious heart attack.

His trademark: smashing things with a sledgehammer, showering debris all over the crowd, most of whom show up with plastic to protect their clothing.

Highbrow, he’s not. He once said it didn’t matter how clever his jokes were, so long as the audience couldn’t hold their liquor. Gallagher likes to say outrageous things, and do even more outrageous things.

He also made a stir last year in the comedy community when he walked out of a podcast taping with comedian Marc Maron after Maron brought up accusations that Gallagher's comedy is racist and homophobic.

Two weeks ago, Gallagher had a serious heart attack in the middle of a show. Doctors put him in a coma to help him recover, and he has.

Gallagher went home from the hospital on Wednesday, then told an Ohio radio station that he’s done performing live.

But take heart. Gallagher promises to keep the outrageousness coming, online. (Is that a promise, or a threat?)

He may even be persuaded to do a private party or two. Crushing watermelons at a bar mitzvah... we can just picture it.