Comedian Gallagher whose claim to fame was smashing watermelons as part of his act, died at the age of 76, under hospice care in Palm Springs, California, on Friday.

His manager told TMZ that the comedian died of massive organ failure. He has not been keeping well for a while and suffering a number of heart attacks over the years.

Back in 2011, he suffered a health scare, when he collapsed while performing onstage in Minnesota. The following year he suffered a heart attack in Texas, moments before he was supposed to perform.  

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Who is Gallagher?

Gallagher was born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina on July 24, 1946. 

he attended H.B. Plant High School. He went on to graduate from the University of South Florida with a chemical engineering degree in 1970. He minored in English literature.     

Right after finishing college, he started working as a comedian. He got his big break after appearing on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show back in 1975. He quickly became one of the most popular and recognizable comedians in the country because of his prop humor.

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His first special was An Uncensored Evening, which debuted in 1980. He also appeared in episodes of Hollywood Squares, WTF with Marc Maron, Tosh.0, and Celebrity Big Brother.

His trademark act was called “Sledge-O-Matic,” where he used a large mallet to destroy a bunch of food items as well as other objects. However, he’d always end with a watermelon. The act originally started as a parody of the Veg-O-Matic commercials.

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Gallagher quickly went on to become a pop culture phenomenon, becoming the subject of a number of references, often in the context of parody over the years. The most recent one was by fellow comedian Paul F. Tompkins in Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.

At the time of his death, he was retired, He is survived by his daughter, Aimee, and his son, Barnaby.