Gallagher brings smashing act to Peoria

When it comes to comedy longevity, few top prop comic Gallagher.

Famous for smashing watermelons, candy and all manner of other items with his patented Sledgomatic, Gallagher honed his act in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Gallagher’s manic energy on stage helped him reach a national audience and landed him specials on Showtime and appearances on Late Night television.

After over 40 years in the business, Gallagher is stopping by Peoria tonight at SOP’s on Main. The doors open at 6:30, followed by a meet and greet at 7 and the show begins at 8.

“The show contains a little bit of everything, from life experiences to thinking outside the box,” Gallagher said of his upcoming performance. “[The audience] can expect a great show.”

The time Gallagher has spent in the business gives him a unique perspective on the way that comedy has changed over the years. The prop comic has shied away from appearing in many podcasts and Internet comedy, but prefers to appear on stage.

“Nothing can compare to a live performance,” Gallagher said. “You feel as if you are a part of the show, especially when the audience has a chance to smack the food on stage too. A live performance is much more personable.”

Although the medium by which comedy has been distributed has changed in recent years, Gallagher noted that the sort of comedy that has risen to popularity is different than when he started.

“I change with the times,” he said. “I think most comedians now-a-days have to. It is definitely a little bit more edgier.  A lot of my comedy comes from everyday life. Look around, you can make a joke out of just about everything.”

Despite suffering a heart attack earlier this year, Gallagher recovered quickly and now has “blood flowing into places it hasn’t in a while,” the comedian plans on continuing touring, although he has looked back at his many accomplishments.

“Nothing beats the Showtime specials and the fun I had doing them,” Gallagher said. “I would say the highlight would be making up all those props into reality. On the other hand, being in the business for this long is a highlight as well.”