After suffering a second heart attack in the span of a week and a half, Gallagher is hanging up his watermelon-smashing mallet — for now.
The 65-year-old prop comic has canceled all shows for now on his touring schedule after being hospitalized on Sunday in Sedona, Ariz., after suffering another heart attack, his manager, Craig Marquardo, told The News.
Though relatively mild, the attack was the most recent health scare for the comedian, whose real name is Leo Anthony Gallagher Jr., who was back home in Arizona recuperating from a major cardiac arrest suffered March 14 just before he was set to peform at a bar in Lewisville, Texas.
“It can’t be good on anyone’s heart, mind and health to be on an airplane, rental car and hotel every night and then smash watermelons in front of a rowdy crowd night in and night out,” says Marquardo. “He’s been on the road for 32 years.”
Gallagher’s Lewisville heart attack was severe enough that doctors put the comedian in a medically induced coma to treat him. And it came less than year after the comic collapsed on stage after suffering a mild heart attack while performing at the Whiskey Bone’s Roadhouse in Rochester, Minn.
“I’m sick and tired of [touring],” Gallagher told CNN Monday.
And it’s not like he doesn’t have options: the comic, who studied chemical engineering in college, also holds a patent on software for slot machines that’s a financial jackpot, says his manager.
“He’s going to try and take some time off from touring and then as he goes forward, he’ll still do some shows, but we’ll really cherry-pick,” says Marquardo, adding that he’d prefer his client stick to rare standup shows and drop the physical shtick that draws a rowdier NASCAR crowd.
“If it were up to me, he wouldn’t pick up the mallet again.”