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11 reasons to catch Gallagher’s final-ever Vegas shows

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This close: Gallagher’s about to hang up up his famous Sledge-O-Matic.
Bill Hughes
Julie Seabaugh

1. Only six dates remain on Gallagher’s Last Smash Farewell Tour. At age 67, following 14 Showtime specials (and four heart attacks), the four-decade prop veteran is retiring.

2. Since his casino show focuses on traditional stand-up, there’s no reason to fear smashed-watermelon shrapnel (though the Sledge-O-Matic mallet does make a cameo appearance).

3. He’s interactive. At the top of his set, Gallagher emerges from a side door to walk and chat among the audience, setting the scene for an up-close-and-personal experience few other Vegas performers can provide.

4. He’s pugnacious. “This is a very smart show,” he boasts. “If you want a dumb show, Carrot Top’s across the street.”

5. He’s surprisingly Carlin-esque in other ways, dissecting the French language, observing how America loves metaphoric shades of gray and unspooling a spate of idioms preventing different cultures from communicating effectively.

6. He’s remarkably confessional. (“If you ever see me on TV, I was stoned!”)

7. He’s political. “One comic lost his job for wearing an Obama mask. We don’t have freedom of mask? Freedom of speech doesn’t extend to the mask?”

8. He’s philosophical about the redemptive potential of his profession. “It’s okay to laugh! But when do you laugh, when it’s appropriate? No. You laugh when the old lady falls down at church. The more you ain’t supposed to laugh, the funnier it is.”

9. He offers a terrific photo op, announcing, “All right, it’s time to do my prop joke. Get out your smart camera!” Then he dons a yellow construction helmet topped with miniature metallic scaffolding, out of which a pink dildo arises. “When you die, your life flashes before your eyes. I’ll be there, wearing this dick hat.”

10. Perhaps because it’s his final go-round, he brings back some of his classic one-liners: “What makes Teflon stick to the pan? If your knees bent the other way, what would a chair look like? Shouldn’t a hung jury be all men?”

11. Not to get too graphic about it, but thanks to Gallagher’s closer, you’ll never look at a jar of Creamy Jif peanut butter the same way again.

Gallagher Through December 30, 7 p.m., $50-$60. Laugh Factory, Tropicana, 739-2411.

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