Gallagher is on a slow road to recovery after he suffered a heart attack at a bar in Texas just moments before he was scheduled to perform on stage. The renowned comedian, who was placed in a medically-induced coma after the nearly-fatal attack, is gradually being taken out of sedation, his manager said Friday.
According to reports, 65-year-old Gallagher, who is best known for smashing watermelons with a sledgehammer, suffered chest pain just moments before he had to perform on stage. The comic legend was in at Coach Joe's Hat Tricks in Lewisville, a suburban Dallas bar, at the time of the heart attack and the owner of the club called the emergency dispatcher. After immediate aid, Gallagher was shifted to a local hospital.
Marc Cummins, manager of the club, said in a statement that the comedian collapsed in his office about 20 minutes before he was supposed to go on stage at 9 p.m.
Gallagher "is in an induced coma and will remain so for the next 24 hours to relax and recover," his promotional manager, Christine Scherrer, said Friday. He is currently surrounded by family, and doctors say the prognosis is good, the manager added.
His manager also said that the doctors replaced two stents and the performer is expected to make full recovery.
The incident occurred just one year after Gallagher, whose real name is Leo Anthony Gallagher, collapsed on stage during a performance onstage at Whiskey Bones Roadhouse in Rochester, Minnesota, after suffering a "minor heart attack."
Two weeks later, at a performance in Boca Raton, Florida, he explained to the crowd, "I almost died two weeks ago ... these are extra days that I've been given. I guess God said, 'Wait a minute, Boca ain't had their show yet.' So it's not me, it's God's will we have this show tonight."
He continued to say, "You can like God all you want to but I'm pissed at him ... I had a heart attack while I was doing sledge-o-matic, which is gonna look great in the paper. But now I could die doing something stupid and my story won't be as cool."
"They told us this was more severe," Karl Maahs, the manager of El Paso's Speaking Rock club, where Gallagher was scheduled to perform Thursday, told the El Paso Times. “They said he was unconscious. Last year was a pretty [mild] one."
Gallagher is best known for smashing watermelons and other objects with his “Sledge-O-Matic" wooden mallet.