Leo Anthony Gallagher, simply called Gallagher on stage, announced Thursday that he was retiring from live performances after 32 years. The decision comes in the wake of his recent health scare in Texas.
Gallagher has said he has had enough of live performances and will now retire after 32 years. The Los Angeles-based comedian announced his decision in an interview Thursday on an Ohio radio station, saying that his retirement plan includes occasional appearances at private parties and putting up his writings on the internet.
The decision to retire comes just a few days after Gallagher’s health scare. The comedian spoke to Marion, Ohio, WDCM radio host Scott Spears on his show, "Over Breakfast with Scott Spears", Thursday morning. Spears had called him to ask about his health following a second heart attack March 14th.
In an audio tape of the interview, Gallagher told host Scott Spears that he had two coronary stents replaced and experienced some memory loss after he regained consciousness. "I was surprised that I was in the hospital and my son and daughter were there," Gallagher told the radio host.
It seemed like Gallagher was disappointed about how his 32-year-long career was coming to an end as he told Spears it sometimes didn't matter how clever his jokes were if the audience couldn't hold their liquor.
"It is babysitting people who can't handle alcohol,” Gallagher said of his recent performances. “That's why I really don't want to get on stage because I can't remember what I said or what the word is. I don't want to be pitiful."
The funnyman, who is best-known for smashing watermelons with a sledge-hammer, suffered a heart attack March 14 before a live performance at a suburban Dallas bar. He was put in a medically-induced coma for four days to allow his body to recover from the cardiac arrest.
His promotional manager, Christine Scherrer, said that Gallagher will stay in the Dallas area for a while to recuperate. Scherrer added that the legendary comedian was with his family and “moving around on his own.”
“[Gallagher] is doing great, but still needs time… he is up to his same old antics though,” she said.
The comedian also had a minor heart attack last year in March after collapsing while performing in Minnesota.
Previously, Gallagher gained fame when he ran as an Independent for Governor of California in 2003. He finished in 16th place in the voting that consequently elected Hollywood actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.