Though he’s been plagued by health issues the last few years and has since announced his retirement from the road, love-him-or-hate-him comedian Gallagher is feeling so strong these days that he’s about to embark on his final stand-up comedy tour. Dubbed Gallagher’s Last Smash, the 66-year-old will perform two dozen live shows through August and will start this Saturday, Dec. 15 at the 2,300-seat Youkey Theatre in Lakeland, Fl.
We’re told that each show will run nearly 120 minutes and will consist of a retrospective video of the comedian’s career, an entirely new hour of material (including musical numbers) and a 20-minute audience question-and-answer session which will be followed by a 30-minute segment of fruit smashing, for which — for better or worse — the veteran comic has become mostly known. The twist, however, is that Gallagher may not do all the smashing, as he’ll invite audience members onstage and perhaps a handful of celebrity guests, depending on what market he’s in.
On Jan. 12, Gallagher will perform at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix and on Feb. 16, he’ll perform at the University of Alabama. Starting that month, the comedian will perform two to three shows every month through August. There’s even a short tour promo video, which you can peep below.
The news of these shows comes on the heels of a rough year for Gallagher. After suffering his second heart attack in as many years, the iconic prop comic announced his retirement in March. While he was prepping backstage for a show on March 14 at Coach Joe’s Hat Tricks in Lewisville, TX, he collapsed and was rushed to the hospital, where doctors determined he had a heart attack. He was eventually placed under a medically-induced coma and came out of it after a few days. Two weeks later, Gallagher suffered another, albeit more mild, heart attack.
Since July, however, when Gallagher appeared on Late Show with David Letterman and starred in a national television campaign for car insurance company Geico, things have been looking up for the oft-criticized performer. The comedian just shot a part in the upcoming drama Book of Daniel (Aliens‘ Lance Henriksen stars) and we hear that writer Cameron Stauth is working on an authorized biography on the comic. The book would cover Gallagher’s life from a youngster growing up in South Tampa, Fl to his nearly 35 years working as a comedian, during which time he released 15 comedy specials between 1980 and 2007. The book would no doubt also address his health scares.
In addition to the aforementioned heart attacks, Gallagher collapsed in Minnesota during a performance on March 10, 2010. As we reported then, “During the smashing portion of his show at Whiskey Bone’s Roadhouse, in fact, right after Gallagher exclaimed, “…And the rockets red glare!” and crushed a food product with a giant sledge hammer, the jokester hit the floor and didn’t get up. A 911 call was made and he was rushed to a nearby hospital.”
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