Album Review: Gallagher: I Am Who I Pretend To Be: A Final Farewell from a Once Great Comedian

A reminder you of how great Gallagher once was.
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Comedian Leo Gallagher was the biggest comedian on the planet during the 1980s. He was selling out venues all over the world with his observational humor, prop comedy, and his infamous Sledge-O-Matic routine where he parodied a late-night infomercial while smashing watermelons all over his delighted audience. Now, having been out of the limelight for over 20 years, Gallagher has released a 55-minute comedy CD, his first album since 1978, recorded at the Ice House Comedy Club during his farewell tour.

After 14 Showtime comedy specials where visual effects were so prominent, it’s a little difficult to let go of the imagery and accept the audio-only format that is offered here. Unfortunately, the album starts off a little slowly with “Relationships”, which has a lot of familiar sounding commentary from previous TV specials and has an odd feeling that Gallagher is just reaching for something to say and isn’t quite prepared.

But thankfully the veteran comic finds his footing by the second track, “Rules”, and consistently begins to pick up steam through the next seven tracks sounding a lot like the Gallagher of old where he comments on what “Intelligent Life” might find if they came to Earth and the spirit of “American Ingenuity”.

Instead of closing his set with the traditional smashing of fruit, Gallagher smashes right into a wall called “The French #1” and then again into “The French #2”. These two tracks are just painfully unfunny. Simply speaking a long string of French words is not a way to end an album. That’s probably why the bonus track “Words of Wisdom” is tacked onto the very end. Even though it’s just sitar music playing for four and a half minutes while he managers to lay a joke or two over the top it’s far better than the two previous tracks.

While this may not be a masterpiece, it does have a few good moments and reminds you of how great Gallagher once was and gives fans some closure on a career that seemed to disappear overnight.

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