Gallagher bringing laughs and groans to Fat Fish BlueWritten by Jeff McGinnis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
I thought I was prepared for my interview with Gallagher. Moments from his career flashed through my mind as we began — bouncing on a giant sofa, reciting off-the-wall poems, and, of course, smashing watermelons with his trademark Sledge-o-matic.
I doubt the sofa will be making the trip to Fat Fish Blue Home of the Funny Bone in Perrysburg on Dec. 16, where Gallagher will appear. But you can bet the sledgehammer will. And, if our conversation was any indication, so will the poems — definitely the poems.
This isn’t Gallagher’s first trip through Toledo.
“I remember one time I met the mayor — it was [Donna Owens], and she gave me the key to the city, which it turned out was a glass,” he recalled.
What’s the difference in playing a smaller comedy club like the Funny Bone as opposed to larger theaters?
“Well, each person will have more weight as an audience member, and what they do will affect the show more,” he said. “And I probably am gonna have to work harder.”
It was right around this point that any questions I had for the comedy legend went flying out the window. I now found myself in the middle of what seemed to be an extended improv/writing/rehearsal session — with myself as the lone audience.
I had just asked a question about his Web site (www.gallaghersmash.com) and all of a sudden, he launched into a poem. An obviously new, and very topical, poem.
“I got a great hook for today,” he said. “‘Tiger, stop your acting caddy, just be my baby daddy!’”
I laughed. Loudly. He seemed to respond to it.
“I think that’s really strong,” he said. “I got a really good line here, too: What I’m saying in this poem, or whatever, is: ‘Tiger likes the rough, he plays ‘em where they lie.’”
Another line followed, one which cannot be reprinted in a family newspaper. But it, too, was quite funny, though also groan-inducing.
“Oh, that’s gonna get the biggest groan ever,” Gallagher said, his voice rich with glee. “I love to do a joke that has a laugh and a groan!”
I start to think about asking another question, and he cuts my train of thought with another verse.
“When Tiger starts a foursome, he’s not looking for other guys. And there’s gonna be more than four —counting Tiger, there’ll be five!”
These comedic rhymes have become a big part of Gallagher’s act. I try to bring up “The River Poem,” a piece focusing on the environment.
“I was way ahead on the issue. I’m bored with people that are 20 or 30 years behind me,” he said. Then, suddenly, “Hey, how about this one: ‘If you’re in lingerie, he has a new Nike whip. But if you’re his wife, you’re gonna get the slip!’”
It continued like that for minutes on end. I would try to ask a question about the writing process, or some of his other projects, or his patents, or anything, and he’d interrupt with a line about “the rough” or a “wood,” or “holes.” He (eventually) said that he writes a poem like this once every two or three days.
So there I was, a humble interviewer in the middle of a creative hurricane as a comedic icon bounced new material off of me.
“Ain’t that funny?” he would ask, as if my laughter wasn’t enough of an answer.
He did eventually mention a few of his upcoming projects — a new cable special is in the works, as well as a slot machine which would douse the player in simulated watermelon juices.
The audience at the Funny Bone will get juiced for real, naturally. And I have a suspicion that those attending will hear something about Tiger Woods, too.