Dulusions Duluth's Weekly Reality Check


CTRL: Sludge-O-Matic

Each month, I write a column for Transistor (http://www.transistormag.com) called CTRL+ALT+DULUTH. (Yes, it plays on the "duh-LOOT" pronunciation.) Below is the text from last week's issue:

If you still read the Duluth News Tribune (pause for laugh track), you know that Gallagher, the raunchy prop comic and prodigious produce smasher of 1980s fame, performed last week at Grandma’s Sports Garden.

The paper’s Web site not only featured an account of the show by DNT arts reporter Christa Lawler (who should file for hazard pay for covering this functional lobotomy) on the home page but also touted even more coverage from its nightlife blogger.

For people under 45 years of age, this information likely triggered one of two responses: 1) Who the f^ck is Gallagher? or 2) F^ckin’ Gallagher is still alive?

(And they say that newspapers have failed to court the next generation of readers.)

My wife went with response #2, to which I had to reply, “Not necessarily.” After all, performing in front of 300 disinterested Duluthians (according to Ms. Lawler’s account) more than 20 years after your prime has got to kill you on the inside, at least.

Based on the DNT account, Gallagher fuels his cockroach-like resiliency through a potent (or is that pungent?) mixture of delusional grandiosity and outright denial. For example, he claims that he’s funnier now then he was 20 years ago. Sorry, G, but it’s probably your pot that’s gotten better – not your jokes.

According to the review, Gallagher also claims responsibility during the show for quite an array of cultural progeny: “splash rides at amusement parks, Blue Man Group, Insane Clown Posse and Shamu.”

Maybe so, but he also paved the way for Carrot Top – a crime against humanity so heinous that it not only wipes out any good karma generated by the list above (the amount of which is debatable in and of itself) but also should rate the death penalty. (However, given that he’s living the showbiz version of death, I suppose we can limit the sentence to time served.)

Judging from the audience attention deficit Ms. Lawler describes during the first hour of the show, it sounds like little has changed in Gallagher’s act since his days of doing Showtime specials. Listening to his lame stand-up routines has always been akin to watching a 14-year-old boy fumble with the hook of a bra: a bit awkward and exasperating until the melons finally come out.

And eventually, out they came. Even after a holiday season in which community food shelves across the nation sounded desperate calls for donations after months of recession-fueled shortages, Gallagher sledged away. Not to get all Righteous Lefty here, but couldn’t he have at least spared some portion of the evening’s carnage (the way the president pardons a turkey before Thanksgiving) as a comic gesture and donated it to CHUM’s West Duluth food shelf?

Of course, doing so would require climbing out of his traveling time capsule and making contact with the year 2010. As long as a couple of hundred people keep showing up in the Duluth, Minnesotas of the world to see him smash watermelons with a sledgehammer, that probably won’t happen soon.

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