I've posted this before, years ago, but it's one of my all-time favorites. Do you remember a comedian named Gallagher? I think he's still around. His basic act was smashing watermelons. When he performed in Cerritos, California in 1999 the LA Times reviewed it. The review was so hilarious and scathing I had to keep it. And share it. If you can imagine the thinking that could have produced such a staggeringly ill-conceived show, you laugh twice as hard.
And so, as a public service to anyone even thinking of attending an upcoming Gallagher show if he's still touring, here is this LA Times review.
Comedy: Promoted for Latinos, Gallagher's pseudo-Spanish show is a litany of degrading stereotypes and insults.By ALISA VALDES-RODRIGUEZ, Times Staff Writer
How to put this delicately? We'll simplify: Mime-like, stringy-haired
man in black hat smashes food with mallet on stage for living. Man, who
no espeakey no Spanish, hears Spanish, thinks Spanish good, Spanish muy
muy dinero. Man spends one month learning important Spanish words such
as cerveza, caca and culo (butt). Man invents Spanish words, such as
"sperm-o" and "embarazamante." Man decides this is enough Spanish to put
on show for Latinos. Man smashes pinatas, wears giant sombrero and
shakes keg-sized maracas. Man mocks Jews and gays and women and
constipated old people. Man thinks he is muy funny comedian-o.
Man hopes all Spanish-speakers agree.
But wait. There's more. Mucho more.
rents hall in Cerritos. Man advertises "Gallagher en espanol: La Fiesta
Grande" on Spanish radio. Man hopes thousands will come. Two hundred
come, many with children and babies and old (possibly constipated)
people. Man babbles for three hours Thursday night in "language"
neither English nor Spanish. Language heretofore known as
Gallagher-bonics. Next day, executive director of Cerritos Center for
Performing Arts issues statement stressing that "Gallagher show was a
rental event and not produced or presented by the Cerritos Center."
hires dance troupe to open show. Man performing for mostly Mexican
American audience. Dance troupe, called Salsa Kids, performs Puerto
Rican dance style. Male dancers wear guayaveras, the four-pocket shirts
worn by old Cuban men in Miami. Mexican American audience appears
unimpressed. Stone faces say: Ugh, bad medicine. "Is this like
ballroom?" a woman in the audience asks. "My sister, she's taking that
Show goes on.
First nine rows of
audience are in white plastic chairs. People in white plastic chairs
equipped with clear plastic bag to wear over clothes because later
mayonnaise and refried beans will spew over them. Signs warn: Cuidado,
Piso Resbaloso. Wet floor. Man shoots water on audience from giant
penguin after salsa dancers leave stage.
Other man named Vic
Dunlop, a comedian hired to help because he supposedly speaks Espanol,
takes stage. Dunlop wears Mexican blanket, sombrero and glasses with
eyes painted on them. Makes jokes about black people and blind people in
bad Spanish. Says show is sponsored by Culo Cola, the soda with the
taste of an expletive. In audience, Debra Garcia, 50, is bored and
thinks the show immature and plans to leave early.
Man appears with penguin and yells, "Como? Este hombre no esta en mi show. Vamanos."
assistant "comedian" who actually does speak Spanish comes on stage.
Her name is Dyana Ortelli and she is Mexican American and makes a living
mocking Jennifer Lopez's bottom, stereotyping Chicanos, and wearing bad
wig and no pants. Ortelli helps man throw chocolate at crowd. Man says:
"Quien no tengo chocolate?" Translation: Who I don't have chocolate? No
one sure what he is saying.
Man introduces Chupacabras.
Chupacabras is goat-sucking monster seen in Puerto Rico three years ago.
Man in ape suit pretends to be goat-sucking monster. Man forces child
onto stage with monster. Man asks: "Quien tiene mas pelo de Chupacabra?"
Translation: Who has more hair of Chupacabras? Child makes disgusted
face, jumps off stage. Ortelli looks sad. Man babbles about goat-sucker:
"Es muy fuerze, es muy fuerza." Translation: Is very strength. No one
laughs. Man frustrated. Tries to say "espectaculo," which means "show,"
but says "specta-culo," which sort of means butt-gazer.
for rock band. Fulano de Tal, from Miami, plays well. Man wears giant
parachute dress and dances. Man spray-paints a lie on the back wall: Yo
No Soy Gringo. Man says in Spanish that he is a cowboy. Man says he is
newborn Mexican and caresses his naked hairy belly.
Man tells joke about bear and rabbit pooping.
gathers audience volunteers for Mexican hat dance. Says "Tengo un
muchacha" over and over. No one laughs. Man says "Culo, culito" until
people laugh. Man says "moco" for extra humor. Man is tired of trying.
Man says in English "I need a beer." Man curses under breath off mike,
but audience hears anyway.
Man begins dumping buckets of food
onto plates. Man stops trying to speak Spanish. Man gives up and speaks
English. Man says: "We were expecting a big crowd tonight and we're
going to do a show for a big crowd anyway" because the crowd is small
and shrinking. Man is booed again. Man yells: "It's the Fourth of July
weekend, you don't got no place to go so just shut up." Man hits Pop
Tarts with tennis racquet. Man says "Un muchacho quiero comer," which
means "I want to eat a boy" and the boys look scared.
who paid between $21.50 and $26.50 per ticket walk out as man flashes
white underpants and yells culo, culo, culo and cerveza. Man angry
Latinos have no sense of humor. Man throws egg and marshmallows at old
woman and baby as they waddle out of theater. Man calls old woman vulgar
name in English. Man spits beer on children. Some in audience too
polite to leave. Others impolite enough to boo. One courageous enough to
hurl a lunchbox-sized chunk of watermelon at man's head.
smashes food with 16-pound mallet. Man says, inexplicably, "Todo el
mouthwash el hits me en el crotch-o." Man sings "La Cucaracha."
Man smashes more food. Show over. Man bows. Man slips on floor.