Celebrity

Category: Comedians

Gallagher heart attack: Comic has been in medically induced coma

Gallagher in action with the Sledge-O-Matic

Comedian Gallagher, who is recovering from a heart attack, was expected to be out of a medically induced coma by Saturday, according to his promotional manager.

The 65-year-old prop comic Gallagher was put into the coma after suffering a heart attack Wednesday that required him to have two stents replaced.

All signs are good, Christine Sherrer told the Huffington Post on Thursday afternoon, explaining that her client would be slowly awakened over the course of 24 hours or so.

The heart attack came Wednesday while Gallagher was in the green room about 20 minutes before a 9 p.m. show, after doing a meet-and-greet with fans in Lewisville, Texas, outside of Dallas.

Gallagher collapsed last year on stage after suffering a minor heart attack while smashing stuff during a show in Minnesota. The comic, whose full name is Leo Anthony Gallagher, also ran for governor of California in the 2003 recall election, finishing 16th out of 135 candidates.

ALSO:

'Last Comic Standing' judge Greg Giraldo dead at 44

Comedian Gallagher suffers a heart attack before Texas show

Patrice O'Neal dead at 41; comic had suffered a stroke previously

— Christie D'Zurilla
Twitter.com/dzurillaville
Christie D'Zurilla on Google+

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Gallagher smashes strawberry syrup and flour at the end of a performance in Dubuque, Iowa, in November 2006. Jeremy Portje / Telegraph Herald



Comedian Gallagher suffers a heart attack before Texas show

Gallagher

The comedian Gallagher is hospitalized and "slowly recovering" after suffering a heart attack -- not his first -- just before he was to go onstage at a Texas club Wednesday night.

His promotional manager Christine Scherrer said the 65-year-old prop comic, known for smashing watermelons and whatnot on stage with the "Sledge-o-Matic," was sedated and stable in the Dallas area, telling CNN on Thursday, "We will not know the outcome until sometime tomorrow."

Before paramedics arrived, CPR was performed on Gallagher by an employee of the club, Coach Joe's Hat Tricks in Lewisville, manager Marc Cummins told the Associated Press. 

The comic collapsed last year while smashing stuff during a show in Minnesota; the incident was later determined to be caused by a heart attack, Us Weekly said.

The comic, whose full name is Leo Anthony Gallagher, also ran for governor of California in the 2003 recall election, finishing 16th out of 135 candidates.

ALSO:

'Last Comic Standing' judge Greg Giraldo dead at 44

Patrice O'Neal dead at 41; comic had suffered a stroke in October

— Christie D'Zurilla
Twitter.com/dzurillaville
Christie D'Zurilla on Google+

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Gallagher in 2003. Credit: file.


Patrice O'Neal: A new album and a marathon of memories [Audio]

Patrice O'Neal, Louis CK and Jim Norton

This post has been corrected, as indicated below. Patrice O'Neal

No one could imitate Patrice O'Neal, Gregg "Opie" Hughes of "The Opie & Anthony Show" said ahead of a marathon satellite-radio weekend memorial for the late stand-up comic. Fortunately for fans, O'Neal himself was set to release new material, the sale of which will benefit the mother, sister, wife and child who survive him.

"Patrice was working on a CD, getting ready to release, everything was complete," the Sirius XM host said Friday. "This is something he wanted out there."

Veteran New York-based comic O'Neal, who suffered a stroke on Oct. 19, died Tuesday. He was 41.

The show was the first to play "Hate People Touching Me," a new O'Neal clip, which will air throughout the weekend as part of a marathon tribute broadcast by Opie, Anthony and Jim Norton, and other comedy folks, as they celebrate O'Neal's life and work on the Opie & Anthony Channel, XM 105/Sirius 206.

The upcoming album "Mr. P," unlike other posthumous releases that might be cobbled together from partially complete work, "is Patrice's CD that he was proud of," Opie said, talking about the album in the wake of the Thursday visit from O'Neal manager Jonathan Brandstein. Recorded in April at the Improv in Washington, D.C., the album has a February release date, according to LaughSpin.

"The family gets the money and trust me, without getting into it," he said, "they need the money." Anyone who wants to help can "simply ... order the CD."

Opie predicted O'Neal would be a "massive star" posthumously, saying it was too bad he didn't get to that next level of fame before he died.

Continue reading »

Patrice O'Neal dead at 41; comic had suffered a stroke in October

Patrice O'Neal is deadComedian Patrice O'Neal died Tuesday morning from complications of a stroke he suffered on Oct. 19. "Many of us have lost a close and loved friend," his rep said in confirming the news. "All of us have lost a true comic genius."

The veteran New York-based stand-up comic was 41.

O'Neal was a familiar face on Comedy Central -- getting a lot of attention during his ribald turn (that means watch out for the cuss words if you click) on "The Roast of Charlie Sheen" in September -- as well as a frequent guest on the "Opie & Anthony" radio show.

The radio show broke the news in late October that O'Neal, a diabetic, had suffered a stroke the previous week.

"One of a kind. In heaven right now, charming half and infuriating half, then reversing," tweeted Colin Quinn, host of Comedy Central's defunct "Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn," which had regularly featured O'Neal.

Fellow comic and close friend Jim Norton posted a picture of himself and O'Neal online Tuesday, captioning it, "I couldn't possibly love a friend more than I love you. Goodbye brother."

"Yes it's true that our pal Patrice O'Neal has passed away," Opie and Anthony said via Twitter. "The funniest and best thinker i've ever known PERIOD. #devastated." The show posted a video link on its Facebook page, sending people to what they called O'Neal's "greatest laugh ever."

The 6-foot-5 O'Neal reportedly got his first taste of stand-up at Estelle's in Boston when he was heckling a comic who then invited him to come onstage and see if he could better. "The following week he went on stage at Estelle's and brought down the house," according to his Comedy Central bio.

His final performance was at the Charlie Sheen roast.

"Patrice had that rare 'light' around him and inside of him," the actor said Tuesday via Twitter. "I only knew him for the few days leading up the roast. Yet I will forever be inspired by his nobility, his grace and his epic talent. My tears today are for the tremendous loss to his true friends and loving family."

O'Neal is survived by his wife Vondecarlo, stepdaughter Aymilyon, sister Zinder and mother Georgia, his rep told TMZ.

ALSO:

'Last Comic Standing' judge Greg Giraldo dead at 44

Sneak peek: The Charlie Sheen roast is done, ready to be served

Tracy Morgan apologizes again for anti-gay jokes, schedules gay-related events

-- Christie D'Zurilla
Twitter.com/dzurillaville

Reuters contributed to this report.

Photo: Comedian Patrice O'Neal arrives at Comedy Central's Roast of Charlie Sheen held at Sony Studios in L.A. on Sept. 10. O'Neal died Tuesday at age 41. Credit: Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images


Wanda Sykes reveals double mastectomy, cancer, dislike of walking

Wanda Sykes reveals breast cancer, double mastectomy
Wanda Sykes had a double mastectomy earlier this year, sparked by a breast cancer diagnosis that came after a breast reduction back in February.

Sykes' original equipment was "real big," the actress and comic told Ellen DeGeneres in an interview set to air Monday, "and I just got tired of knocking over stuff. Every time I eat -- oh Lord, I'd carry a Tide stick everywhere I go. My back was sore so it was time to have a reduction."

Funny stuff, until her pathology reports came back revealing what she called a "stage zero" cancer in her left breast. With a history of cancer on her mother's side of the family and faced with a future of having to stay on top of the situation with exams every three months, she opted for the double mastectomy. 

"I had both breasts removed," Sykes said, "because now I have zero chance of having breast cancer."

Gossip Cop first reported the news Thursday. Sykes said she had DCIS, or ductal cancer in situ.

Months later, she was still uncertain about going public with her experience, she said. "I was like, I don't know, should I talk about it or what? How many things could I have? I'm black, then lesbian. I can't be the poster child for everything," she joked

Now the problem is too many cancer-charity walks. "I hate walking," she said.

Sykes, who came out in 2008, is a parent of twins with wife Alex, whom she married in California that same year. Olivia and Lucas were born in May 2009.

ALSO:

Michael Douglas says odds are he's beaten throat cancer

Ryan O'Neal says Farrah Fawcett's cancer may have been his family's fault

GLAAD awards: Adam Lambert on stage, Wanda Sykes on Ellen DeGeneres, "Glee" on prom kings

-- Christie D'Zurilla
Twitter.com/dzurillaville

Photo: Wanda Sykes in 2009. Credit: Chris Pizzello / Associated Press

 


Robin Williams pulled over for riding his bike on sidewalk

Robin Williams Robin Williams had a run-in with the law recently when he was caught riding his bicycle on a New York City street — but that's not the shocking part. Apparently the comedian, starring in Broadway's "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo," was dressed as a "terrorist or a crack dealer" when he was pulled over by police.

As he told it to the ladies on "The View," he was cruising down the sidewalk on a one-speed track bike wearing a balaclava (a.k.a., a mask) and looking like a "terrorist or crack dealer."

Williams heard a "whoop, whoop" and "pull over." Once officers checked his ID and he pulled down the mask, they let him go with just a warning.

"I got hit by a bike on a sidewalk," Elizabeth Hasselbeck piped up during the story.

Williams poked back: "Well, then that's why. It is the law because of her."

The takeaway? Not every scary dude on a bike is a crack dealer or a terrorist — he could be Robin Williams.

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— Emily Christianson

Photo: Robin Williams at the opening-night after-party for  "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo" in New York on March 31. Credit: Michael Loccisano / Getty Images.


Exclusive: Sarah Silverman, Conan O'Brien, David Arquette tapped for 'Hollywood Bites Back!'

Hollywood-bites-back

Sarah Silverman is known for her funny bark, but come April she'll be using her bite. So will Conan O'Brien, David Arquette, Elizabeth Banks and B.J. Novak.

Those stars will align April 16 at L.A.'s Nokia Theatre for "Hollywood Bites Back!," an evening of laughs to support the Comedy Fights Malaria campaign, launched in October 2010 to address the devastating effects of the disease worldwide.

"I am honored to have been asked to take part in this important event," O'Brien said in a statement.
"I just hope that we can find a better cure for malaria than comedy."

The organization launched with a series of PSAs starring the likes of Banks, John Mayer, Lake Bell and Orlando Bloom, aiming to raise funds for malaria treatment and prevention in regions including Africa, which saw about 781,000 deaths last year from malaria, mostly among children under 5.

For comedy fans in Los Angeles, or those looking to swat at malaria, tickets for the show are available through Ticketmaster. 

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-- Matt Donnelly
Twitter.com/MattDonnelly

Photos, from left: Sarah Silverman Conan O'Brien and David Arquette. Credits, from left: Jason Merritt / Getty Images; Jason Merritt / Getty Images; Michael Buckner / Getty Images


Gilbert Gottfried fired by Aflac over Japan tsunami jokes [Poll]

AFLAC fires Gilbert Gottfried Aflac considers Gilbert Gottfried, for years the voice of its trademark duck, to be "lacking in humor": The company fired Gottfried on Monday in reaction to jokes he'd tweeted making fun of tsunami victims and the situation in Japan following last week's massive earthquake.

"Gilbert's recent comments about the crisis in Japan were lacking in humor and certainly do not represent the thoughts and feelings of anyone at Aflac," Michael Zuna, a senior VP and chief marketing officer, said in a statement Monday. "Aflac Japan -- and, by extension, Japan itself -- is part of the Aflac family, and there is no place for anything but compassion and concern during these difficult times."

Three-quarters of Aflac's business is in Japan. The company, which says it is Japan's No. 1 insurer based on policies in force, on Friday donated 100 million yen -- a little more than $1.2 million -- to the International Red Cross toward recovery efforts.

On Monday, the magnitude of the March 11 Tohoku quake was upgraded to 9.0 from 8.9, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Maybe it was all funnier to Gottfried before the thousands of bodies began to wash up onshore -- his dozen or so messages (which have since been deleted from the @RealGilbert page, but for a time Monday were still visible online for some users not logged in to Twitter), were sent Saturday and Sunday. We'd repeat his words, because you know the Ministry is pretty much OK with tasteless stuff, but honestly we found a distinct lack of humor in what we read as well. (Not often we find ourselves agreeing with Heidi Montag.)

(Updated, 2 p.m. March 15: For those who've asked in comments, "How can you have a poll if you don't tell us what he said?," click the link on the word "dozen" to see a couple of the jokes. They've been hiding right there in plain sight./cdz)

It's not the first time Gottfried has gotten topical inspiration from tragedy. He sent out a joke about comedian Greg Giraldo's death on Sept. 29, the day Giraldo passed away. That tweet was still posted Monday.

And still not funny.

RELATED:

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Photos: Before and after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: Gilbert Gottfried arrives with the Aflac duck at the 14th Annual Webby Awards in New York on June 14, 2010. Credit: Charles Sykes / Associated Press



'Last Comic Standing' finalist Mike DeStefano dies

 

Comedian Mike DeStefano, a finalist on the most recent season of "Last Comic Standing," died Sunday of a heart attack, his rep confirmed Monday to various media outlets. He was 44.

Punchline magazine had a revealing -- and (warning) a very profanity-filled -- interview with DeStefano during the run of the NBC show last year.

Asked which comics he'd want in the room for the last or the best performance of his life, DeStefano referenced his friend Greg Giraldo, the "Last Comic Standing" judge who died in September a few days after an overdose of prescription medication.

"In LA, just waking up to the sad news about Mike DeStefano. He helped so many people. I'm glad he was my friend," Jim Norton, another comic on DeStefano's list, tweeted Monday.

The blunt-talking DeStefano, who was a drug counselor before getting into comedy, had overcome heroin addiction and coped with the loss of his wife to AIDS. He'd been HIV-positive since the 1980s, writing for Poz in 1998 about being a "long-term nonprogressor" and "not fitting in with the AIDS community."

"Last Comic Standing" was a departure from the norm. "Guys like me don't do shows like that -- guys like me don't even attempt that," he told Punchline

Continue reading »

Jon Cryer finds work: 'Two and a Half Men' star is Ellen's receptionist

Jon Cryer gets a new job, without Charlie Sheen Don't count Jon Cryer among the out-of-work employees of "Two and a Half Men" -- the Emmy-winning actor has a new job: Ellen DeGeneres' receptionist.

In a short clip leading up to her Thursday show, DeGeneres walks through her offices only to discover that Cryer is her new receptionist.

"I needed the work," he says, just before answering the phone.

Historically, Cryer has refrained from commenting on costar Charlie Sheen's off-set antics -- but it seems some people were willing to accept that the shutdown of "Men"  by creator Chuck Lorre would finally push him to opine.

So when "Jon Cryer" showed up on Twitter over the weekend, with tweets claiming that he was "shocked" the show was "axed," the fact that the account wasn't verified didn't get in the way of several outlets that quickly reported Cryer had finally weighed in.

Alas, Cryer doesn't have a Twitter account -- and his rep has since debunked the notion that his client spoke out about his costar.

Perhaps taking the receptionist job is one comical way to silently protest Sheen's media blitz? Despite his high-profile boss, manning the phones is definitely is a downgrade from "Men."

"This is a trainwreck," he sighs in the clip. We're guessing he's talking about his tiger-blooded warlock costar, not his new gig. Watch the full clip on Show Tracker.

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-- Nardine Saad
Twitter.com/NardineSaad

Photo: Charlie Sheen, left, and Jon Cryer celebrate backstage at the 2009 People's Choice Awards in Los Angeles. Credit: Phil McCarten / Reuters


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