Gallagher: The Smashing Watermelon Collection - an unofficial mini-review

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Keith Paynter, Oct 29, 2005.

  1. Keith Paynter

    Keith Paynter Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]
    Gallagher: The Smashing Watermelon Collection
    Anchor Bay Entertainment
    SRP $29.98US, $36.98CDN

    "Ladie-e-e-e-s and gentlemen..."

    "I did not come here tonight to make you laugh, I came here to sell you something!
    I want you to pay particular attention because The Amazing MasterTool Corporation,
    a subsidiary of Fly By Night Industries, has entrusted who - me, to show you
    the handiest and the dandiest kitchen tool you have ever seen,
    and don't you want to know how it works?!?"

    If you watched HBO in the early '80's or were lucky enough to buy several of prop comic Gallagher's VHS tapes or laserdiscs from Paramount Home Video, (or most recently from Gallagher's own website), you know about Sledge-O-Matic, the show closer guaranteed to make a mess of your evening wear if you weren't wearing a raincoat or barricading yourself with Saran Wrap at one of his live shows.

    "Gallagher: The Smashing Watermelon Collection" features the six HBO specials originally released by Paramount Home Video in the early 80's, along with 5 additional shows.

    The 11 shows are spread out over 3 discs, each with artwork like cutaway watermelon, and wrapped in a cardboard watermelon case. The design of the box leaves a lot to be desired, as each disc rests in its own cardboard pull-out sleeve, and trying to put the set back together takes a lot of patience - easily the worst box I've seen since the Beatles Capitol Records box. Full points for style here, 0 for practicality.

    The discs feature the following specials:

    Disc 1:
    Gallagher: Mad As Hell; Gallagher: Two Real; Gallagher: Stuck in the '60s; Gallagher: The Maddest

    Disc 2:
    Gallagher:Melon Crazy; Gallagher:Over Your Head; Gallagher:The Bookkeeper; Gallagher:Overboard

    Disc 3:
    Gallagher:We Need A Hero; Gallagher:Messin' Up Texas; Gallagher:An Uncensored Evening


    Where the heck did this come from? Anchor Bay certainly didn't go out of their way to promote this release, Gord doesn't mention it on TvShowsOnDVD.com, and it wasn't in the Upcoming Cover Art at The Digital Bits! I loved the HBO specials, and taped or bought them all over many years.

    Visually and audibly, there isn't any real improvement from the original master tapes, so don't expect them to look or sound any better than when they were first available. Don't expect reference quality here - in fact, the tapes possibly show some degree of decay over time - they certainly aren't impressive on a 16:9 HDTV.

    The first disc is also sold as 2 "best-of" videos featuring 2 episodes per disc, so if you're really looking to get out the last dab of toothpaste with your Sledge-O-Matic, pick up the box set (and watch out for the Crap Monster behind the couch).
     
  2. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Well, Keith...someone had to do it. I guess it was you! [​IMG]



    I had it in this week's Weekly RoundUp! ...admittedly at the request of Dave Lambert (a closet Gallagher-phile, maybe?!).

    I saw the collection for $19.99 at an FYE today...along with the two "Best of..." sets for $7.99 apiece. Thanks for explaining how the "Best of" sets and the big collection relate to each other.
     
  3. David Rain

    David Rain Screenwriter

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    I just ran up on this myself. I've always loved how odd and unique Gallagher is. For those who think his only schtick is the fruit smashing then you need to know there's a lot more to him than that.

    I've seen a few of these specials over the years. Usually airing at a strange hour on Comedy Central - edited and with commercials. So I'm glad to get these all together and uncut. I'm not shocked that they were not remastered. Comedy specials on DVD are rarely given the royal treatment.

    I'd like to see more of these comedy box sets. I have the 2 George Carlin boxes and love them. I'd love to see sets from Louie Anderson, Richard Lewis, Women of The Night, Young Comedians, One Night Stand, Sam Kinison, Bill Hicks, Paula Poundstone, Rita Rudner, etc.
     
  4. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    We didn't mention it at TSoD because it's not episodic television. But yeah, I loved those specials and had to have this. I'm waiting for the wife to have time to sit down and watch it with me when I view these DVDs for the first time, so I can introduce her to the joys of sledge-o-matic! [​IMG]

    Mike, thanks for including it in the Roundup.


    David, it's good that you point out that he's much more into different kinds of jokes than the sledge-o-matic thing. He's very hilarious and doesn't need to break fruit to have you rolling on the floor laughing!
     
  5. Keith Paynter

    Keith Paynter Screenwriter

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    Anybody (still) have his stand-up album? Some of the best observational humour that, while occasionally racy, never got crude.

    Gallagher seems to be a guilty pleasure for some people, but I always thought the shows were always watchable, and with the exception of some topical political routines, haven't really aged.

    Maybe there's hope yet for Robin Williams' two stand-up cable specials ('An Evening With Robin Williams', 'Live At The Met')...

    An addendum to the above as far as source quality, the first 2 Paramount/HBO specials, 'Stuck In The 60's' and 'The Maddest' (my personal favorite) are the worst looking, but do get progressively better as the specials went on.
     
  6. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    While people like to make jokes about Gallagher, I've always enjoyed him, and found the "slege-o-matic" the least of his act.

    I thought his later shows weren't nearly as good, especially the ones which involve his "brother". (Was it actually his brother? Never really knew.)

    Set seems cheap enough, but I don't have a burning urge to buy it.

    Jason
     
  7. David Rain

    David Rain Screenwriter

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    I wonder what a box set of syndicated episodes would like under the sledge-o-matic ?

    *pondering gleefully*
     
  8. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    I think Gallagher is deffinately a guilty pleasure. He's probably best described as "The Carrot Top of the 80's".

    I enjoyed watching him smash stuff when I was 10, I'm not sure if I would appreciate it now. I do know a few people though that well go nuts for this DVD when I tell them though!
     
  9. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I remember him doing a bit about inconsiderate drivers. You'd shoot a suction dart with a flag on it, onto the car of a bad driver. Than after the driver collects 3 of the darts, a cop would pull him over for being an a@#hole.

    I nearly laughed myself off the couch for that one.

    And Russel, I gotta respectfully disagree with you. G is much better the CT.
     
  10. Matt Butler

    Matt Butler Screenwriter

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    Theres a show that Im aware of that didnt make the set. I remeber seeing it years ago. Gallagher had a broken arm and showed the crowd a video of a stunt he was doing which broke his arm.

    I also remember him painting with food.

    Can anyone tell me which ones these were?

    I do like the set alot though. Too bad the packaging is shit though.
     
  11. RossRoc

    RossRoc Extra

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    we always rented the gallagher videos growing up so when i saw this set was being released I went out and picked it up. I actually like the packaging, I've had no trouble at all with it.
     
  12. David Norman

    David Norman Producer
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    I go with you on this one. IMO, equivalent to calling Joni Mitchell is the Britney Spears of the 60's.
     
  13. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I saw the Two Gallagher "Best of..." volumes in the 2/$11 bin at my local Wal-Mart tonight.

    In his review above, Keith explains the the contents of the two "best of..." volumes is the same as the contents on disc #1 of the watermelon collection.
     
  14. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    Your right, it wasn't a nice comparrison was it? My bad, I was basing more on the prop comedy aspect (all I really remember of Gallagher), as opposed to the actual content. I'm just not sure I'd still "get" gallaghre's style of comedy, having become used to dirty filthy (lazy)shock comics.

    I'm trying to sucker, um, er, I mean, convince some friends to pick this up so I can watch it for free.[​IMG]
     
  15. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    That's ok Russell, memory does seem to make some things fade and some things stand out.

    BTW, is Gallagher still working?
     
  16. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Screenwriter

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    I have to agree with the comments that Gallagher was about much more than just smashing stuff (although I enjoyed that, too). The majority of his comedy was very observational in nature, and it was often pretty sharp. The Sledge-O-Matic was just the icing, and it was always a good climax.

    I may get this; at that price, it's a pretty great deal.
     
  17. David Stone

    David Stone Stunt Coordinator

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    He just performed at a nice sized venue here in Oklahoma City about a month ago (about 2500 seats, so it's not like he's headlining at "Big Al's Bar and Bait Shop"). I didn't get to go this time, but I did see him perform at the same venue back in the 80's.
     

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