Watermelons and all things messy and explosive never stood a chance with Gallagher, the gonzo stand-up comic who left audiences rolling in the aisles with his wacky routines, clever plays on words, and giant props. He was born Leo Anthony Gallagher on July 24, 1946 in Fort Bragg, NC and spent most of his childhood in Tampa, FL. Nicknamed "Butch" because of his intimidating look, Gallagher reportedly often heckled passersby as he rode his bike in his neighborhood. Before he started doing stand-up comedy, Gallagher majored in chemical engineering, followed by English literature, at the University of Southern Florida, while holding down a job as a chemist at a nitric acid plant. He lost his passion for chemistry, however, after developing a 1960s social mentality and turning his attentions toward writing and performing. After college, he worked first as a gofer and then a road manager for comic-musician Jim Stafford, who taught Gallagher about stagecraft and helped him create his own comedy routine. In the late 1960s, Gallagher took his rowdy comedy act across America before taking a stab at performing in various Hollywood clubs.