Comedian Gallagher Uses Humor in Masterclass for Lincoln Park Students
November 16, 2016
Lincoln Park students got plenty of laughs during a rare masterclass with comedy legend Gallagher inside the MainStage Theater at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center.
The famed comedian and prop comic drew cheers from the more than 200 students when he first emerged onstage in a shiny bowler hat topped with an American flag and declaring Nov. 15 "a great day of school."
Gallagher then used humor to discuss comedy and the power of communication. He is known for his trademark "Sledge-o-Matic," routine in which he uses a large mallet to smash watermelon and other food and objects.
Gallagher was joined by fellow comedians Artie Fletcher and Bob Nelson. With help from a student volunteer, the trio delivered a mix of lessons, from speaking boldly to taking control of the future by setting goals and having a plan.
"Comedy gives you the opportunity to get on a mountain and look down at the world, and tell them what they're really doing...what's the truth," 70-year-old Gallagher told students, stepping onto a red table he uses for smashing items.
At one point, Gallagher used the element of "surprise," pulled off his T-shirt and revealed an ill-fitting undershirt he crafted from a pair of underwear.
"Wasn't that a good example of a visual aid?" he asked to a burst of applause.
Gallagher is the star of 14 Showtime specials, some that have re-aired on Comedy Central, and he has appeared on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson.
He stopped by the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center a day before entertaining here as part of his "Joke's on You Tour," also billed as his last Pittsburgh-area comedy appearance.
Tour partner Bob Nelson has had four HBO specials, appeared on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson several times, and had several supporting film roles, including "Kindergarten Cop." He spoke to students about "the business," and the importance of being confident and prepared.
Special guest Artie Fletcher is one of the entertainment industry's most talked about, must-see performers, and is no stranger to film, television, commercials, voice overs, and live stand-up comedy. He has appeared on "Law and Order: Criminal Intent," "Late Night" with Conan O'Brien, "Late Night" with David Letterman, and "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson.
Fletcher told students he worked his way from waiting tables, driving a cab and being a bicycle messenger. At 36 years old, he attended the New York School of Arts in New York City, where he said the television show "Fame" came about. He went on 65 auditions, getting rejected for various reasons. Finally, he landed a role and it had a "trickling effect."
"You do whatever you have to do to accomplish what you want to do, and then you have to focus on that...where you're trying to get," Fletcher said.
About Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School
Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School (www.lppacs.org) is a Pennsylvania public school providing a state-approved academic program and pre-professional training for grades 7-12 in music, theater, dance, creative writing, health science arts and media arts. The school enrolls students from more than 65 surrounding school districts.
Media Contact: Fred Miller, communications coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org