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Comedy legend brings search for intelligent life to Plymouth

World renowned comedian Gallagher will make his only appearance in New England on his “Looking for Intelligent Life” tour at Plymouth’s Flying Monkey Movie House and Performance Center Saturday night. (Courtesy Photo) (click for larger version)
January 25, 2011
PLYMOUTH — If ponchos and plastic sheeting seem to have been in short supply in and around Plymouth over the past week, don't be alarmed; it's simply a sign that Gallagher is coming to town.

The renowned stand-up comedian, who became a household name the world over for taking food processing to a new level with the "Sledge-O-Matic," will take the stage at The Flying Monkey Movie House and Performance Center in downtown Plymouth Saturday night for what will be the only New England show on his "Looking for Intelligent Life" tour.

While fans sitting in the designated "splash section" will, as always, run the risk of being showered with melon pulp, lumps of cottage cheese, and bits and pieces of various other foodstuffs, a Gallagher show is about much more than flying food. A keen and original observer of human nature and American culture, Gallagher also incorporates intelligent social and political commentary into his performances, along with a plethora of oddball props and inventions that re-define the term "cutting edge."

As for what else the audience at Saturday's show can expect to see … the comedian said during a phone interview from a Wisconsin hotel room last week that he is just as excited as they are to see how things unfold.

After 30 years spent perfecting the art of live performance, from his earliest appearances at the Comedy Store and the Ice House in the late 1970's to the 16 television specials that have brought him a worldwide audience, Gallagher explained that what keeps him going through more than 100 sold-out shows a year are the opportunities he finds along the way to challenge himself — to "make the show up and do it at the same time" by improvising new material tailored to the type of audience he finds himself in front of every night.

"I know where I am," he said. "You can't go to New York [from Wisconsin] and act like it's the same people."

Just hearing the name Flying Monkey, he said, inspires him to pull out the stops and deliver a "more animated" performance.

"I'm going to be swinging from the rafters," he added.

Away from the stage, Gallagher has been busy trying to patent a number of unique inventions, such as a toilet that doesn't overflow (which he said Niagara Conservation hoped to put into production until the economic downturn forced a halt to their plans); a safety jack designed to prevent auto mechanics working underneath a vehicle from being crushed; sunglasses that turn into a tiara when positioned on top of the wearer's head; and a horse's neck and head designed to fit over an adult's knee, enabling older relatives to give 'horsey rides' to the little ones in their lives.

He said he is currently trying to get in touch basketball player Yao Ming in hopes of receiving permission to patent the "Yao-boy hat," a cowboy hat adorned with a likeness of Ming and equipped with a basketball attached to a lariat that the wearer could try to get into the hoop by moving his or her head.

"I can't reach him," Gallagher said, "but I will."

During the "Looking for Intelligent Life" tour, he has also been hard at work pitching his idea for family reunion resorts, which he believes could be created by surrounding a central, open space with bathroom-less suites uniquely designed to give family members close access to each other while at the same time giving each person their own private space.

With the kids "corralled" in their own rooms (one each for the boys and the girls), he said, the adults would be able to focus on spending time with each other, cooking or having picnics together, creating "moments you can't have at a hotel.

"In an enclosed space, you can relax a little," he said, explaining that after three decades of observing human behavior, he fells that he knows "how humans interact in that environment."

"Every weekend would be a like a holiday weekend" at a resort like that, he added, voicing his hope that the concept might one day spread "all across the United States."

Fans can visit Gallagher's Web site, www.gallaghersmash.com, for information on all of his ongoing projects.

Tickets to his performance at the Flying Monkey are priced at $35 (for "Splash Zone" seating) and $30 for reserved seating, and can be purchased online at www.flyingmonkeynh.com or by calling the box office at 536-2551. Dinner is available from 6-7 p.m. at an additional charge. Advanced reservations for the dining section are required. Doors open at 6 p.m., with the show beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The Flying Monkey is located at 39 South Main St. in Plymouth, and is part of the Common Man family.

Founded in 1971 by owner Alex Ray, the Common Man family is made up of 18 restaurants, two inns, a spa and salon, and a company store. Common Man locations include Common Man restaurants in Lincoln, Ashland, Concord, Claremont, Merrimack, Windham and Portsmouth; the Common Man Inn & Spa, Foster's Boiler Room and Italian Farmhouse in Plymouth; the Common Man Inn & Restaurant in Claremont; the Lakehouse Grille, Camp, Lago and Town Docks in Meredith; the Route 104 Diner in New Hampton; the Tilt'n Diner in Tilton; the Airport Diner n Manchester; the Common Man Express and the Common Man Company Store, both in Ashland.

For more information, visit thecman.com.

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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Littleon Food Coop
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