Ever since I was about ten years old and watching Comedy Central when it was still known as The Comedy Channel, I recognized that the comedian Gallagher’s routine was overly and detrimentally simplistic: he smashed things with a hammer, and people laughed at it. At that age I was waking up to the benefits of layering meaning onto things, so even my ten-year-old self realized that there was no depth to smashing watermelons with a hammer and, subsequently, little to no artistic value. Enough people apparently disagree with this that Gallagher is still floating around these days, so his popularity was also an early lesson in the large numbers of people who can be entertained by dumb things. (Myself fully included, but I feel like the performer has to be at least somewhat self-aware of the dumbness before I can enjoy it. Otherwise I’m worried that they’re just as dumb as their art.)
To sum up that paragraph, Gallagher is terrible. That’s why I found his interview with intellectual hipster bastion The A.V. Club so utterly compelling: the interviewer took a completely awful performer, gave him enough rope to hang himself about eight times, and got a really curious and entertaining read out the other end. It does a great job of communicating the subject’s lack of talent without ever directly touching on it, simply by giving a man who smashes things for entertainment the space to rant about the celebration of mediocrity.
Golf clap to you, David Wolinsky, for recognizing when less is more to make your point effectively.