Controversy swirls as Pasco-Hernando State College hires Gallagher

Gallagher sports his Pasco-Hernando colors on a recent visit to the Spring Hill campus.

Gallagher sports his Pasco-Hernando colors on a recent visit to the Spring Hill campus.

By Frank Fencil |

BROOKSVILLE, Florida — In a move described by many as simply smashing, Pasco-Hernando State College has hired Gallagher as an adjunct chemistry professor.

Leo Gallagher is best known for this irreverent brand of pointed social commentary and zany props including the melon-crushing Sledge-O-Matic, and official records show only Eddie Murphy made more Americans laugh in the 1980s. But the longtime Tampa denizen also holds a chemical engineering degree from the University of South Florida.

“We fully trust that Gallagher will raise the IQ of our students the way he raises Cain on stage every night, or at least the way he did until his second or third heart attack,” said PHSC vice dean Charles Peralta, who noted the university did an extensive background check to ensure they had not accidentally hired the famed comedian’s imposter brother, Ron, who toured as Gallagher Too. “We’ll have a classroom of students capable of smashing anything from an atom to a watermelon.”

Gallagher visited PHSC in 2012 for a one-off comedic performance, and his right-wing act struck a chord with students and faculty.

“We’re so glad to have Gallagher right now because how many smart, funny, conservative people can you even think of?” asked chemistry chair Dillon Shell. “I can count to Gallagher and Dennis Miller on one hand and that’s about it.”

Not everyone joined in Shell’s enthusiasm. Several faculty members raised concerns about the hiring with some worried that the comedian’s revered celebrity status would allow him to skip ahead in the tenuring process and others expressing concerns that Gallagher could snap at any moment.

“The man is very violent, and you can just see it in the way he smashes things and just smashes, smashes, smashes,” associate professor Gina Stave said. “Watch one of his old specials and look in his eyes when he stares out into the crowd from underneath that bowler hat. You look at that and tell me he’s not capable of killing.”

Frank Fencil

Frank Fencil is an award-winning journalist with more than two decades' experience. He has uncovered government corruption, toppled dirty police forces and covered two foreign wars as an international correspondent. He chose to return to his native Spring Hill in hopes of giving his hometown the quality watchdog journalism it deserves.

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