According to the longtime comedian, he got stiffed out of his $10,000 fee by Chase Ebaugh, a 22-year-old North Versailles promoter who is facing a lawsuit tied to a canceled Bill Engvall comedy stop last year in Oakland's Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum.
“The trip to Uniontown meant a lot to me because it was kind of like completing the circle of life,” said Leo Gallagher, 67, noting that his Irish grandfather in Sharon and Croatian grandmother from West Virginia courted in that part of Fayette County and that he drew much of his early comedic inspiration from them.I guess it wasn't worth not getting paid, though, not that I blame him--making a living in any of the arts is tough and people deserve to be paid for the work they do, plus it's just shady to book an artist and not pay them.
CEE Presents promoter Ebaugh told the Tribune-Review that he wants to pay Gallagher something — maybe $7,500 — but he spent nearly twice that on radio advertising and sold only about half of the State Theatre's 1,404 seats. He said he does not want to take a major loss.I have bad news for you, Ebaugh--if you promised a performer $10,000 and spent double that on advertising but still only sold about half the theater's tickets, that's your problem and you still owe said performer what you said you'd pay them. So you're out all that money and you don't want to take a loss? Tough shit. These things happen--even the State Theater's manager has said event promotion is a big risk--and people are like you are why all judges on daytime TV have jobs
“Gallagher is an awesome guy, and there's no way I want to hurt him,” Ebaugh said, “but he just didn't sell the tickets."Actually, Ebaugh, you didn't sell the tickets. That's your job, not Gallagher's. Gallagher's job is to show up and be funny, which fans said he did. Besides, it's hard to side with someone who's being sued because of ticket reimbursements for a Bill Engvall show and claims he filed for bankruptcy but has no proof of it.
Ebaugh told the Trib that he filed for bankruptcy in June. The Trib could not find a record of bankruptcy proceedings in Ebaugh's name or that of CEE Presents.Oh, and he tried to back out of the fee the day of the concert.
Craig Marquardo, Gallagher's manager in Oregon, shared with the Trib a string of emails he exchanged with Ebaugh dating back to the day of the concert. They show Ebaugh mentioning his earlier losses on Gallagher's show and trying to back out of his pledge to pay the $10,000 fee printed on the Uniontown gig's offer sheet.
Ebaugh told the Trib that the messages prove only that he had no written contract with Gallagher and he's sticking to his $7,500 offer — take it or leave it. Gallagher's manager wonders whether the comic will ever see a penny from a Uniontown show that grossed nearly $21,000.Except for the fact that they prove he had agreed to pay $10,000 and changed his mind. Granted, I'm not sure if e-mails saying, "I don't want to pay you $10,000 anymore" count as a written agreement, but it doesn't really help Ebaugh out much.
Erica Miller, manager of the historic State Theatre, said she's now “kind of leery” of working with Ebaugh because of his dispute with Gallagher. Ebaugh paid the theater's $2,700 rental fee, and the comic's fans told her that “it was a great experience,” but stiffing the talent is never good, she said.Can't say I blame her.