Sunday, September 5, 2010


RIP to the hilarious but ill-starred Robert Schimmel, killed in a car accident at 60.

I got to know him a little when I interviewed him for New Times, & later on my KTAR radio show, & again when I worked as a publicist for the Tempe Improv. I liked him a lot. He had had some horrifying bad luck—the loss of a young son to brain cancer, & a later struggle with cancer himself, plus some self-generated bad luck—& he never became quite as famous as he probably should have. He was enormously respected within the stand-up comedy community for his old-school stage chops, however.

I also always thought he had one of the best speaking voices I ever heard. I never understood why he wasn’t in demand as a voice-over artist. He could have done Shakespeare with that voice.

Schimmel is, by the way, the third comedian I knew from my brief time in that world—Mitch Hedberg & Richard Jeni are the others—to have passed on way too young.

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