Robert Schimmel – R.I.P.

by Adam Hammer on September 20, 2010

Robert Schimmel

January 16, 1950 – September 3, 2010

It’s taken me like 3 weeks to write this. Not because I’ve been overwhelmed with grief, but because I’ve been slammed with other shit. But I thought I’d be a dick if I didn’t write something. I really suck at this kind of stuff. Thanks to all the well wishers that texted and messaged me.

Here goes…

Take more pictures people. It’s all digital now. There’s no processing film. Cameras are on every cell phone. Take more pictures.

Robert Schimmel died September 3rd this year after suffering serious injuries in a car accident. His daughter (the driver) and son are in stable condition.

He survived cancer (twice), a heart attack, 2 divorces, multiple car accidents, deaths in his family, a failing liver and multiple other incidents that would have crippled a weaker man. He was poised to be the next big thing in comedy before being diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma and having his whole world, everything he’d worked for up to that point, yanked from under him. He was hit in the face more times by the proverbial right cross than any person I’d ever met and kept on fighting. All with a smile on his face.

“When it comes to Schimmel, what can go wrong, will go wrong,” my wife once told me. And she was right. He was even pulled out of line at the airport and stripped searched for weapons by a TSA agent… who recognized him and called him by name.

He was a great comic, a great person, and someone I looked up to. He always made me laugh and I was filled with pride when off-stage I could return the favor.

I had the opportunity to open up for him for most of 2008 and into 2009. He let me into his inner circle and I feel honored to have experienced that. He had 2 other guys that opened for him for years, but he came across one of my videos online, liked what he saw and gave me a shot. That shot turned into a calendar full of dates opening up for him in the top clubs across the country.

And I don’t have a single picture with him.

I think the naivete of my youth got the better part of me. I know people pass all the time but for some reason I feel invincible. An invincibility fueled by reckless abandon. I guess I thought a survivor of his caliber would have been kickin’ long enough for me to grab a picture with him. I guessed wrong.

I’m left with nothing but good memories, which my alcohol consumption is doing its best to get rid of.

When he told me his liver was failing and he needed a transplant, I told him I’d offer him mine but I’m not sure it’s any better than his. He laughed.

So like I said, take pictures.

Enjoy the Great Beyond Robert. And if you’re wasting your time in eternity reading THIS bullshit, stop. Go get a blow job.

Thanks for reading. Tell your friends. Add me, follow me, sign up for my mailing list, and keep on trucking.

To get an idea of the Robert Schimmel I knew best, check out his latest Showtime special “Life Since Then” or his book “Cancer on $5 A Day…”

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