|Birth name||Robert George Schimmel|
|Born||January 16, 1950
Bronx, New York
Robert George "Bob" Schimmel (born January 16, 1950) is an American stand-up comedian whose material is often X-rated and controversial. He is perhaps best known for his comedy albums and his appearances on HBO and The Howard Stern Show. Schimmel's material almost always pertains to sex, whether he is discussing computers, his daughter, or animals.
Schimmel was born in the Bronx, New York, the son of Betty and Otto Schimmel, Jewish survivors of the Holocaust. He was voted class clown during high school and was in the Air Force for one year during the Vietnam War. A resident of Scottsdale, Arizona, his career began when, at the urging of his sister, he performed at a comedy club's open-mic night. A club owner in Los Angeles offered to make him a regular, but when Schimmel moved there he found that the club had burned down.
Schimmel married his first wife, Vicki, in 1977, and they had four children together. They also had a son, Derek, who died of cancer at age 11. Schimmel then married his second wife, Melissa, with whom he has two children.
In 1998, Schimmel suffered a heart attack, and in June 2000, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. His treatments included chemotherapy and required long stays in the hospital. During one such session, his daughter Jessica brought her boss, Melissa, to visit him, and the two began an unlikely May-December romance. Schimmel's cancer went into remission, resulting in his decision to return to his wife Vicki and break off his relationship with Melissa. Schimmel later reunited with Melissa, leading to the conception of their child. Schimmel then divorced his wife Vicki and married Melissa.
Schimmel was arrested by deputies from the county of Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, Lost Hills Station, at his residence, in the city of Calabasas, on allegations of domestic violence in the early morning hours of May 2, 2009. This was a result of an alleged confrontation between Schimmel and his wife Melissa. After concluding there was insufficient evidence to proceed further, the DA declined to press charges. On May 8, 2009, Melissa Schimmel filed for divorce citing irreconcilable differences.
Schimmel's willingness to frankly and humorously discuss the tragic events of his life in his act has set him apart from other comics. Before his illness, his act included a bit about how strange it might be if a person wore a wig on their pubic area. When he lost his body hair due to chemotherapy treatment, he discovered that there really is such a thing — these wigs, or merkins, have existed for hundreds of years. He updated the comedy bit accordingly.
Schimmel will incorporate any aspect of his personal life into his act, even the death of his son. In perhaps his most extreme bit, Schimmel joked about making obscene suggestions to a lady from the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
Schimmel cites Lenny Bruce as his all-time comedy hero. Like Bruce, Schimmel's raunchy act has gotten him into trouble from time to time. Schimmel had not been asked to perform on Late Night with Conan O'Brien from 1999 until a 2008 appearance, and he believed this was because of a particularly dirty sex joke he told during his last appearance. However, his edgy style has made him a hit on The Howard Stern Show.
In his stand-up act and a radio interview with Paul Harris, Schimmel talked about his November 8, 1999 appearance on "The Hollywood Squares." The taping was reportedly stopped at least once when Schimmel ad-libbed jokes about Louie Anderson. ("Family Feud," which Anderson hosted at the time, and "Hollywood Squares" both taped at CBS Television City.)
Schimmel has released several comedy albums, including Robert Schimmel Comes Clean; If You Buy This CD, I Can Get This Car; Unprotected; and Reserection.
Schimmel is number 76 on Comedy Central's list of the 100 Greatest Standups of All Time.
Schimmel wrote a book titled Cancer on $5 a Day* *(chemo not included): How Humor Got Me Through the Toughest Journey of My Life.