Comedian and Author Robert Schimmel Has Died
Robert Schimmel, comedian and author, has died from injuries suffered in a car accident. He was 60 years old.
Schimmel and his son were passengers in a car driven by his 19-year-old daughter Aliyah in Phoenix, Arizona when the accident occurred. Witnesses say that Aliyah had swerved to avoid an accident in her lane and lost control of the vehicle, causing her car to roll over several times before landing on the shoulder of the highway. Shimmel suffered major injuries and died days later at a Phoenix hospital. Aliyah and her younger brother sustained minor injuries. All occupants of the vehicle were wearing seatbelts.
Rodney Dangerfield introduced Schimmel to the world when Dangerfield invited Shimmel to appear on his HBO “Young Comedians” special. Like Schimmel’s idol Lenny Bruce, his act was considered too raunchy and he refused to tone it down. As a result, he was often shunned by mainstream audiences and limited to late-night or satellite shows that were less controlled by the FCC. Named one of Comedy Central’s 100 Greatest Comics, he has numerous specials on HBO and Showtime, and has appeared regularly on The Howard Stern Show and Conan O’Brien.
No stranger to tragedy, Schimmel was the son of two Holocaust survivors. As an adult, he lost his then 11-year-old son Derek to leukemia. Since then, he has survived a heart attack, survived cancer treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and was on the list for a liver transplant due to cirrhosis of the liver caused by hepatitis C, which he had contracted after a blood transfusion.
Through it all, Schimmel remained open about his health and personal life. Finding strength in humor, he wrote two books: “Cancer on Five Dollars a Day* (*chemo not included)” and ” How Humor Got Me Through the Toughest Journey of My Life. “
“So my wife said she read this article in a magazine and she said: “You know, maybe you’re suffering from premature ejaculation.” Yeah, does it look like I’m suffering? Those aren’t tears on your belly. ” ~ Robert Schimmel