Some sad news in the world of comedy tonight. The hilarious and popular Robert Schimmel died tonight at the age of 60.
On August 26, Schimmel was in a serious car accident in Arizona. His 19-year-old daughter was driving the vehicle, with Schimmel in the passenger seat and his 11-year-old son in the back seat. His daughter quickly swerved to avoid a collision and the vehicle ended up rolling over on the side of the freeway.
His daughter was later listed in stable condition and Schimmel’s son was released from the hospital unharmed. Schimmel, sadly, was listed in “very serious” condition at first, and ultimately died as a result of his injuries earlier tonight.
Word of his death seemed to break via Twitter, as most news seems to do before actual outlets can report it these days. A slew of saddened fans offered their respects well before the passing was confirmed, including Jimmy Kimmell, who praised Schimmel as one of “the funniest and nicest guys in comedy.” Kimmell went on to say that he could not confirm the death himself, but that as much as he hoped it untrue, he had heard that “Bob” had passed away. Many comedians and others went on to share their memories of Schimmel and offer their condolences. The confirmation no one wanted to hear was eventually given by Robert’s brother, Jeff Schimmel via Facebook, who said “ROBERT SCHIMMEL. Son, Brother, Father, Grandfather, Comedian, Generous Man. I have always loved you, admired you, and was proud to be your biggest fan. I will never forget a single moment. R.I.P.”
Just a few days ago, Schimmel’s Facebook page had a Wall Post ensuring people that “The rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated. Stay tuned!” And with the mass of conflicting words making it seem like this may just be all one big misunderstanding, his now confirmed death makes it all the harder to swallow for fans.
Schimmel was one of the most respected and controversial stand-up comedians working today, releasing numerous albums and making many appearances on HBO and The Howard Stern Show. The comedian also dabbled in writing and acting, working on In Living Color and appearing in movies like Blankman and Scary Movie 2.
Schimmel’s life was not an easy one. He lost another 11-year-old son to cancer, suffered a heart attack in 1998, and two years later was diagnosed with cancer himself. After the cancer went into remission, he discovered that he would also need a liver transplant, which he was currently waiting for, due to cirrhosis that developed through a Hepatitis C infection he contracted with a blood transfusion he received while serving in the Air Force. Even worse, the fact that he had a bad liver may just be the reason his body simply wasn’t strong enough to recover from the injuries he received in the accident.
This is a sad end to the difficult life of a great comedian, and our hearts go out to all of his friends and family.
1950 — 2010