Stand up comedy was booming in the 1980’s. Clubs were packed night after night to see hot acts like Robin Williams, Andrew Dice Clay, and tons of others. I was just a child when I saw stand up on TV for the first time. My brother and I were watching HBO or maybe some other late night show on cable when we came across Robert Schimmel. I still remember the joke he told, he was taking about auto erotic asphyxiation, you know, where you choke yourself while you are pleasuring yourself to make it feel even better. Schimmel said he could never do that because with his luck, he’d die and then the police would find him, bring his mother in and say, “here’s how we found him”. My brother and I were rolling on the floor laughing. The kind of laughing where you start punching your brother because its so funny. I loved it, his whole routine and especially loved that it was just a man on a stage with a mic and a spotlight shining on him, something about it seemed special and cool. I loved how he could captivate an audience and make them laugh. I thought maybe I could one day do that. Years later, once I was in the comedy scene, I heard about how Robert Schimmel had cancer and had beaten it, he even wrote a book about it. Then, not to long after that, I heard he suddenly died in a car crash. I’ve watched his youtube videos here and there and have never been able to find that joke on video that I heard when I was 11. I don’t care because I can still hear it in my head like it was yesterday. If you don’t know Robert Schimmel, check him out, he’s a funny dude and I think of him a lot when I am out there doing comedy. I hope I can make someone laugh for the first time watching stand up like he did for me.

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is a stand up comedian located in Los Angeles, CA

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