Robert was a great guy. I first met him in the early 90’s when he was being played on the radio by the legendary Mark Parenteau, at WBCN, who I worked for.
Not being super into comedy, I can tell you… I’m not the guy to say critical or insightful things about comedy… dissecting it, like music. So my take is…
We had a cavalcade of comedians come through the door at BCN… I was there almost a decade, and they had a lot of comedians — big names — who did their bit live either on Mark’s show, or Nik Carter’s or Charles’… (Laquidara).I’ve had a lot myself since, so between then and now, out of all of them… for me…
Robert Schimmel was among the funniest. This guy could really entertain me. I would laugh so hard for so long at his events, like Comedy Connection Faneuil Hall… he’d own the night. The pure, raw evoking of genuine laughter, and creating a moment to forget about everything else, like a movie, and he was the sole actor on the stage, conducting it live.
In more recent times, it was a great thrill, when I was doing my own afternoon show, in Honolulu, to have Robert as a guest. He did an advance phoner and a wonderful in-studio appearance. I believe, the only one I ever hosted with him myself. His act in December 2003 at the Pipeline Cafe was a treat to see. My face hurt from smiling so much.
Hearing that he’s gone is sad. He had been a familiar face from my Boston days, my early pro radio world; that’s how it felt, when I was privileged to have him as my very own guest, right here in Honolulu. I hope you can tell from the way I say that, how fortunate I feel to have worked with this man personally. I still feel him under my arm.
Robert, you take it easy bro… I give you a big hug, and humble little me sends you off with aloha. Your professionalism through personal hell, and incredibly bright glowing talent under unimaginable pain, will burn like a torch forever. You’re forever a teacher through the lessons… painful lessons… you leave behind.