(from Kickstarter.com c/o Robert's brother, Jeff Schimmel)
Robert Schimmel was a well known and beloved stand-up comic whose roller-coaster life came to a abrupt end on September 3, 2010. Making people laugh is all he wanted to do. Proof: engraved on his headstone are the words "I'm A Comedian." He sure was.
This project will pay a very funny, but heartfelt, tribute to Robert, while allowing those who loved him to share their personal stories, and provide continuing support to his favorite charity. READ ON!
During his 32 year career in comedy, Robert entertained audiences from New York to Alaska, Hawaii to Canada, the Cayman Islands to Scotland, and almost everywhere in between. He appeared in clubs and theaters, performed on late night TV talk shows, was interviewed on radio shows, was featured in newspapers and magazines, and starred in his own TV pilot, recorded X-rated CD's and specials on HBO and Showtime, etc. Robert won the American Comedy Award for "Best Male Stand-Up" and is #76 on Comedy Central's list of the Top 100 Comedians of All Time.
But before Robert Schimmel ever took to the stage, he was just my big brother, Bobby. Since his death, I have felt a deep void in my life caused by his absence, and the guilt caused by my inability to create a fitting memorial or tribute to Bobby. I love him and miss him, and he is so deserving to be recognized for his talent, his commitment to his art, and his contributions to those he met and brought laughter to night after night, plus those unknown people who benefited from his support and were touched and encouraged by his struggles to overcome adversity.
hat is the purpose of this project. Hence, the Kickstarter campaign. With your help, I will be creating an interactive eBook tribute to Robert Schimmel, one that will include all that technology makes possible. It will contain many of my own short stories, both wild and poignant, that will highlight the real Bobby Schimmel, the man his fans never had a chance to know. This interactive eBook will also feature embedded clips from private video and audio tapes that will introduce you to events in my brother's life that were the foundation for his career in comedy. Video and audio clips that few outside the family have ever seen - or could even imagine. The interactive eBook will also include photos from Robert's life, again unseen by most. There will even be a fun Robert Schimmel Trivia Game that even members of our family couldn't win!
The interactive eBook will be available as a download, plus there will be a limited edition hardcover version of the project, in addition to a permanent website that will serve as a public memorial to my brother.
A very exciting aspect of this interactive eBook is that Robert Schimmel's friends, fans, family, and fellow comics will be able to share their own stories about their relationships and/or encounters with Robert. For years, I have met people all over the country who have told me about their fun adventures and sincere, private talks with my brother. He made a difference in their lives, either through comedy or camaraderie, and now they have a rare opportunity to tell those stories to the world. Robert received countless emails from fans, and many times he shared them with me. My goal is to have as many friends, fans, and fellow comics submit stories and photographs for others to read and see. What better way to pay tribute to Robert than to share personal memories of the man we all adored, and what he meant to us. (Of course, stories will be subject to editing and final approval by the author, but in keeping with Robert's sensibilities, strict censorship standards for language will not necessarily be applied!) Sometimes, it's impossible to tell a Robert Schimmel story without telling it the way it was.