Comic Robert Schimmel, 60, has died of injuries sustained in an auto accident in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he lived.
In an appreciation of the comic, who was a favorite of "The Howard Stern Show," Jim Bessman of examiner.com. wrote, "With all comedian Robert Schimmel lived through during his 60 years, his death yesterday from injuries suffered last week in a car crash comes as a cruel joke.
"He had somehow endured the death of an 11 year-old son to cancer, a heart attack and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and was hoping for a liver transplant due to the cirrhosis that had developed out of hepatitis C, contacted from a blood transfusion during a hernia operation while serving in the Air Force in 1968."
According to the Arizona Republic, the auto accident happened on the 101 freeway in Scottsdale on Thursday, August 26, 2010, according to Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves. Schimmel died on Friday night, Sept. 3, 2010 at John C. Lincoln Medical Center in north Phoenix.
The Arizona newspaper reported that "Schimmel, his 11-year-old son and his 19-year-old daughter Aliyah, the driver of the vehicle, were seriously injured when their Honda coupe was run off the road by an out-of-control SUV, Graves said. Their car landed in a concrete drainage ditch on the side of the road. The driver of the SUV fled the scene of the accident but was arrested later that evening, Graves said."
The Arizona newspaper also said on Sept. 4th that "Aliyah Schimmel is still at Scottsdale Osborn hospital in stable condition. The boy was not seriously injured."
In his tribute to Schimmel, Bessman quotes Bob Merlis, the music publicist who signed Schimmel to Warner Bros. Records in 1996 and executive-produced his albums "Robert Schimmel Comes Clean," "If You Buy This CD I Can Get This Car," and "Unprotected":
""While his comedy was certainly cutting edge, it was humane rather than cruel. He was the butt of his own jokes and lampooned his own foibles and unique circumstance; he never victimized others with his humor and that was something that drew me to him almost immediately. Above all else, he loved his kids and was always deeply involved in their lives through good times and bad. Robert was a friend whose talent, compassion and humanity I shall miss for the rest of my life."
Schimmel also made a number of appearances on Conan O’Brien’s old late night show on NBC.