By Robert Schimmel
Within the spring of 2000, Robert Schimmel used to be using excessive. He’d gained the Stand-Up of the yr Award, his HBO exact used to be an important hit, and his sitcom have been picked up. after which all of it got here crashing down. clinically determined with level III non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, he was once advised he must endure chemotherapy instantly. The sitcom used to be dumped and the hearth of his white-hot profession began to exit. yet Schimmel by no means misplaced his humorousness, his knife-like facet, and so much of all, his ardour to entertain. certainly, it used to be his simple have to laugh-even if the one humans round him have been being affected by melanoma and the room he used to be taking part in used to be the Mayo hospital infusion center-that carried him via his ordeal. From his colourful banter with nurses and different sufferers in the course of chemo, to his hilarious dialog with a wig salesman, going for the chortle was once Robert Schimmel’s survival mechanism. Alternately laugh-out-loud humorous and profound, melanoma on 5 funds an afternoon is a good account of ways one man’s face-off with a virus helped him larger comprehend himself.
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Extra resources for Cancer on $5 a Day* *(chemo not included): How Humor Got Me Through the Toughest Journey of My Life
This was measured by the sheer quantity and volume of the laughs. Before cancer, Schimmel was merely hysterically funny. After cancer, he nearly killed you. Every night when he finished his set and clicked off the last slide, the audience as one leapt to their feet. And as the house lights came up and the audience filed out of the club, their faces alternated between those who were still smiling and those who were overcome with tears. One Thursday night in January at the Improv in Irvine, California, a young man named Jesse Gonzalez shared a table with his family.
Built a doghouse—” “If we pull the plug, we have to divvy up the muffins. I insist,” says Vicki. “I only like the lemon poppy seed and you ate all of those,” my mother says. STOP! I scream. And then my legs feel heavy, immense, as if they’re made of iron, and suddenly I plummet downward like a shot and I’m— In my bed. Blinking. My mom and dad sit across from me. Vicki isn’t here. There are no muffins. I remember now. My dad brought me in. My mom came later. She called Vicki, told her what happened, and said she’d let her know when we had the results.
Now, unfortunately but inevitably, it’s over, the final divorce. Bottom line, we tried. But it wasn’t meant to be. And now Melissa. Finding her, falling in love with her, realizing that I belong with her, being more certain of that than of anything in my life. And then, wham, there’s a light shining on me, as if the spotlight finds me for the first time. I’m asked to do a sitcom. Me? You kidding? I’m fifty, bald, and Jewish. Not exactly the demographic advertisers are trying to reel in. Who cares?