One of the funniest comics I've ever seen perform live was the late Robert Schimmel at Zanies on Wells. I don't recall the year he was in town nor do I recall specific jokes, but I clearly recall nearly blowing beer out my ample schnozz on more than one occasion throughout the jam-packed show.
Now, two-and-a-half-years after the cancer-surviving and unabashedly raw standup (a favorite guest of radio host Howard Stern) died in a car accident at age 60, his brother Jeff Schimmel is trying to scare up cash via a kickstarter.com campaign to produce an e-book on Robert's life.
If $14,250 is pledged by Thursday, April 18, the project -- titled "Leave 'Em Laughing" -- will be funded sufficiently and the bookmaking can begin. So far the tally is a bit over $7800.
"Leave 'Em Laughing" is a story so worth telling, about a man who has earned this tribute," Jeff writes on kickstarter.com. "The only way I can be sure to bring it to you in the best, most satisfying, and most genuine way, is to raise the funds and produce it myself."
In a thematically related story, film director and ex-Chicago performer Adam McKay's comedy site funnyordie.com has posted an April Fool's Day parody of kickstarter campaigns -- none even close to as serious or heartfelt as Jeff Schimmel's. Such as this one (warning: adult material) from Israeli super model Bar Refaeli , which Robert would surely have appreciated.