When the moment is right (as they say on those way more creepy than sexy Cialis commercials), most people shut the boudoir door and bolt it behind them. Not comedian Robert Schimmel. During his hour-long sex act, he flings open the door and virtually invites spectators into his bedroom. You get the feeling he may even have stadium seats in there.
Schimmel has much more than one comedy gear, but in Life Since Then, his new Showtime special, which premieres on Wednesday, Jan. 14, at 10 p.m. (and comes out on DVD in stores the day before), the conversation somehow shifts to sex even when it starts out being about parasailing, swimming with dolphins, terrifying roller coaster rides or the horrifying aftermath of chemotherapy on his apparatus. (Hint: Not even Rogaine could help his problem, shhh, “down there.”)
Maybe we would all open up about sex at work like Schimmel does if our office were a stage or comedy club. Judging from the opening minutes of the show, he had the sex talk with his children in utero. The funny thing is, no matter how raunchy the jokes are, Schimmel never comes across as lecherous. Graphic sex is just his uproarious comedy shtick.
Near the end of the special, he even becomes intimate with the audience (though, no, not that way). He turns serious and sentimental when explaining that the title refers to his life since June 5, 2000, his D-Day, when doctors diagnosed him with Stage III non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He started chemotherapy immediately, and almost nine years later, he can joke poignantly onstage and in his hilarious and heartfelt book, Cancer on $5 a Day, about the struggle to beat the long odds and the dreadful disease.
After laughing convulsively for 60 minutes, viewers may wonder who has the better sense of humor, Schimmel or his apparently embarrassment-proof sons and daughters?