Bob Smith one of the most admired and well-liked gay comedians has died after battling ALS for years. He became the first openly gay comic to host his own HBO half-hour comedy special and to appear on “The Tonight Show,” both in 1994′
The beauty of Smith’s performing and writing is that in his comedy gay men were not the victims or the butt of his jokes. He was making the jokes about us as gay men and saying laugh with him, instead of laughing at him. It was such a refreshing change and made him much adored within the LGBT community.
queerguru had the pleasure seeing Smith perform at least a couple of times in Provincetown at the Crown and Anchor as part of the Funny Gay Males troupe. Like all his jokes our favorite one from that time was based on his own real-life experiences. He recounted that on a day that followed a particularly brutal hurricane that hit P Town, he went outside and espied a drag queen very nonchalantly dressed as Dorothy and dragging Toto along. That he said, with more than a hint of admiration, was way too gay.
Smith’s memoir ‘Openly Bob’ is his wonderful observation of not just his gay life, but those around him too, and is such an uplifting witty read, just like the man himself. He will be greatly missed.
Bob Smith (December 24, 1958 – January 20, 2018) R.I.P.