Four and a half stars

Crackers Broad Ripple; Nov. 14

His words are quietly sharp, and his striking comedic genius is as melancholy as it is vulgar. Robert Schimmel is a professional open book, with shockingly honest commentary on his own life, near-death and the sex in between. He invites you into the most intimate and uncomfortable crevices of his past, and willingly encourages his audience to rummage through his family’s dirty laundry, all with a wink and a nudge to suggest that the family malice is all too funny to hurt. It is rare in the business of stand-up comedy for a patron to exit the showroom feeling something above the giddy buzz of comedic entertainment; but Schimmel accomplished it. His hour on stage was more than insightful or funny or entertaining — all the things that a decent comedian should provide. It was a diagnosis on life itself; a reminder that more than bad things happen, or funny things happen, and resilience and love are laughably tantamount to their weight.

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