Comedian Bob Smith is perhaps best known for being the first openly gay male comedian to star in his own 30-minute special on HBO and to perform on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.” Both milestones took place in 1994.
PIONEERING GAY COMEDIAN
The pioneering gay comedian and award-winning writer, died Saturday in his New York City home from complications from ALS, his rep told The Hollywood Reporter. Smith was 59.
“It’s with great sadness, but also a lifetime of happy memories that I’m writing to share that my beloved Bob Smith passed away this morning at age 59 after a remarkable 12-year battle with ALS,” Smith’s partner, Michael Zam, wrote on Facebook.
As a television writer, Smith wrote for ”Roseanne,” ”MADtv,” and the MTV Video Music Awards.
‘MAKING PEOPLE LAUGH’
“Making people laugh has been one of the greatest privileges in my life,” Smith told NewNowNext in a 2016 interview. “I know some people think humor isn’t as important as other things, but it’s a vital component of everything! It allows us to connect with each other, lessen our fears, lighten our work, and bear the unbearable.”
Smith and his partner raised two children together, Madeline and Xander. Zam, co-creator of FX’s “Feud: Bette and Joan,” says a memorial for Smith will be held at a comedy club in the near future.