SINCE Bob Smith started writing and performing stand-up in 1977, he’s appeared on The Tonight Show, had his own HBO special, and crafted wonderfully funny one-liners. Thanks to his memorable bit on coming out to his family at Thanksgiving, every year I find myself turning to my mother and saying over my turkey-laden plate, “Mom, would you please pass the gravy to a homosexual.” At the microphone, or at the dinner table, the joke never fails to crack folks up.
Getting laughs onstage, however, is certainly no guarantee of coming across funny in print; we’ve all seen far too many comedians whose books offer nothing more than a transcript of their 45-minute stand-up routine. Bob, on the other hand, has successfully adapted his talents to the page, producing two laugh-out-loud books of comic essays in the 90’s (the Lambda-Award winning Openly Bob and the Lambda-Award nominated Way to Go, Smith!) and his critically acclaimed debut novel Selfish & Perverse, published in 2007. His second novel, Remembrance of Things I Forgot, will be released this June by the University of Wisconsin Press. Throughout his writing career, and until recently, Bob has continued to perform on stage, disarming audiences with wry wit and wickedly biting observations that belie his nice-guy persona.