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If the masks of Tragedy and Comedy were fused into one face it'd make up the taut features of stand-up comic and cancer survivor Robert Schimmel. The funnyman has reason to laugh; he's been through hell.

Schimmel lost a son to cancer, had a heart attack, and was diagnosed with cancer himself while working on his sitcom debut. Then he left his wife for his daughter's friend. But things are looking up for Schimmel, After all, he's here getting his fifteen minutes of Skin!

Mr. Skin has always been a fan of Schimmel's no-holes-barred humor, which is in knee-slapping evidence as the two greats discuss the dirty joke that allegedly got him blacklisted from Late Night with Conan O'Brien, how hot his new young wife is, and why sex is hilarious.

Schimmel is working on a book and another comedy special, but until that time enjoy his company at RobertSchimmel.com.

You moved to Los Angeles to become a comedian. A club owner invited you to be a regular, but when you got there the place had burned down. Do you consider that it may have been an act of God?

Act of God? Well that's what the owner told the fire department. But one still wonders . . . was it fate or Jewish Lightning?

Is it true you auditioned for the role of George on Seinfeld and told creator Larry David that the script wasn't funny?

Well, I didn't audition per se. I was sitting on a couch, waiting to audition. A guy sat next to me and asked me what I thought of the script. I told him that [Jerry] Seinfeld was a funny guy, but whoever wrote the script didn't know dick about sitcom writing. I guess you know who the guy was. So, no, I didn't get to audition.

To add injury to insult, you suffered a heart attack in 2000 as you were working on your TV series and then were diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. It sounds horrible, but you did meet your wife that way. She's a friend of your daughter's, and not much older. Is that awkward or hot?

Both. It was very awkward when my daughter and wife caught me with my daughter's friend. And yes, it was also hot. Very hot. Well, my wife got hot! She had no sense of humor about that kind of stuff. Actually we all get along fine. Just not with each other.

How is your personal life going now?

It's okay now. As long as I can come up with spousal maintenance, child support, mortgage, insurance, car payments, insurance. It's a cakewalk!

Fox picked up the pilot for Schimmel, but it eventually cancelled the show, even after you recovered. Is it gone for good?

The pilot was picked up right before I was diagnosed with cancer. By the time I was done with treatment and back to my natural weight, the people in charge of my show were gone. Is it gone for good? If there was a show, where I could be myself, I would be excited. Actually I'd be more at home on Comedy Central than network TV.

You used to perform on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, but since 1999 you have not been a guest. You claim it was a dirty joke that got your barred. What was the joke?

That is an urban legend. Yes, I did get in trouble. Conan walked into my dressing room and asked what I was going to open with. I told him that I had nitrous oxide at the dentist's office and was pretty stoned. The dentist came in and said, "Robert, now you're going to feel a little prick in your mouth." And I replied, "I'm going to need a lot more gas before that shit starts happening." Well, I went out there and did it. That's when the music started playing. But I have been back since then.

All sex acts are inherently funny-at least that's what the minions at MrSkin.com believe. What's your most absurd sex story?

Once I bought a condom that had a vibrating ring on it, to enhance the experience for the woman. Well, this thing was so loud that she started laughing and I couldn't get it up. So I tore it off and threw it in the trash. When I tried again, we heard the condom buzzing in the waste paper basket. She started laughing again. And that was that for the night.

I was performing in West Palm Beach. A couple I met at the show was staying at the same hotel as I was and offered me a ride back. They wanted to see the suite the club had put me in, and as I went into the bathroom to pee, they got undressed and started doing it on my bed. When I walked out, he asked if I wanted to join in. He said, "Anything goes!" Right. Like my chances of ever getting into heaven.

On your website there's a glossary of dirty words; what's your favorite?

Getting your "hat blocked," very old school slang for blowjob.

Do you remember the first nude scene you saw in a mainstream movie?

Had to be Anne Bancroft in The Graduate (Picture: ). Wanted to get an Alfa Romeo and pick up married women.

Is there a particular favorite cinematic skin scene that turns you on?

Viggo Mortensen and Maria Bello screwing on the staircase after a fight from A History of Violence (Picture: ). Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger in 9 1/2 Weeks (Picture: 1). Catherine Deneuve (Picture: 1) and Susan Sarandon (Picture: 1)in The Hunger. Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas in Desperado (Picture: 1).

How about actresses, who are your favorite sex symbols and why?

Salma Hayek (Picture: 1), Ziyi Zhang, Maria Bello (Picture: 1), Winona Ryder (Picture: 1), Halle Berry (Picture: 1), Diane Lane (Picture: 1), Drew Barrymore (Picture: 1), Jessica Alba (Picture: 1). Why? Because they remind me of my mother. Are you kidding me?

Is Resurrection your most recent comedy record? What are you working on now?

Yes. And as we speak, I am working on material for another special and almost done with a book.

Any last words for the legions of loyal Mr. Skin and Robert Schimmel fans?

Laughter is the best medicine. But morphine is a close second.

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