Synopses & Reviews
In the spring of 2000, Robert Schimmel was riding high. He'd won the Stand-Up of the Year Award, his HBO special was a huge hit, and his sitcom had been picked up. And then it all came crashing down. Diagnosed with Stage III non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, he was told he would have to undergo chemotherapy immediately. The sitcom was dumped and the fire of his white-hot career started to go out. But Schimmel never lost his sense of humor, his knife-like edge, and most of all, his passion to entertain. Indeed, it was his basic need to laugh-even if the only people around him were suffering from cancer and the room he was playing was the Mayo Clinic infusion center-that carried him through his ordeal. From his colorful banter with nurses and other patients during chemo, to his hilarious conversation with a wig salesman, going for the laugh was Robert Schimmel's survival mechanism. Alternately laugh-out-loud funny and profound, Cancer on Five Dollars a Day is an honest account of how one man's face-off with a deadly disease helped him better understand himself.
Nashville Tennessean, 1/30/09
“Offers an edgy, humorous look at [Schimmel’s] battle with the disease.”
“Personal, profane, often overdone and equally often hilarious…The book bursts with life, and its message of fighting back—coupled with its equally strong message of trying anything when you have nothing to lose—is sure to resonate with families dealing with any type of serious disease, not just cancer.”
“Incredibly interesting and very, very funny…While this is not what I’d call a light read, it is anything but grim. It’s the story of an extraordinary man who is painfully honest about himself, his illness, and how it changed him. It’s the archetypal human drama; the hero and the telling are beautiful but raw…I highly recommend Schimmel’s book. You’ll get to know him and learn something, all while laughing your head off.”
“A very fast read…[Schimmel] tells his story without pulling any punches…Cancer on $5 a Day is written in a friendly, relaxed manner that helps the reader to immediately empathize with Schimmel's plight.”
Omaha World Herald, 3/26/09
“Schimmel spilled a goulash of emotions, thoughts, observations and roguish jokes into his paperback.”
Ode, August 2009
“Tells the story of how [Schimmel] kept his wicked sense of humor after he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.”
Stand-up comedian Robert Schimmel's edgy, hilarious, and poignant musings on his battle with cancer
Stand-up comedian Schimmel offers his edgy, hilarious, and poignant musings on his battle with cancer. The author's conversational account is particularly ribald, emphasizing the importance a sense of humor can play in coping, learning, and healing.
In the spring of 2000, stand-up comedian Robert Schimmel was diagnosed with stage III non-Hodgkins lymphoma, and soon the fire of his white-hot career started to fizzle.
But Schimmel never lost his sense of humor, his searing honesty, and most of all, his passion to make people laugh. Indeed, it was his basic need to entertaineven if the only people around him were suffering from cancer and the room he was playing was the Mayo Clinic infusion centerthat carried him through his ordeal.
Alternately laugh-out-loud funny and deeply moving, Cancer on $5 a Day is a stirring account of how one mans face-off with a deadly disease helped him better understand himself, and ultimately changed his life.
About the Author
was named one of Comedy Centrals 100 Greatest Comics. He is a regular on Howard Stern and Conan OBrien. He lives in Los Angeles.
Alan Eisenstock is the author of several nonfiction works. He lives in Pacific Palisades, California.