Smith: Openly gay, openly funny

The author of 'Openly Bob' will perform a benefit show for SEAGLA at the Silverbow

Posted: Thursday, October 25, 2001

Being gay is funny to Bob Smith.

Comedian and writer Smith draws on his experiences as a gay man for much of his material. He's spent the past 12 years as a professional stand-up comedian and recently published "Openly Bob," a humorous autobiography.

Smith comes to Juneau this weekend for a performance at 9 p.m. Friday at the Back Room at the Silverbow Inn. Organizer Marla Lippard said the event is a benefit for the Southeast Alaska Gay and Lesbian Alliance.

"It's a fund-raiser for SEAGLA and he's donating his time," Lippard said. "We donated the air miles for him to come up."

Smith started out as "Bob from Buffalo," and his act primarily involved poking fun at growing up in Buffalo, N.Y. He began poking fun at aspects of gay life - coming out, relating to parents and dealing with stereotypes, and discovered it went over well with audiences. Managers told him it would be a bad career move, but he thought it was funny and stuck with it.

In 1994 he was offered an HBO "One Night Stand" comedy special and that led to an invitation by Jay Leno, who booked Smith as the first openly gay comic on "The Tonight Show."

He lives in Los Angeles and works the comedy club circuit. He's exploring television opportunities and writing.

Admission to the show at the Back Room is $12, or $60 for a table of four. The room seats about 60 and there will be just one show.

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