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Finding Aid to the Bob Smith Stand-up Comedy and Writings Coll2012.004
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Arrangement
  • Biography
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Scope and Contents
  • Separated Materials

  • Title: Bob Smith Stand-up Comedy and Writings
    Identifier/Call Number: Coll2012.004
    Contributing Institution: ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 4.0 linear feet. 4 records boxes + 1 flat archive box.
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1991-2004
    Date (inclusive): 1972-2006
    Abstract: This collection primarily consists of material relating to Bob Smith’s professional career as a writer and comedian, and includes scripts, manuscripts, newspaper clippings, writing and performance contracts, calendars, research files, correspondence, and recordings of his performances. (1972-2006, bulk: 1991-2004).
    creator: Smith, Bob, 1958-


    Arranged into three series: Professional files, Personal files, and Audiovisual material.


    Bob Smith is an American writer and comedian based in New York City. Born in Buffalo, New York, in 1958, he began writing and performing stand-up comedy in 1977, and in 1998, he formed the comedy troupe "Funny Gay Males" with comedians Jaffe Cohen and Danny McWilliams. Smith was the first openly gay comedian to appear on the Tonight Show and to have his own HBO Comedy Half-Hour special. He has written comedy for Amblin Films, the MTV Video Music Awards, Dennis Miller, Roseanne, and MAD-TV. In addition to his autobiographies Openly Bob (1997), which received a Lambda Literary Award, and Way to Go, Smith! (1999), he has published two novels, Selfish and Perverse (2007) and Remembrance of Things I Forgot (2011), and numerous essays. Smith was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2007.


    The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.

    Publication Rights

    Researchers wishing to publish material must obtain permission in writing from ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives as the physical owner of the material. Note that permission to publish does not constitute copyright clearance. ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives can grant copyright clearance only for those materials for which we hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright clearance for all other materials from the copyright holder(s).

    Acquisition Information

    Received from Bob Smith, February, 19, 2008.

    Preferred Citation

    Box #, folder #, Bob Smith papers, Coll2012-004, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Kate Dundon, January 2012.

    Scope and Contents

    The collection primarily consists of material relating to Smith’s career as a writer and comedian, including scripts of sketches, manuscripts of his published works, newspaper clippings of reviews of his performances or books, writing and performance contracts, calendars, research files, and correspondence. Also included are DVDs, videotapes, and audiocassettes that document his performances throughout his career. A small amount of personal material includes correspondence from friends and relatives. Materials range from 1972-2006, but the bulk of the collection dates from 1991-2004. The collection is separated into three series: (1) Professional files, which consists of material relating to Smith’s professional life, (2) Personal files, which consists primarily of personal correspondence, and (3) Audiovisual material, which includes recordings of Smith's performances.

    Separated Materials

    The following materials have been separated from the collection:
    Cohen, Jaffe and McWilliams, Danny and Smith, Bob. Growing Up Gay: From Left Out to Coming Out. Hyperion: New York, 1995.
    Out magazine, March 1997.
    Out magazine, April 1998.
    Rosen, Michael J. (editor). 101 Damnations: The Humorists' Tour of Personal Hells. St. Martin's Press: New York, 2002.
    Rosen, Michael J. (editor). Mirth of a Nation: The Best of Contemporary Humor. Perennial: New York, 2000.
    Smith, Bob. Openly Bob. Rob Weisbach Books: New York, 1997.
    Smith, Bob. Way to Go, Smith! Rob Weisbach Books: New York, 1999.
    "Out There" Comedy Central T-shirt, circa 1993.
    Juneau, Alaska Pride Parade T-shirt, circa 1999.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
    Gay men's writings, American
    Scripts (documents)
    Stand-up comedy
    Video tapes