Many moons ago – before the invention of Ritalin or the Internet – a young, broke college student named Roberto Antonio Smiley signed up for a stand-up competition at his Student Union Building. The prize money was $500, which was nearly 5 months rent for the “efficiency” closet Smiley was living in at the time. Though he had never stepped on a stage, and the only prior laughs he had gotten were due to his colossal leprechaun ears, he went for the gold. When he arrived, his only competition was a grown man wearing an oversized sombrero with no act… so… he won the money and the tender hearts of his fellow students. The rest is history.
Since that incredibly average performance, Roberto shortened his name to “Bob” and started a caffeine-induced tour spreading laughter and gaiety to the masses. As a novice jokester, Smiley honed his talents as the merch-managing MC for bands like Newsboys, Third Day, and Mercy Me. This exposure, along with the fact that his act had the word “booger” in it three times, led to a swarm of goatee’d youth leaders begging Smiley to come entertain their sugar-high kid herds. He was forced to match their manic energy and soon developed a machine gun approach to comedy.Sixteen years later, Bob is now one of the nation’s most in-demand and hilarious clean comedians.And he absolutely loves his job, no matter how many times his father challenges its legitimacy as a career choice.
On his debut release for inpop records, I’ve Got A Funny Feeling About This, Bob revels in the real-life stories and the not-so-everyday situations that he constantly finds himself surrounded by. With sharp wit and gentle humor, he touches on topics that range from lessons learned in grade school to lessons he’s learned by being a dad. This Texas-born comedian has a heart for bringing people closer to God by getting them to see and laugh at normal day-to-day experiences.
“I’ve found that if I can make people laugh and enjoy my show, they are more apt to listen to my story of how I became a Christian and hopefully they will leave not only knowing that Jesus is a big part of my life but that He should be a big part of their life,” says Bob.
Whether in comedy or in real life, Bob allows his love of people to fuel his passion to share the Good News. “I feel like most of the ministry I do actually happens after my shows when I get to meet everyone,” he shares. “That’s the time I love the most, when we can start sharing our testimonies or praying for each other or maybe just laughing some more. Its that personal connection that makes it all worthwhile.”