Meet Bob Smiley
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.
Bob grew up in Era, Texas where he freely admits that he was taught that Texas is the only state "worth a darn". His first experience in stand-up came in high school when his Youth Group would conduct church services for a nearby nursing home.
“It was a great experience, mostly because the elderly people were too nice to ask me to go away,” he jokes. “Seriously, that’s really where I found out people were more inclined to listen to what I had to say about Jesus Christ if I was also entertaining.”
Bob then went off to Abilene Christian University in Texas to pursue a Christian education. While majoring in elementary education at A.C.U., Bob found a way to make a little extra cash on the side surprise, as a standup comic. Pulling in $150-$500 at monthly competitions, he found comedy to be a lucrative venture but never imagined it would become his career.
Upon graduation, Bob did what most college graduates do. He got a job involving absolutely nothing he had studied in college. He did want to be a teacher, but wanted to see what it was like to have some money in a bank first.
So, he became a professional photographer in Dallas, TX where he worked for a year. Towards the end of that year, Bob received an unexpected call from an old college friend who had been living in Nashville, TN and working as a Road Manager for singer Clay Crosse. Having seen Bob do stand up in college he wanted to see if Bob was interested in going out on tour with Clay as a Merchandising Manager with the idea of getting up in-between the acts and entertaining the audience. Bob's brand of clean comedy was well received by audiences and he began to get many other offers to do standup
That was five years ago. Since then, Bob continues to tour with many Christian bands and performs at major Christian festivals around the United States as well as doing his own comedy shows in churches, schools and colleges. In 2001, he even took his show over to the United Kingdom where he found that his brand of comedy was the perfect vehicle to spreading the Gospel in other countries.
In his comedy show, Bob talks a lot about the cross and its significance. "The way I see it, God has already paid the price for your sin, so all you have to do is go out into the world and spread His Word,” says Bob. “I want to get people out of their comfort zones. I want to encourage people to not just accept Jesus, but to get out there and make some noise, have some enthusiasm about the God we serve."
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."