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The Manslater

Hey, What Happened to the Lovemaster?

Video: Craig Shoemaker – The Lovemaster

I went up to Craig Shoemaker after his opening night set at our Honolulu Comedy Club and asked, “What happened to the Lovemaster?”

We were located at the top of the Ilikai Hotel in Waikiki in those days. I’d known Craig since, well, since the beginning. I was a rookie comic on Long Island working with the likes of Eddie Murphy, Rosie O’Donnell, and Jackie The Jokeman Martling. Craig was just starting out in Philadelphia. I met him on his first ever road gig, which was less impressive than it sounds. From one nighters in Philly to one nighters on Long Island.

All I remember is that he was funny. I didn’t care much for impressionists having never been entertained by comedy legends like Rich Little. Craig Shoemaker was billed as an impressionist and he was the first one whoever made me laugh. That he was only 3 months old as a comedian made the feat even that much more impressive (pun intended).

In addition to developing his act, Craig booked a small every-Wednesday one nighter, the Tap Room in Ambler, PA, just outside of Philly. I played it a few times while attending Lafayette College about an hour north of there. Ancient history in comedy lore; wouldn’t even show up in obscure comedy trivia questions. Who out there remembers the Tap Room? See? My point exactly.

Years later Craig moved to Los Angeles and was one of the first headliners we brought over after Brad Garrett when our comedy club in Waikiki opened. One of the featured segments in Craig’s show was this (morally speaking: awful) character called The Lovemaster. It lasted about 5 minutes and was one of the many bits which had the crowd rolling in the aisles. Morals aside, I really liked the Lovemaster.

But two years and three visits to Hawaii later, the Lovemaster was gone. I was waiting and waiting, but his nasty words never channeled through Craig’s lips. “What happened to the Lovemaster?” I asked Craig after the show on Tuesday night.

“Oh, I got rid of him,” he replied, surprised that I noticed. Hey, I noticed. “I’m wanting to get on TV and I’ve been told they’re looking for good, clean acts.”

“But it was one of your funniest bits!”

This discussion wasn’t club owner talking to his 1099’d comedian. It was friend to friend. Craig was still far funnier than most comics we flew over from L.A., Lovemaster or not. I was being selfish. It’s about what I wanted to see. Entertain Eddie.

Clearly, the Lovemaster didn’t fit the new TV criteria – a fact that made it even all the more curious the following year when Craig returned to our club. Not only had the Lovemaster been resurrected, he channeled through Craig for about 50 of his 60 minutes on stage.

“So Craig,” I said with a huge smile pasted across my face, “what happened to Getting-Rid-of-The-Lovemaster-to-Get-on-TV?”

I don’t quite remember his answer as I was at that moment completely engrossed in myself. But it’s nice to see that so many years later Craig remains one of the top drawing comedy club acts in the country. He is advertised as Craig Shoemaker in small font, The Lovemaster in large font.

And in my twisted, oft disconnected-from-reality mind, I quietly take credit for the resurrection.

(In a future blog I will try to explain how my wife attempts to take credit for Jeff Foxworthy’s You Might Be a Redneck.)

Sharkey’s Comedy Club – Shawn Felipe

A quick video of Sharkey’s Comedy Club’s Shawn Felipe:

Quick Preview of Don Barnhart’s Comedy Hypnosis Show

Curious about Don Barnhart’s show? Here’s a quick preview of his entertainingly funny performance:

Bo Irvine Quick Preview

One of Bo Irvine’s many performances at the Hawaii Comedy Theater