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Comedian Shoemaker touts laughter prescription
The Yuma Sun will be giving away four tickets to see Craig Shoemaker perform at Cocopah Casino. Tickets will be for the 9 p.m. performance this Saturday.
The giveaway will begin Thursday morning, with the winners announced that early evening. To enter, please visit www.Facebook.com/YumaSunNews.
Note that winners and their guests be 21 years or older to attend the comedy night.
CraigShoemakerShow.com (his inspirational program)
Craig Shoemaker isn't a doctor and he's never played one on TV, but the stand-up comedian, actor, screenwriter, childrens book author, minister and philanthropist still wants to prescribe something to change your life.
Shoemaker says Yuma – and the rest of the world, really – could really use a big whopping dose of the yuk yuks.
To translate for lay people, he's talking about laughter.
The performer gives people the giggles with his antics on stage and screen, but through his non-profit foundation, Shoemaker also gives people a reason to laugh everywhere from cancer hospitals and orphanages to nursing homes and alcohol treatment centers.
“I don't understand, for the life of me, why people don't pick comedy clubs for their medicine. Laughter regenerates the body, it's an aphrodisiac and it relives stress,” Shoemaker told the Yuma Sun during a recent phone interview. “What better medicine do you need than that? Stress is the leading cause of disease, so why don't you laugh and add more longevity to your life?”
The funny guy comes to Yuma this weekend to make a house call at Cocopah Casino. He performs Saturday at 7 and 9 p.m., a gig that casino officials say is earning quite a big response from local fans.
“Craig is huge. He is coming off his 1 1/2 hour ‘Dadititude' special on Showtime,” said John Giles, marketing director for Cocopah Casino. “I watched his special and was rolling on the floor with tears in my eyes from laughing so hard. His stories and self-deprecating humor about him and his family was something I could relate to. His impressions and character voices make it seem like you are watching three different shows at the same time.”
Shoemaker's special “Daditude” aired in November on Showtime. The L.A. Times lauded him, saying: “Shoemaker is insightful and amusing...we are moved beyond laughter to tears.”
The two-time Emmy-Award-winner has performed in front of four American presidents and boasts honors such as being named Best Male Standup at the American Comedy Awards on ABC. His very first Comedy Central show was voted by viewers as one of the “top 20 stand-up specials of all time.” The live CD for his show “Unzipped” remained on the Billboard Top 20 for six straight weeks.
But as he is not satisfied just performing in comedy clubs, Shoemaker says his creative hunger also needs more than one avenue of expression.
In addition to comedy, he has experienced considerable success acting in movies alongside Will Smith, Whoopi Goldberg, Steve Martin and Samuel L. Jackson. He played Neve Campbell's teacher in “Scream 2” and he starred in the comedy “Totally Baked.” Shoemaker actually wrote and produced “Totally Baked.”
His work as a voiceover actor has been featured in the film “Pleasantville” and numerous animated series, including all the voices and the title song for the BBC cartoon “Big Foot, Little Foot.”
Shoemaker created his Laughter Heals Foundation after watching his best friend battle brain cancer. The comic witnessed how places that needed laughter the most were the saddest places off all. His organization now provides comedian performers and an a multimedia supply of “laughter therapy” DVDs and books to childrens hospitals, recovery centers, etc.
“My biggest question in life is why people aren't seeking more joy in their lives,” Shoemaker said. “Why do they take their energy to reality shows, where people are knocking each other or websites that offer nothing than one person vilifying another? Why don't they choose comedy, have a good time and feel good about themselves?”
In what spare time he has left, Shoemaker serves as an ordained minister and officiates weddings, welcoming couples into a state of what he calls “Ha-ha-trimony.”
“What do you think is going to sustain your marriage? The fact that a the guy you married has really tight abs or that he has a great sense of humor?” Shoemaker said. “Trust me, those abs are going to fade some day. Only a sense of humor will get you through a lifetime together.”
General admission for Shoemaker's performances Saturday are $30 for VIP and $20 for general admission. Show times are 7 and 9 p.m. Ticket buyers must be 21 years or older to attend the show.