Craig Shoemaker's new Showtime special "Daditude" talks about Pez candy dispensers and other wonderful, nostalgic products that touched our lives as children.
"I was a big candy lover. I still am. This past Halloween, I went out with the kids. I have a 3-year-old you can control a lot better than a teenager. I would whisper in his ear 'Get the Dots, Dots! Twizzlers!,'" Shoemaker said when reached by telephone. "Finally, a father heard me, and he just handed me a bunch of Twizzlers. He said, 'Look, let's just cut to the chase. Put these in your pocket.' He totally busted me trying to lean on my kid. I was like a lobbyist."
Shoemaker also sees many things being lost in the "140-character world" of Twitter and the like. "Our memories are shot; we don't tax our brains. Remember when you actually remembered phone numbers? My own storage space in my head is filled. I can't take one more piece of information in it without something useful that's going to leave," he explained.
As the title indicates, "Daditude" focuses heavily on Shoemaker's efforts to be a good father. His expressed parenting goal is to ensure he is not the lead story when his children go to therapy one day.
"I actually think that's not going to manifest, being the child of a comic," he explained. "It's really difficult because there's an age difference. There's a teenager along with a tiny one, and there's a middle one at 8 years old. We have a family movie night. I leave the room, come back in, and the three of them are watching 'The Hangover.' I said, 'Justin, what are you doing? You have little brothers.' He said, 'Dad, it's got a tiger.'"
Shoemaker said he was raised with no father in an all-female household. His first shave, an important moment for young men, was with an Epilady hair remover and a Lady Bic.
"It was a very feminine upbringing, and now I have to be a father. There's one thing, no matter what happens in my life, they will not be longing for what I was hoping and praying for as a child: That is a father's love, nurturance, and attention," he said in all seriousness.
The comic admits that he may overdo it as a dad, though.
"I've coached eight teams and [have been] dealing with these crazy, obsessed helicopter mothers with their hand sanitizer and sunblock. They are coating this kid with sunblock, and it's like we have a mime at second base with full white body paint," he said.
Overall, Shoemaker calls himself an old-school father from Philadelphia who didn't have a father. "I live in Los Angeles now with a hippy, eco-friendly wife who wants to homeschool our child. A lot of that frustration goes into the special and my writing. That's the best part about comedy: Any resentment gets cleaned out on stage," he said.
"Daditude" can be seen on the Showtime Showcase on Wednesday, 11/28 at 9:10 PM ET. It also will be broadcast on Showtime on Friday, 11/30 at 2:30 AM ET.