We all know that before Step Up, before G.I. Joe, Channing Tatum worked as a stripper under the stage name Chan Crawford. Us Weekly broke the story in 2009 and Channing has been a good enough sport to discuss his brief stint on the stage while doing the talk show circuit and press junkets. In fact, his former job has helped him as an actor: He worked with Steven Soderbergh to develop the male stripper dramedy Magic Mike, which is coming to theaters June 1 and stars Alex Pettyfer basically playing Chan Crawford and Channing as his mentor.
When the news came out a few years ago, you probably watched one video or glanced at one photo, but haven’t actively searched it out online, out of respect for Channing and his more respectable career as an actor. But because it’s his 32nd birthday, we’re giving you permission to revisit Chan Crawford and his G-string booty-shaking. Because if nothing else, the boy is talented!
Here’s the original video that Us Weekly unearthed, starring Chan Crawford in the Male Encounter show at a Tampa, Florida nightclub. As Channing has pointed out in talking about his dancing career, one way in which male strippers differ from females is that men are expected to put on ridiculous outfits; there seems to be a whole scenario thought out before we get down to business. We saw that in the Magic Mike trailer as well, which features the men dressed as cops, Uncle Sam, and also cowboys, I think.
But for now, Chan is channeling ’90s boy banders:
Then there’s this video featuring nightclub owner London Steele and Chan (according to the YouTube keywords, at least). It’s called “S&M,” but to me it looks like a cross between The Da Vinci Code and John Carter:
Of course Ellen DeGeneres had to ask Channing about his time in the Male Encounter revue when he appeared on her talk show. And bless him for getting up and shaking it, however briefly. He obviously hasn’t lost his touch, and this was before he and Soderbergh developed Magic Mike.
But for all the fun as his brief stripping career was — he’s called it “intoxicating” — Channing also has a healthy perspective on how he made money as a 19-year-old. In this video from promoting one of his films, when a fan asks about how it was being a stripper, Channing gives a surprisingly somber answer and says that he wouldn’t recommend it.
But we’ll always have Tampa:
Thanks to our intern Alexis Rhiannon for researching Channing’s stripper persona! Yes, her job is really tough.
Photo: Male Celeb News / .gif: The Frisky