In 1600 William Kemp engaged the Elizabethan public with an odd feat of showmanship – The Nine Daies Wonder. It drew slanders from the ballad mongers of London, and in response Kemp published a little book to record his efforts.
Kemp was a stage player, a member of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men in the 1590s at the same time as Shakespeare. He was adept at improvising comic routines and dances, and performed in some of the great playwright’s comedies.
It is not clear if he ever appeared as Falstaff. The speculation is that Shakespeare grew so weary of his stage antics that he wrote the comedian out of his later plays. By 1599 Kemp had left the company, and took no part in the development of the Globe Theatre.
But you can’t keep a luvvie down, good or otherwise: