Shane Mauss blends science and stand-up for a unique show
Shane Mauss was tired of the usual stand-up routine.
“I had gotten breaks early on my career,” he says. “I did the traditional route of doing late-night television, getting on Comedy Central, a lot of fun stuff for a young comedian.
“It was really great. I had a lot of my stand-up dreams come true. I didn’t know what I actually wanted to do with the platform I had.”
So, Mauss took his two loves—comedy and science—and blended them.
“Science is something I’ve always been really interested in,” Mauss says. “I just got more and more fascinated by it. I read a lot of science books and asked scientists questions. They wrote me back. I got to be friends with all these academics and had the most interesting conversations of my life.”
Each week, as the curator and host of the science podcast “Here We Are,” Mauss interviews academics about fascinating traits and behaviors while finding the funny in the innermost workings of life.
The 5-year-old podcast has led to his latest tour, “Stand Up Science,” where he joins together comedians and scientists on the same stage for a night of learning and laughs. The show comes to American Comedy Club on Sunday, December 22.
“In San Diego, you’ll be hearing a lot about mindfulness,” he says. “I open the show with a bunch of science jokes related to the topics, and then I have my guests present a quick overview of what they do, they give a science talk on their work and I riff on it a little bit.”
That’s followed by a second comedian who does his/her most “cerebral material.” At the end, all four hit the stage for a Q&A period.
“It’s really my favorite part of the show,” Mauss says. “It’s really conservational. Riffing and improv are a lot of fun.
“I used to do stand-up at comedy clubs three out of four weeks, and then I wanted to get out of doing that and do more specialized entertainment for people. I felt entertainment options for the most cerebral and intellectual were underserved. I wanted to provide something smarter, something that’s worth the entertainment value, where we could learn a little and have some laughs along the way. It’s a really cool environment.”
Mauss knew he wanted to be a comedian as young as 9 years old. One of his friends told him about the stand-up comedian occupation.
“I knew I wanted to be a stand-up comedian before I knew what stand-up comedy was,” he says with a laugh. “When they told me I could stand on stage and make people laugh, I thought that sounded like the best idea ever. I started as soon as I became an adult.”
Mauss has appeared on Comedy Central, “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Showtime, BBC, Epix and “Conan.” He has also guested on podcasts like Pete Holmes’ “You Made It Weird,” “This Past Weekend” with Theo Von, Marc Maron’s “WTF,” “The Joe Rogan Experience,” Duncan Trussell’s “Family Hour,” and “Bertcast.”
“One of the big things about my show is this is a way to meet like-minded people in the area,” Mauss says. “I get complimented all the time because people have met new friends through my shows. It’s really flattering.”
“Stand-Up Science with Shane Mauss”
7 p.m. Sunday, December 22
American Comedy Club, 818 Sixth Avenue, Gaslamp Quarter
$18 in advance;
$25 day of show