Shane Mauss [Interview]

Photo by Bruce Smith (@beepsmith)


Welcome to the grand finale of our Comedy Showcase here at Trainwreck’d Society! It has been a glorious two weeks. And please don’t fret, there will be more. This Showcase actually only happened accidentally because I managed to get so many responses back from some damn fine comedians that it just sort of worked out this way. So again, this is not the end. Sporadic funny people are already scheduled to show up soon.

We are closing this one out though with a god damned motherfucking BANG! Today’s interviewee is a true killer in the world of stand up comedy. He is the ever-prolific and extremely insightful Shane Mauss! He’s also a guy who has opened my eyes to different possibilities of psychedelics. He has a brilliant documentary about it out now, as well as a wonderful podcast where he speaks with scientists in several different fields that are all equally fascinating, and tend to prove Shane’s ideas oh so perfectly. It’s also most important to mentioned that Shane is really, really, funny. Which is first and foremost, the important part of his entire career! He’s also one of the hardest working comics I have ever heard of. He will perform EVERYWHERE, and for months and months on end. It’s so damn impressive to say the least.

So please enjoy some amazing words from the brilliant Shane Mauss!

When did you first realize that you were a hilarious human being, and you wanted to make people laugh for a living? What drew you to the world of stand up comedy?

When I was about 8 yo a friend explained to me that there were people called stand-up comedians that stand in front of people and make them laugh for their jobs.  I decided before I ever even saw a stand-up comedian that I was going to be one. There was not a single other occupation I even considered until later in life when fear and uncertainty caused a few passing thoughts about having a backup plan.

Nothing else ever made any sense to me.

What was your very first time getting on stage like? Were you a nervous wreck, or did you feel some sort of positive energy right away?

I was a nervous wreck.  I could barely get through my jokes.  I was horribly nervous for my first 2 months.  Then I had enough material to confidently get laughs.

You have been touring like a madman in your career thus far, performing just about everywhere. So, what have been some of your favorite cities to perform in? Which ones have proven to be more of a challenge to you?

It really has less to do with the city itself and more to do with how the club is run.  Dallas, for example, has so many different clubs that bring in so many different kinds of comedians and crowds.  So to say you are performing in Dallas gives no indication of whether the crowd is going to be full of a bunch of drunk older Texans who want to hear street jokes, it it’s going to be one of the higher end mainstream clubs, or if it’s going to be a bunch of hipsters at an indie venue.

That being said, I love Madison, Minneapolis, Denver, Austin, and Portland.

I’ve never had a good time in Toledo, OH.  I don’t think many people have.


Can you tell us a bit about your podcast Here We Are? How did you come up with the premise of the show?

Each week I interview a scientist about their work. It’s mostly life science stuff about how humans got here, how we behave, make decisions, etc.

Years ago I started reaching out to academics because I wanted to introduce science into my act and had questions.  I had the most fascinating conversations and thought it should be a podcast.

When the time comes that you decide to hang in the proverbial towel in the world of comedy, what would you like your legacy to be? What do you want to be able to see when you look back on your career in the world of comedy?

I would ideally like to think that I’ve influenced people’s perception of the world.  I believe I’m already doing that.  I’ve really already accomplished what I wanted to accomplish in comedy and am just trying to stay interested and inventive.  I’m not too concerned about leaving behind some kind of legacy.  I think that one day, someone would be able to listen to my podcasts and get a free education that is going to be a better education than most people pay huge tuitions for.  That would be kind of a neat thing to leave behind.  Maybe it would make up for all the dumb crap I’ve done in my life.

I understand you have a very interesting documentary coming out next year that involves psychedelics, of which you are an obvious expert on. So what can viewers expect to see in this film?

Pyschonautics: A Comics Exploration of Psychedelics is mostly a journey into the world of psychedelic research through my eyes and experiences.  There are tons of amazing researchers in it, some of my stand-up and me doing a dangerous amount of psychedelics to find the very edges of reality.  We just won an award for Best Documentary at our world premiere in the Dances With Films festival.  Because of that we have a number of distribution offers already.  I’m hoping we get on a big platform so the world can see it.  My guess is that it will be early 2019.

What else does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

I have tons of projects in the works that are very close to being announced so please join my mailing list and give my podcast a listen.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

I’ve been practicing whistling with my hands quite a bit.  I can do the Mario Brothers music now.  It’s silly and fun.

Shane Mauss is constantly touring, and seems hell bent on literally performing “everywhere”. He seriously goes to places, both physically and mentally, that many other comedians wouldn’t dare to go. Check out shanemauss.com for dates and details!

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About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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