who: Originally from Wisconsin, now living with his girlfriend in Vancouver, Washington, comedian Shane Mauss has appeared on “Conan,” “Comedy Central Presents” and in his own Netflix special, “Mating Season.” He’ll perform live at 8 p.m. Thursday at Double J Saloon in Redmond, and at 9 p.m. Friday at Seven Nightclub in Bend. Intellectually restless, Mauss also interviews scientists on his popular podcast “Here We Are” (herewearepodcast.com,) exploring such topics as “Death + Telepathy,” “Addiction + Evolution” and “Sex + Psychology.” In addition to the standard stand-up show he’ll do Friday in Bend, Thursday’s Redmond show will be “A Good Trip,” a show that combines comedy with the science behind psychedelics. His thinking: “I like talking about how the brain works, and that can sometimes be hard to market,” he said. “But people love hearing about drugs.” Visit bendcomedy.com for more details.
Q: As you travel for your comedy, you’re also talking to scientists for your podcast?
A: Yeah. It’s something I started about three years ago. I basically had caught a lot of breaks in comedy and was looking for more challenges and to talk about more interesting things. I was always reading a lot of pop science books and reached out to some scientists and academics and ended up becoming friends with some academics and had some really fascinating conversations that I thought should be recorded and that more people should hear. … The topics are a little bit all over the place, but I try to keep it to life-science stuff that affects day to day life, and how we make decisions.
Q: Fun. Well, you gotta appease the would-be hecklers. Do you ever have to deal with hecklers?
A: I guess from time to time. It’s not nearly as much of a problem as you would think it would be. Probably the biggest problem in comedy is people show up for their birthday party or something, and it’s their first time going out to see comedy. They think, “I’ll do something different,” and they get a big group of people together, and (they) haven’t seen each other in a while, and they’re more interested in catching up than they are in listening to a show. … You never know. I was in Oklahoma City a couple of weeks ago, and I had a guy in the front row who I’m pretty sure was on a high dose of some sort of drug, but I had a guy fall asleep right in the front row, which you get, like, once a year (laughs). I try not to take it personally. Mostly it’s like, “If you think you’re bored with my material, I’ve told these jokes a hundred times. I’m still up here powering through it. We’re in this together. Wake up, buddy.”
Q: Have you learned anything in your conversations with scientists that you’ve implemented to change your behavior or habits?
A: Yeah, all the time. Not as much as I would like to think that I do. … We do episodes on happiness and well being, time management and behavioral economics. I’m going around talking to the smartest people in the world with all these little tricks to lead the best, most fulfilling, most productive life. You would think that I would really be on top of my game implementing all these things. That, unfortunately, is not the case. But I definitely get to have more stimulating conversations in my everyday life with the knowledge that I have. … We talk a lot about evolutionary biology and psychology on the podcast, and that has a lot to do with sexual selection, and why we have the mate preferences that we do, why we act react certain ways in relationships. I would say it’s helped my intimate relationships. I understand relationship conflicts a lot better than I did before learning that stuff.
Q: See, and that’s why you ended up moving to Vancouver.
A: Yeah, exactly (laughs).
— David Jasper, The Bulletin