Shane Mauss to bring laughs, science to the Mill

Shane Mauss has long been a comedian who loved absurdist comedy, but with his new show, ‘Stand Up Science ,’ he hopes to break new ground.

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Shane Mauss to bring laughs, science to the Mill

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Austin J. Yerington, Arts Reporter

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Shane Mauss has a lot going on. Between his nationwide comedy tour and his new award-nominated documentary film, the Wisconsin comedian still finds time to break new comedic ground in his shows.

Mauss will take the stage Friday night at the Mill, 120 E. Burlington, to perform his live science/comedy show, “Standup Science.”

He has performed on several late-night talk shows, including Conan, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, and Showtime, and he recently released his 200th episode of his popular podcast “Here We Are,” in which he interviews various scientists and professors about a spectrum of scientific topics.

Mauss has long been a comedian who loved absurdist comedy, but with the new show he has developed, he hopes to try something new.

“I wanted to talk about things that mattered without being a political comic, so it’s kind of mixing my podcast and standup comedy together,” he said.

He has had comedy on the mind since a very early age.

“I had a friend when I was 9 or 10 years old say I should be a standup comedian, and I just got it in my head,” Mauss said.

The comedy show came into existence when he grew tired of having to water down his more intelligent performances.

“A lot of the times when I do my act, I have to consider the audience is a stereotypical comedy-club audience,” he said. “A lot of the time, they are drunk bachelor and bachelorette parties, so I kind of have to dumb things down, and that was kind of frustrating for me.”

“Science Standup” is not afraid to have equal parts humor and intelligent thought, with each show having three local guests who have their own forms of expertise, be it biology, sociology, or comedy.

A lot of the times when I do my act, I have to consider the audience is a stereotypical comedy-club audience.”

— Shane Mauss

The structure of the performances keeps the joke-to-science ratio in the green. The shows start with Mauss, then the two scientists present a talk about a matter they find important. This is followed by the local comic taking the stage, and finally at the end of the night, all the guests and Mauss will take the stage for a Q&A discussion with the audience.

Friday’s Mill show will have University of Iowa postdoc scholar Kayly Lembke, UI postdoc scholar Nicole Green, and Iowan native and comedian Dan Umthun.

Along with comedy and science, Mauss is also fascinated by the world of psychedelics.

His interest in the world of LSD and ’shrooms has led him to create a critically acclaimed and award-nominated documentary called Psychonautics. The film features interviews with experts about the effects these drugs have had on humans both physically and also throughout history.

Psychonautics also documents Mauss taking each psychedelic drug to show the effects it can have on the body and mind, on both a physical and metaphysical level.

“Psychedelics are an inward journey, what is actually happening in our world and brings our bias and errors in thinking to the surface,” Mauss said. “It highlights how fickle some of our perspectives can be.”

The event will begin at the Mill at 8 p.m. It’s a 19-plus show with tickets at $15 each.

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