Having made appearances on Comedy Central, “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “Conan, Shane Mauss” is a comedian and podcast host who bases his shows around the topics that he is passionate about — science and psychedelics.
Mauss will perform at the Georgia Theatre on Feb. 10 to explore the idea of psychedelics with anthropologist Sophia Rokhlin, who has authored books on ayahuasca. Mauss will present the show in partnership with Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), DanceSafe and "Here We Are,” the science-based podcast he hosts. Mauss previously performed at the Georgia Theatre in October 2019.
The Red & Black spoke with Mauss to discuss his intentions with the tour and expectations for performing in a college town.
The Red & Black: What is it about Athens that made you decide to add this stop to your tour?
Shane Mauss: I love the venue, and I think it’s one of the better ones on my tour, actually. This Head Talks tour, which is new, has more demand so I also wanted to find a larger venue. This one is beautiful. Also, I decided that this tour I was going to skip winter and spend most of my time in the Ssouth/Bible Belt area.
R&B: What should your audience know about the difference between the Head Talks tour and the Stand Up Science tour?
SM: Head Talks is simply a psychedelic version of Stand Up Science. For each show for Stand Up Science, I usually have two scientists and a second comedian on for a show that’s half science and half comedy. Head Talks is slightly more comedy, though. A lot of people like the idea of science and comedy together, but people are usually more lively with the idea of psychedelics. Also, at the end of the show, we have a meet-and-greet for an hour which I enjoy getting to meet the people interested in this topic.
R&B: Is there a difference in your shows or how you perform when it comes to college towns versus other major cities?
SM: I tend to draw my audience based on the subject matter over the location. I don’t really see a huge variation in the age range at my shows, but there are outlier cities where the average ages may be younger or older, such as some cities in Florida having an older audience.
R&B: What has your journey as a comedian been like to get you where you are today?
SM: I wanted to be a comedian since I was nine or 10 years old, so it’s always been a lifelong dream. When I moved from Wisconsin to Boston when I was 23, I started comedy out there. I’ve been fortunate enough to get accepted into some festivals and win an award early on which presented me with TV opportunities. After that, I became a fulltime comedian. I wanted to pursue more interesting and challenging content, and science was one of those. I reached out to scientists and started my podcast “Here We Are” which is one of my main passions. Then I started to do science-themed shows, but I didn’t know if there was any interest in psychedelics and turns out there was.
R&B: What are you most looking forward to or expecting from your show in Athens?
SM: I love psychedelic audiences so much. They are so inquisitive and I love meeting them after the shows to discuss heavy topics, so I like the differences in each city and being able to find the psychedelic people in the community. There are little differences everywhere you go. It’s different being in San Francisco where I might be preaching to the choir versus Arkansas where you wouldn’t think there would be any psychedelic people. Turns out they’re everywhere so I just love meeting them.