Did you hear the one about the standup comedian who couldn’t stand up? He moved from Malibu, Calif., back home to his parents’ house in Onalaska where he will be stuck for a couple months until he can walk again.
OK, it needs work, but Shane Mauss will have 10 weeks or so to spin his misfortune into comedy gold.
At this point, Mauss should be out on the road performing at comedy clubs, maybe filming guest spots on late-night TV, plugging his new hourlong video and second CD, both called “Mating Season.”
People who saw Mauss perform at last summer’s sold-out show at the Cavalier Theater in La Crosse got a sneak peak at the material, which puts a comedic spin on the art and science of reproduction. Some of the material includes references to growing up here, including early jobs, misbehavior and the apple fritters served up at Mr. D’s.
But instead of keeping up his relentless touring schedule, Mauss is recovering from a hiking mishap in which he broke both his feet, one of which required major surgery and metallic hardware to repair. The injury happened on his birthday, three weeks before his video and CD were to be released and shortly after his breakup with his longtime girlfriend and comedy podcast partner, April Macie.
“It’s unfortunate,” Mauss said by phone from his parents’ basement. “I felt sorry for myself for a couple weeks. It’s not ideal with the timing and everything. ... This is definitely about the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.”
On the other hand, it could have been a lot worse. He could have ended up with chronic back pain from compressed vertebrae or even ended up paralyzed.
And having some time off the road gives Mauss a chance to focus on writing new material. He already has written a lot of new material since taping his special, jokes that take the scientific element in “Mating Season” to the next level.
“I like the writing process more than the performing process, probably because I’m a little bit embarrassed about seeming needy,” Mauss said. “To be honest with you, I’m kind of past all that. Now that I’m older (he’s 34), I’m rather embarrassed by my old need for validation that got me into standup in the first place.”
Last week, Mauss launched a new series of YouTube videos, “Can’t Stand Up Comedian,” in which he’ll share his observations ... and probably some new jokes.
The pain from his feet is pretty manageable, Mauss said, so he should be able to focus on getting his new show completed and polished up.
Being laid up, he said, “doesn’t deter me from working. It just keeps me from being able to perform and get paid.”