Alden Schaub Champions the Mundane

August 28, 2022

Photo Credit

Alden Schaub


Valerie Lopez


Sara Cline


As a lis­ten­er, I must say that this week’s episode made for espe­cial­ly easy lis­ten­ing. Not only was our guest Alden Schaub a well­spring of sage advice, but he also has a sooth­ing voice to match — the kind of voice the soc­cer dad down the street might have, if he were also secret­ly a mag­i­cal wiz­ard. How­ev­er, as a writer, I must say that Schaub made this week’s arti­cle espe­cial­ly dif­fi­cult; there were way too many inter­est­ing quotes to choose from.

When asked about his life before stand-up com­e­dy, Schaub had this word to give: aim­less. He wan­dered between a few dif­fer­ent cities and a mul­ti­tude of jobs, try­ing every­thing on for size — from haul­ing kids’ bounce hous­es in his pick­up (a sur­pris­ing­ly treach­er­ous and short-lived endeav­or) to work­ing at a pawn shop. Even­tu­al­ly, he dis­cov­ered some­thing that felt worth doing long-term: host­ing triv­ia games.

Appar­ent­ly, triv­ia is a gate­way drug. As Schaub got more com­fort­able host­ing, he incor­po­rat­ed more humor and per­son­al­iza­tion (and a lot of fart sounds). Soon enough, he found him­self want­i­ng to explore what oth­er per­for­mance out­lets might have to offer. So, in addi­tion to start­ing his com­pa­ny Unknown Triv­ia and gain­ing a siz­able fol­low­ing there, Schaub dipped him­self into the open mic world. I had been doing the triv­ia for maybe sev­en years at that point, and I was still ner­vous to do like three min­utes of stand-up,” he added earnestly.

The mundane is what attracts me [in jokes] because … you can surprise people.
Alden Schaub

Say what you want about Schaub, but the man is pret­ty keen­ly self-aware. He real­ized the stick­ing point in his stand-up quick­ly enough: He didn’t know how to write a punch­line. So, he took it upon him­self to habit­u­al­ly do the write ten” chal­lenge — cre­at­ing 10 jokes with­in 10 min­utes based on a word prompt. After par­tic­i­pat­ing in a series of one-lin­er com­pe­ti­tions, Schaub even decid­ed to do an FPIA (Fun­ni­est Per­son in Austin) set where every joke had the exact same punch­line, just for the idio­cy of it.” (If you must know, the punch­line was big fat cock,” pre­cise­ly for the hack of it all). Sur­pris­ing­ly, it worked. Com­e­dy, am I right?

As Schaub con­tin­ued to learn, he was com­fort­ed by anoth­er fact: He’d already read sev­er­al biogra­phies of suc­cess­ful come­di­ans, and he knew the roadmap: They each spent around ten years poor and in obscu­ri­ty before being dis­cov­ered. Schaub explains, I thought [to myself], Okay, you’re gonna do this for 10 years. And you may make, like, $0. It may cost you mon­ey to do it. And, at the end, you may have noth­ing … How does that all sound?’ And I strange­ly was like, That sounds pret­ty good.’” Besides, Schaub rea­soned, you get your pay in ful­fill­ment too.”

These days, Schaub doesn’t have to get by just on ful­fill­ment; he actu­al­ly makes his liv­ing with triv­ia and com­e­dy — which was his goal to begin with. Now, he has his eyes set on cre­at­ing a clean com­e­dy show­case — i.e., no big fat cock” punch­lines. Why? Well, Schaub rec­og­nizes that Austin comics don’t have much incen­tive cur­rent­ly to per­form clean, but such a show­case would be the per­fect prov­ing ground for cor­po­rate gigs, which can pay the big (fat) bucks.

I've done so many things that, again, it's not a matter of ‘Could I have done the thing?’ It's like, ‘Why am I doing it?’
Alden Schaub

Work­ing clean, Schaub espe­cial­ly appre­ci­ates jokes that focus on the mun­dane — coins, for exam­ple — as well as fail­ure and triv­ial incon­ve­niences, whether that’s in the form of a bro­ken mail­box or a recur­ring bank charge. The mun­dane is what attracts me [in jokes] because … you can sur­prise peo­ple,” Schaub mus­es. Because if they think it’s just so bor­ing, then when you hit them with the punch­line … the gap in between that is larger.”

Schaub has gleaned much busi­ness knowl­edge from all his expe­ri­ences, too. (Lis­ten to the cast if you want the scoop on those.) But one shin­ing ven­ture that flouts all con­ven­tion­al wis­dom is the mic that Schaub hosts at The Lucky Duck. On paper, a lot of the things at Lucky Duck are bad,” he states plain­ly. There’s the ambi­ent music play­ing, the huge TV, the open-air set­ting, and, of course, the bro­ken mic stand that Schaub pur­pose­ly brings in every week, just for comics to fum­ble with. And, for some rea­son, [the mic is], like, very pop­u­lar, and I think it’s in spite of the dif­fi­cul­ties,” Schaub observes. It’s mak­ing peo­ple stronger.”

Reflect­ing on the many hats he’s worn, Schaub has this to say: I’ve done so many things that, again, it’s not a mat­ter of like, Could I have done the thing?’ It’s like, Why am I doing it?’” And with his cur­rent gig in enter­tain­ment and com­e­dy, he feels that sense of pur­pose. Mean­while, we’re here for it all — from the fart nois­es and dick punch­lines, to the clean jokes about coins and mail­box­es; it’s all Alden; it’s all funny.

Listen to the podcast episode to hear these words and more from Alden

Fol­low Alden

Fol­low Unknown Trivia

Alden can be seen and heard:

  • Open Mic at The San Jac Saloon — Co-Host, Sun­days 7pm at The San Jac Saloon
  • Unknown Triv­ia — Host, Mon­days 7pm at The Bar­ton Springs Saloon
  • Unknown Triv­ia — Host, Tues­days 8pm at The Lucky Duck
  • Lucky Duck Open Mic — Host, every Wednes­day 8pm at The Lucky Duck
Support Comedy Wham

Follow @ComedyWham on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Twitch, and Tiktok

If you'd like to support our independent podcast, check out our Patreon page at: . You can also support us on Venmo or Paypal - just search for ComedyWham.

Alden Schaub