Eric Snader: Dr Funny Business

November 12, 2023

Photo Credit

Samson Seablom


Valerie Lopez


Richard Goodwin


I’ve been try­ing to get peo­ple to call me Dr. Richard” for years, but this week’s guest has proven that actu­al cre­den­tials trump (admit­ted­ly thrifty) bribes. Eric Snad­er, host of Cho­sen Com­e­dy, a month­ly show at Sun­set Strip, took the high — and more expen­sive — road to tit­u­lar bona fides, earn­ing a Phd in Child Clin­i­cal Psy­chol­o­gy.

We’ve often said our pod­cast ends up being a form of ther­a­py, but Snader’s appear­ance lands clos­er to the office couch than any to date. Reach­ing back in time to find his comedic roots is less an exca­va­tion and more turn­ing to the first page of a well researched biog­ra­phy; it’s not the first or last time you can see the impact and val­ue that Snader’s off stage skills – like per­son­al intro­spec­tion – ben­e­fit his onstage per­sona.

From the first grade, Snad­er had a sense he could make his fel­low stu­dent laugh. It might have been the influ­ence of his mater­nal grand­moth­er who did­n’t mean to be fun­ny, but was nat­u­ral­ly fun­ny. It wasn’t until 5 years ago that a co-worker’s urg­ing nudged him to get to an open mic and per­form for those of (or near) legal drink­ing age. The Philadel­phia native already nur­tured a love for the late night com­e­dy of the time (John­ny Car­son, Joan Rivers), and had moved with his fam­i­ly to Austin to escape the cli­mate — both social and nat­ur­al — of the North­east.

Before Snader’s offi­cial first open mic, he pre­pared by immers­ing him­self for a year attend­ing them. Valerie right­ly notes that this is often not the best idea, as it can shake your con­fi­dence before you’ve even built it, but the dual­i­ty of I can’t do this” and this is a shit-show” will feel famil­iar to any­one in sim­i­lar shoes. He was also bol­stered by hit per­for­mances” at birth­days and eulo­gies alike.

Com­ing off the stage at Cold­towne from his suc­cess­ful inau­gur­al out­ing, Snader’s prac­ti­cal — nay clin­i­cal? — nature kicked in, rec­og­niz­ing the sweet, sweet, suc­cor of audi­ence val­i­da­tion and how much it meant to him. It doesn’t mat­ter what you think oth­ers are think­ing of you…it’s prob­a­bly not even accu­rate,” he notes, but the rein­force­ment of the feed­back is the fuel that feeds the com­e­dy fire.

At 53, Snad­er often feels like a fish out of water in what is large­ly a young person’s” game. (It pains this 40-some­thing year old to write that, trust me.) Even in what he describes as the Island of Mis­fit Toys”, Snad­er still felt out of place, but his prowess and efforts gained the atten­tion of comics like Shan­non and Amy Mugrage and the spig­ot of book­ings start­ed to flow more freely.

Cho­sen Com­e­dy was around the cor­ner (tem­po­ral­ly speak­ing), but had to wait for the minor nui­sance of a pan­dem­ic. It was con­ceived as a Jew-*ish*” con­cept, and under the apt moniker of Men­sch Pro­duc­tions. You have to cre­ate some­thing that’s dif­fer­ent,” Snad­er says of the thought process in cre­at­ing it, but it has to be some­thing peo­ple want to see”. While Snad­er and co-host Max Isaac­son are indeed Jew­ish, and Cho­sen Comedy’s first spon­sor is Jew­boy Burg­ers, if you didn’t know the his­to­ry, you’d sim­ply con­sid­er it a sol­id gen­er­al” com­e­dy show.

It’s got­ten enough atten­tion that drop-ins from big names is now a thing, includ­ing those pass­ing through like Matt Rife. Snad­er recounts a night where an attendee com­ment­ed that, for a $15 tick­et, they got the expe­ri­ence of see­ing a “$400 tick­et come­di­an”. Not bad at all for a Tues­day night 7:30 show.

So will Snad­er drop the day job (where he applies his degree in cre­at­ing clin­i­cal apti­tude test­ing mate­r­i­al) for the sec­ond-hand-van and tour the world’s open mics? He responds emphat­i­cal­ly that he will not. Even the idea of a sec­ond show­case is a bit much to jug­gle, so Cho­sen remains his cho­sen show for the time being. If he man­ages to lure in audi­ence mem­bers from his pro­fes­sion­al inter­ac­tions, well that’s a bonus no one would turn down.

As of this episode’s release, the next two Cho­sen Com­e­dy shows fall right after major hol­i­days (Thanks­giv­ing and Christ­mas), when many of us will be look­ing for a way to decom­press from all the pre­cious and price­less fam­i­ly time we’ve just endured. I can hard­ly think of a bet­ter show to help one reset and laugh about the expe­ri­ences.

Of course, if you’re tru­ly in dire straits, and feel the need to ask whether there’s a doc­tor in the house”, well, it appears you’ve cho­sen the right venue, and Eric Snad­er has you covered.

Eric Snader


Quote 2
Eric Snader


Fol­low Eric

Eric can be seen and heard:

  • Cho­sen Com­e­dy — Last Tues­day of the month, Live music at 7pm, Com­e­dy starts at 7:30pm at Sun­set Strip 
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Eric Snader