Eric Schneider may be best known as International House of Pancakes’ “Server of the Month” for February 1996. What many people fail to remember is Eric’s short-lived comedy career of the early 2000’s.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Eric relocated to Tempe, Arizona in 1995 to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a telemarketer. Conning people out of their life savings, however, proved not to be as rewarding as originally expected.
Eric discovered a new career path after a co-worker dared him to enter an open-mic night at Rascal’s Comedy Club in Phoenix. That evening, Eric’s mother told him he would be the next Jerry Steinberg, and the rest is history.
Well it’s history no one really remembers or cares about, but history nonetheless.
In his first state-wide comedy competition, Eric bested nearly 60 comedians to earn a finalist nomination in the “Arizona’s Funniest Person Contest” at the Tempe Improv. Although a sudden outbreak of mental retardation amongst the contest judges prevented him from winning, Eric quickly established himself as one of the area’s top local comics.
Eric’s true-to-life comedy was fresh, energetic, and fearless; taking on hard hitting topics such as being raised by wild lesbians, and his struggles growing up without cable television.
Eric has been featured in several comedy showcases on the scarcely watched Scottsdale Community College cable TV station, and has appeared at many unsuitable-for-comedy venues such as Lagerfields, Malone’s, The Dirty Drummer, Westside Les’ (I and II), Filly’s, Sushi 202, The Valley Arts Theater, The Phoenix Hilton, Big D’s, Luke Air Force Base, The Palace in Prescott, and some Orthodox Jewish Temple.
Eric’s big break almost came when he and several other comedians were tricked into performing at a dive bar located directly below a crack house in Atlantic City. Promised that influential talent scouts would be in attendance, the group left Arizona in search of fame and fortune. Unfortunately, barring a few close friends and family, the comedians performed in front of a vacuous empty space. Although the group received free lodging at the crack house, the show’s promoter was subsequently beaten up and left in Atlantic City due to his gross misrepresentation of the venue, his affinity for drugs, and his inappropriate touching of someone’s wife.
Eric no longer performs on stage, but he still wields humor like a mighty sword; slaying all things that humor might slay if it had a sword. He can be seen making sarcastic comments around the office, and occasionally quipping with local business owners and waitresses.
Here’s what others have to say about him:
You were a funny guy.”
– Excerpt from Eric’s High School Year Book
Eric sucked at selling cars, but he sure was funny.”
– Jay Williams, former boss
When you think of comedy, you think of about 100 other comedians. Then you think of Eric.”
– Some Guy
That was very funny, Eric! You should put that in a skit.”
– Eric’s Mom
Ode to Superman is simply the best song parody I’ve ever heard. I am not normally a fan of parodies but I have literally played this one about 50 times. Fucking brilliantly written; it’s vicious, cutting and completely original. The fact you reference Blair’s cousin Jerri, then mock her awful voice, makes me want to carry you around the room on my shoulders. Very rare I enjoy a comedy piece this much. Thanks for making me laugh man, I’m a fan.”
– Comedian Jim Norton (he actually said that)