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'Saturday Night Live' alum and movie veteran Rob Schneider returns to standup roots

Brian Gaar

Standup comedy isn't the first thing you'd associate with Rob Schneider.

‘Saturday Night Live'? Sure.

‘Deuce Bigalow' and memorable cameos in Adam Sandler movies? Without a doubt.

Turns out, though, Schneider started his show business career as a standup comic. In 1987, he appeared on David Letterman's show and three years later, he was hired by Lorne Michaels as a regular cast member on ‘Saturday Night Live.'

Since then, he's gone on to make movies, most recently with longtime buddies Sandler, Chris Rock and David Spade in the new comedy ‘Grown Ups,' due out June 25.

But Schneider is also returning to his standup roots. He has a new CD that hits the Internet soon and stores next month. And he's on an international tour that includes a stop this weekend at Cap City Comedy Club.

Asked what brought him back to standup, Schneider said he was inspired after one of George Carlin's last concerts. Plus, his old pals Rock and Sandler both encouraged him, he said.

‘I just started writing jokes and (Rock) told me, "You've gotta get back in and do it," ' Schneider said.

So he started with five minutes of material and dove in. The first week was rough, but Schneider said he learned quickly.

Now he's enjoying the immediacy of crowd reactions that comes from live performance. Plus since he's already done plenty of movies and TV, Schneider said there's no ulterior motive to doing standup.

‘I'm not doing it to get to something else,' he said.

Schneider, who is extremely versed in politics and current events, said he admired Carlin's material, which he described as ‘really topical, really funny, bitter, but just spot-on.'

And a conversation with Schneider himself can run the gamut — from subjects like U.S. military spending and the world's oil supply to immigration and corn subsidies.

‘It's an interesting time to be a comedian,' he said.

Schneider says he's a big fan of Austin, too, which he described as a ‘cultural mecca,' on par with New York, Los Angeles and Boston.

‘I'm just kind of psyched to get out there,' he said.

bgaar@statesman.com; 912-5932

Rob Schneider

When:8 p.m. Friday through Sunday, 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Where:Cap City Comedy Club, 8120 Research Blvd.

Cost:$31.50 and up

Information:467-2333, www.capcity comedy.com