Schneider was born in San Francisco, California, and grew up in the nearby suburb of Pacifica. His parents are Pilar (née Monroe), a former kindergarten teacher and ex-school board president, and Marvin Schneider, a real estate broker. His father was Jewish and his mother was Catholic. Schneider's maternal grandmother was a Filipina who met and married his grandfather, a white American army private, while he was stationed in the Philippines. His mixed background is a common theme in his comedy acts. His older brother, John, is a producer. Schneider graduated from Terra Nova High School in 1982 and then attended San Francisco State University.