Mary Mack: Bad at polka, great at comedy

Comedian Mary Mack is bouncing back from a difficult year that almost knocked her off the circuit. In an article in the Star Tribune, Tom Horgen writes:

A year ago, Mack seemed destined for even bigger things, but then her momentum slammed to a stop. In June, her 70-year-old father died from heart disease. Mack was extremely close to her dad, a small-town mechanic. “I got my sense of humor from my dad,” she said. “He was a great storyteller.” Almost a year later, she has a tough time holding back tears when talking about him.

“It was really hard,” she said last week. “I lost my motivation.”

She quit booking shows for a time. When she would perform, her sets included less and less about her father, who was — as with the rest of her family — the bread and butter of her routine.

Fortunately, for us, Mack is back in action, having just finished up a string of performances at the Acme Comedy Club in Minneapolis.

For me, the big surprise was in how Mack got her start. It turns out she’s a classically trained musician with degrees in both conducting and clarinet. She didn’t explore comedy until audiences for her polka band made it clear they liked the parts where she stalled between numbers better than the numbers themselves.

Polka’s loss is comedy’s gain.

Comments are closed.