Mary Mack Finds Her Voice in Underwood

The sight of a petite, female comedian walking onstage on Friday night probably did not surprise many audience members in Underwood, but they were certainly surprised by the sound of her voice. “Yes, this is my real voice,” said Mary Mack, who has trouble calling comedy clubs because of her unusually youthful voice. Throughout the night, however, Mack proved herself to be a competent comedian with a well-rounded routine. Her material covered topics such as growing up in a small town, the public school system and politics, and she topped it all off with a short musical performance. When Mack spoke, it became clear that her train of thought was as child-like as her voice. Some of her topics were mish-mashed and nonsensical, only adding to the humor of her act. At some points, it was hard to determine whether she was improvising or following her routine because of constant interaction with the audience. Nobody knew what to expect when the comedian pulled out a mandolin, but when she began singing about a hamster’s glen and gangsters, and performing her own renditions of some popular Gwen Stefani songs, the crowd was entertained once more. Many of Mack’s funniest moments were the side-comments after her jokes. The crowd enjoyed one of her opening lines: “It’s so confusing ‘cause she has the voice of a five-year-old… and the body of a 4th grader.” People laughed even harder when she mumbled “Sorry,” after explaining her unusual voice. Before she was a comedian, Mack taught clarinet lessons and conducted a youth orchestra. She has two degrees in music. Mack didn’t plan on being a comedian until a friend signed her up for an open-mic night and she really enjoyed it. Mack still would rather perform on the radio or live than on television. Mack said, “Being a comedian is like owning a small business.” She says that she is more serious in real life because she is self-employed and paying bills can be stressful. She has to learn to budget and she makes her money from corporations such as John Deere and McDonalds. On top of those responsibilities, Mack has a very busy schedule; this past week alone she went to six different states, including her home state of California. There was a broad range of opinions of Mary Mack and her act. While some found her mild act captivating, others disagreed. At one point in the evening, the comedian made fun of Summer Washburn ’11, which some audience members found distasteful. Many did not appreciate Mary Mack’s cracks at big families like Washburn’s, or her strong, liberal views on the upcoming election. Khalid McCaskill ’10 said, “She stooped to the level of making fun of the Washburn family… that was very not cool and far from funny.” If you are interested in being a comedian, Mary Mack recommends doing well in English class. It’s certainly the most important class you will need, because press releases need to be written very well. Mack had a special request concerning the last sentence of this article: “Mary Mack says she was glad Summer Washburn was at the show.”