Wisconsin (mostly) nice

Mary Mack is an old-fashioned comedian. She doesn't curse (much), she doesn't tell dirty stories and she plays up a hard-core Wisconsin accent.

Mary Mack
Pig Woman
(Stand Up!)
But then again, she's also one of the more stridently feminist comics I've heard in a while. It's just that she spins the tales so quaintly that there seems to be no other reasonable viewpoint. But the first 12 minutes of this album riff through body image, the vicious way women judge other women, trophy wives and more.

The small-town persona also softens the blow of some big ideas. This is a classic technique, of course, and Mack never breaks character. She stays true to her point of view, and by doing do she manages to make some fairly dark material sound positively charming.

There are a lot of laugh-out-loud moments, but this is one of the most relatable and conversational comedy albums I've heard in a long time. Mack has this routine down, and she's able to roll and weave in crowd interviews seamlessly.

Maybe it's my fly-over country upbringing, but this stuff really struck a chord. I don't know anyone like Mack, exactly, but she sure sounds like someone fun to hang with. I know this is just a character, but it's really appealing. That she actually has something to say (and says it with such wide-eyed wonder) is even better. What a happy encounter.

Jon Worley

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