Mary Mack is back. Once again, the petite comedian will be shaking things up over at the Turf Club for the North Star Comedy Hour and Meat Raffle: Holiday Edition. The event features accordionist Karen Townsend, poets Paul Dickinson and Annette Schiebout, tongue-in-cheek rap group Valley Meadows, members of the Prairie Fire Ladies Choir singing holiday songs under the name "The Profanity Singers," and others.
So, what if you're a vegetarian? Don't worry. Mack says she will provide a vegetarian option.
This will be the second year that the holiday meat raffle will take place in the Twin Cities, though it's a regular act in L.A., where Mack spends half the year. Awhile back, Mack also used to do a big, four-hour event at the old Acadia around the holidays.
Interestingly, she says California has cheaper meat than Minnesota because you can actually buy it at the 99-cent store.
"I've eaten it as part of my regular meal -- not even as a joke," she says. "There's some crazy meat at the 99-cent store. Some things you never knew could be canned." For example, she noticed that on some cans the labels don't indicate what kind of meat is actually inside. "It just says 'potted meat' on it," Mack says.
What about deviled ham? "Don't ever get that; it's horrible," Mack says. "It's like ham that a dog ate and puked out and then he breathed on it a lot with bad dog breath and then someone put it in a can. You can open it like a sardine top. I thought it would be a good idea to keep in my heart."
Mary Mack has been keeping herself busy of late, taking an occasional gig as Jan the Custodian at Wits. "I was really excited about the Wits thing," she says. "I'm finally getting to do some acting, and I'm grateful. I've been taking acting classes, and now I get to actually use them."
Mack also did a stint at Mark Marron's WTF
podcast, and she got a good response from that. Someone from Alaska Public Radio called her with interest in having her to do some performing up there. Mack is stoked because she hopes she can do some fishing. "Probably every show in Alaska is a meat raffle," she says. "It's probably the default, 'Oh, there is a meat raffle and we happen to have a guitar player.'"
She also has been writing a bit of music for a webisode on Comedy Central. "I'm just happy for the variety," she says of her recent career opportunities.
For the meat raffle holiday show, Mack is the host and also in the band. But she will be changing it up a bit from last year's show. Instead of playing the mandolin, she'll be rocking out on her clarinet. She also has a musical instrument -- a shaker -- which she claims was made from her gall bladder when she had it out last year. "I shellacked it," she says. "So I'm playing clarinet and gall bladder."
Mack had surgery at the end of August, just two months after her wedding to fellow comedian Tim Harmston. So, it's been a pretty busy year. She also has some traveling horror stories, which include "both professional and amateur enemas. I'll be talking about that a little bit onstage," she says.
Throughout this experience, she learned that college kids are giving themselves liquor enemas -- which is super dangerous -- as a way to absorb a lot of liquor at once. "I guess that's the point behind coffee enemas," she says. "That sounds like a good idea to me. They couldn't sell that kind of enema at Walgreens. You'd have to sell that at a liquor store."