Audio by Lara Smith, Words by Richard Goodwin
All of us on the Comedy Wham staff are big fans of not only comedy, but also the local morning show Dudley and Bob with Matt. (In fact, it’s how I met CW’s Valerie and Lara.) It’s also the first place I got to hear some of the many voices of Austin’s own Mike MacRae, when he dropped by the show with his own built-in cast of characters. Lara Smith caught up with MacRae on location to see what makes him tick.
A master at impressions as well as stand-up, St. Louis born MacRae is someone you’ve probably heard in one medium or another. From his call-in roles as Mitt Romney on The Howard Stern Show, to his own Comedy Central Premium Blend special, to an ever diverse and growing body of voiceover work, chances are you’ve had him in your living room or on your morning commute and didn’t even know it.
Young MacRae found a love of comedy early, spending time with late night TV legends like Carson and Letterman (whose stage he would later grace himself). He also kept eyes on the stylings of comedy names like Brian Regan and Jake Johannsen. He quickly found the power of a good impression, lampooning teachers and students, performing to their delight.
It wasn’t until later in life, after a move from St. Louis to Houston to grab the most quintessential of comedy career majors–Civil Engineering–that MacRae decided to take the stage himself. With a sudden abundance of free time on his hands after school, he decided to take on the stage at an open mic. This was followed shortly by his move to Austin in 2007, and he essentially hasn’t looked back.
With his gravelly drawl and–at first exposure–bitingly cynical social commentary, you might be tempted to think that MacRae is another example of the disgruntled comedian archetype. But when you catch him on stage, on screen, or in voice-over work, it’s immediately and gratifyingly apparent that he’s a master of malleable personality: shaping himself and his material to the medium, task, and topic at hand.
Listen to this week’s episode for more of MacRae’s past, future, and uniquely honest and pragmatic worldview. After that, follow MacRae on Twitter, catch up with him at his upcoming appearance(s) at the 2018 Moontower Comedy Festival, and in past and upcoming episodes of the podcast he co-hosts, Welcome to Jollyville.