Writing and illustrating a humor column comes naturally to Mack Dryden, who at various times has earned his living as a journalist, cartoonist and comedian.
After a Huck Finn childhood, he earned degrees in journalism and creative writing in his home state of Mississippi, then spent more than a year in Europe, criss-crossing the continent and making a living selling (legal) goods he trekked in from North Africa. On one buying trip to Morocco, he had a violent confrontation with a man trying to swindle him and ended up in the national prison (the book he wrote about that harrowing adventure is available on his website).
He returned to the States and became a reporter for the Sun-Herald in Biloxi-Gulfport, where he earned two Associated Press writing awards, one for a story in which he stripped to get an interview at a nudist camp deep in the Mississippi woods.
He made a living as a freelance writer and cartoonist in Key West for a few years before meeting his comedy partner, Jamie Alcroft. The comedy team Mack & Jamie toured the country and followed their comedy dream to Los Angeles, where they appeared on numerous TV programs, including The Tonight Show with both Johnny Carson and Jay Leno, the only team so honored. The duo opened concerts for such stars as Tony Orlando, Lou Rawls and Diana Ross, and hosted their own syndicated TV show, "Comedy Break with Mack & Jamie," where they performed with such celebrity guests as Steve Allen, Don Knotts and Leslie Nielsen. They also played bumbling FBI agents in the feature film, "Million Dollar Mystery."
As an actor, Mack did guest roles in a number of episodics, including "The Guardian," "JAG," "Saved By the Bell" and others, and played Scotty the bartender on two dozen episodes of ABC’s western drama, "Paradise" starring Lee Horsley. As a writer, he was hand-picked by his old pal Bill Maher for the writing staff of "Politically Incorrect."
After winning battles with two different types of cancer, Mack decided he had acquired enough survival tools to share with others, and has made his living as a comedic motivational speaker since 2001. He and his wife Teri, an artist, had never felt at home in sprawling LA, so when their third child graduated high school in 2010, they moved to Louisville, having been introduced to the Derby City by Teri’s neuropsychologist sister Cathy. In Louisville, Mack jumped into the local comedy scene and has been headlining as a solo comedian since 2011.
“Louisville feels like home to us,” says Mack. “We love the city and the people, and we want to spend the rest of our lives in our great house and our wonderful Highlands neighborhood.”