The Spotlight on … Mae Martin

Say hello to Mae Martin – a stand-up and musical comic from Canada of a sweet and self-deprecating disposition. Here, she introduces herself …


How long have you been gigging for?
It’s embarrassing to say. 13 years. But I started gigging at age 13 so the first seven years at least don’t count, right? They were spent going through puberty and doing sketch comedy about high school and how parents just don’t understand.

What do we need to know about you?
I’m a Canadian with hair that looks like a Q-tip and a voice like a muppet, but I’m making it work.

What do we not need to know about you, but you’re going to tell us anyway?
I’m wearing a onesie, eating a baked potato, and watching outtakes and blooper reels to American sitcoms I’ve never even seen.

Why do you think Canadians do so well on the London comedy circuit?
Brits are excellent at taking the piss out of themselves and others, and Canadians have an innately low sense of self-esteem so we fit right in.

What one thing about comedy do you wish people had told you before you started it?
That I would get addicted to it and never get an education.

What do your family think of your act?
My mum gets heart palpitations just thinking about me being onstage – the whole idea of it petrifies her. She recently sent me motivational speaker Anthony Robbins’ “Awaken the Giant Within” in the mail to help give me the strength to deal with any hypothetical hecklers I might encounter. But they’re all very supportive and very funny themselves.

What’s your favourite bit of your material at the moment?
A bit about how one of my new sardonically irreverent British pals recently told me I look like a “piece of sweetcorn” and I’ve internalised that comparison probably for the rest of my life.

Who makes you laugh?
My friend Gaby Leith, who I’ve recently convinced to move to England to keep me company. I spend a lot of my time trying to stop her from doing comedy because if she got on stage she’d take over the world.

Do you have a secret talent?
I thought it was cutting my own hair when I left my house this morning. Then a friend took a picture of the back of my head and showed me what I’d done.

If you were to appear on a chat show as a guest, what would be your walk-on music?
A haunting recording of the majestic call of the mighty Loon – a soulful bird native to the lakes of Canada. Or the theme song to Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Describe your dancing.
Classic middle-school side step and clap, with an expectant/hopeful expression on my face and no idea what to do with my arms. Like a middle-aged Backstreet Boy?
If you’d like to pursue Mae on the internet, try social media giant Twitter, where she can be found at

Mae’s upcoming gigs in London are mainly previews of her debut Edinburgh show – at Hen and Chickens (Islington) on May 23, the Harrison (Kings Cross) on June 11 and St James’s Theatre (Victoria) on July 11.

And finally, here’s a clip of her from YouTube …

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