He's a team captain on Would I Lie to You? opposite David Mitchell, forming a much-milked Odd Couple relationship, and is the creator and star of sitcom Not Going Out opposite Tim Vine, forming another much-milked Odd Couple relationship. He has also presented a Variety Show entitled Lee Mack's All Star Cast. He's also very Northern. He was also a part of the five-person comedian cast of The Sketch Show and headlined another sitcom called Semi Detached.
Additionally, he hosts a podcast, titled I Can't Believe It's Not Buddha, where he discusses how he turned to Buddhism and how his journey toward spiritual enlightenment is going.
Lee Mack provides examples of:
- Berserk Button: Not that he seems to have any of his own; he just likes to find them and press them. When playing off David Mitchell this works admirably — when used on Stephen Fry, not so much..
- Book Dumb: Particularly as the foil to more traditionally intelligent persons.
- Burn the Witch!: He jokes that his father was very traditional, then says that he denounced Lee's sister as a witch when she got her first period.
- Butt-Monkey: On Would I Lie To You?
- Cannot Tell a Joke: A couple of gags have him tell a joke or make a statement that doesn't really seem to make sense, only for him to then say "sorry, I meant (x)", with X being something that does make sense.Why did the chicken cross the road? Because his house was being bombed by the Russians! Leave him alone, he's only a chicken! They're blowing up his house! Leave him alone, he's a chicken!... Sorry, not chicken, Chechen.
- Disappeared Dad: In keeping with his stage persona as a dimwitted and rather stereotypical Northern lout, a lot of his jokes tend to paint him as a barely-present inattentive father to his kids who is subject to the ongoing and often abusive disdain of their mother and is frequently in the target-sights of the social services. It should perhaps be noted that this appears to be firmly averted in real life, as Lee appears to be a Happily Married father of three who frequently comments that many of his television guest appearances are prompted by the fact that his kids enjoy the shows in question.
- Drives Like Crazy: In a routine about his driving test:Mack: You know what you're supposed to do if you're driving and a deer jumps in front of your car?Audience Member: Run it over!Mack: "Run it over" is the correct answer. That's what you're supposed to do. I was taking my driving test, and a deer did run out into the middle of the road. And I kept driving. Then I looked back. I'd missed it by millimetres. And, well, I didn't want to fail my driving test...I chased the bloody thing through fields for an hour, and the examiner still failed me!
- Hypocritical Humour:I got stopped by a market researcher today. She said, "Can I ask you ten quick questions?" I went, "Go on." She went, "Question #1. Have you ever had a blackout?" I said "No". She went, "And finally, Question #10..."
- Irish Names: his routine about the pronunciation of names like "Niamh" and "Siobhan".In what possible universe is there a "v" in there?
- Large Ham: Occasionally. He has engaged in Ham-to-Ham Combat with other legendary shouters — notably David Mitchell and Charlie Brooker — and has at least held his own (arguably he beat Charlie with a well-placed rant about Twitter).
- Literal-Minded: While talking about how he has trouble understanding computer terminology, his answer to "Have you disabled cookies?":I once bit the legs off a Gingerbread-Man.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Something of a tactic of his on panel shows. Lee likes to play up the impression of himself as a somewhat stereotypically dim-witted Northerner and plays himself down with self-deprecating humour and constant jokes, but he is clearly incredibly sharp-witted and capable of effectively outplaying his opponents with incredibly clever moves. He's pulled off a surprise victory in 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown on at least two occasions by spotting nine-letter words in the anagram rounds. Most prominently, for all the Odd Couple act with David Mitchell in Would I Lie To You, where he plays the blunt working class foil to David's prissy southern intellectual, a quick glance at a series leaderboard shows that he's more than capable of holding his own. As lampshaded by Victoria Coren-Mitchell at one point:Victoria: Genuinely, Lee Mack is one of the cleverest people on TV. God knows, he hides it well...
- Oop North: In spades, and used as a point of contrast against "posh" southerner David Mitchell in Would I Lie To You?, and against "posh" southerner Tim in Not Going Out.
- Pilot: Lee was cast as Raymond in a British version of Everybody Loves Raymond. This never got past the pilot episode, which has so far not been released.
- Shout-Out: His stage name is an obvious reference to his great-grandfather Billy Mac, a vaudeville star (whom Lee himself never met).
- Smarter Than You Look: Underneath the working-class Northern-ness (and a touch of Obfuscating Stupidity) is a very sharp mind. Stephen Fry has stated that he finds it incredibly frustrating to work with Lee Mack since willful stupidity is one of his personal berserk buttons, Lee's comedy is based around him acting like a moron, and Stephen knows that Lee more likely than not is the smartest (though usually not best educated) person in the room.
- Take That!: He makes it clear that he doesn't like Robbie Williams very much.