Michael Jordan "Mack" Mackenzie (formerly Michael James Mackenzie) also known as Mack Daddy by Kevin Thompson, is a student at Lawndale High. He is on the Lawndale Lions football team with Kevin. He is also the boyfriend of Jodie Landon.
Mack is the only recurring male character of Daria and Jane's age at Lawndale High who acts with courage, intelligence, and integrity, and as such he enjoys their respect. In the episode Ill, Jodie qualifies her statement that anyone could catch a rash after Mack looks her quizzically, suggesting that Mack would be incapable of catching a rash. Subtle references are made in the series to Mack's high intelligence, & his level of self-control is astounding.
Jodie in Partner's Complaint describes Mack as being "bad with money," being overdrawn on his allowance since third grade. The only other vaguely negative aspect of his character is a tendency to be sarcastic and cynical to a Daria-ish degree when referring to the school, Ms. Li's policies, and some of his classmates and football team members. While Mack is usually level-headed and calm on the show, outside of bursts of anger, off-screen media like the websites and The Daria Database have shown that Mack is secretly angry and bitter about many things.
Mack is a teenage African-American male with black hair in dreadlocks and dark brown eyes. He wears a black sports jersey with white trim around the neckline and white and gold striped trim at the sleeves, pants, and shoes.
Little is known about Mack's family, though in The Misery Chick he reveals his name was originally Michael James Mackenzie, his dad went to a Bulls playoff game when Mack was twelve and then he decided to change Mack's full name. His mother is never mentioned. Mack finally pays his father back during Is It Fall Yet? and has enough money left from his summer job to take Jodie to Chez Pierre "once."
Mack was never developed fully, as the show's staff never cast his voice actor to their satisfaction. Because Mack wasn't fully developed, he wasn't given flaws. This is subject to occasional self-parody in the series. In Parade, he expresses distaste for being made Homecoming King, feeling it's tokenism so everyone can feel good about few minorities living in Lawndale. In the Lawndale Lions' website, he also expresses bitterness with his role in the team (see Antagonists).
Mack's and Jodie's relationship exists throughout the series, and the two are often seen together and have sometimes down their own version of the Daria/Jane snarkfest on the idiots around them. Often, their relationship seems stable and positive. The implication is made in My Night at Daria's is that the couple is sexually active, though it isn't known to what degree. However, Jodie often places a higher priority on her own commitments than on maintaining the relationship. Mack is often disappointed when he attempts to get time together with Jodie but is rebuffed.
His frustration is quite clear in a number of episodes and was a running subplot through Is It Fall Yet?, and in The Daria Database Mack's new year resolutions to not be bothered that she puts "every damn thing" ahead of him. In the MTV feature It Takes Two to Tangle, this stress and frustration are presented as the defining factor of their relationship and it adds "They should sign up for a twelve-step program--but she only has time for two." A dark spin on their relationship is raised in "The Daria Diaries", where Jodie covertly questions whether she's dating Mack because she genuinely likes him or "because he's who he is and you're who you are and others don't care to question the equation?"
Mack is clearly and specifically portrayed as coming from a lower socioeconomic class than Jodie, though the details are not known. (Being in a lower socioeconomic class than Jodie Landon is not difficult.) In Is It College Yet?, he states that he can get into Vance University only if he gets a scholarship, which he does. In Is It Fall Yet? Mack drives an ice-cream truck for a summer job so he can pay off debts, while Jodie works at a congressman's office, takes golf lessons, etc.
Mack is constantly shown to be around Kevin, and the two both play on the Lawndale Lions team. Kevin's intense stupidity and inability to get Mack's name right irritate him considerably, and Database shows him unable to say anything nice about the lad. Despite that, Mack is shown spending time around Kevin when he wouldn't be required to: "I Don't" has him hanging around Kevin outside of school, he consoles Kevin when the lad is down and helps get him back on the team in "The F Word". Kevin also spends more time around Mack (on screen) than other Lions members. The two appear to be, against all odds, actual friends.
The one exception to his popular standing is Ms. Barch, the misanthropic science teacher. For reasons unknown, Janet Barch appears to have marked Mack as her favorite whipping boy. References to this decidedly ugly conflict abound: The Lab Brat, Gifted, Fair Enough,and The Daria Database.
Mack is known as the captain of the Lawndale Lions football team. The MTV Daria website noted long ago that Mack was a running back. He and Jodie designed the school's website and he runs the Lawndale Lions sub-site, according to an extinct MTV webpage. He knows Shakespeare at least as well as Daria Morgendorffer (Cafe Disaffecto comments about the skull in Hamlet). An avid sports fan, he has extensive knowledge of American football and its history, making numerous references to the same in a short written speech that appears in The Daria Diaries.
An African-American classmate of Daria Morgendorffer and Jane Lane, Mack attends school at Lawndale High with his girlfriend, Jodie Landon. Mack appears to be in a lower-middle class or working class family:
- In Is It Fall Yet?, when irked that Jodie views his job as easy, he attacks her for not knowing what a minimum wage job is like with "your glamour jobs." He and Jodie both consider Chez Pierre to be too expensive for him to afford.
- In Is It College Yet?, Mack's family can only afford "State University" - he can only get into his preferred college, Vance, with a scholarship.
- Mack makes his first appearance in The Invitation alongside Ms. Dafoe, Trent Lane, Joey, Jeffy, Jamie, and Jodie.
- Mack's two alter egos are Saint Mack and Mack Who-Belongs-With-Someone-Else.
- Mack's character has the largest number of changing voice actors than any other character in the show. While the difference is usually too subtle to be noticeable, his voice becomes noticeably deeper when he is voiced by Kevin Daniels.
- In the Latin American dubbing, he was voiced by Benjamín Rivera.