When I saw the "Comedian and actor Bernie Mac dies at 50" headline, I immediately thought to myself, "Oh man. That's a damned shame." He may have been just another African-American comedian to most other people, but I still remember how hard I laughed when he bust out the "Black sum-um-a-bitch" on The Original Kings of Comedy. Reading about this almost made me wonder why things like this happen to people like Bernie Mac; people who make others laugh and forget their own sorrows in spite of the terrible sorrows that he himself experienced. Thank you Mr. Mac. I really appreciate the laughs, and I hope you know that you were a funny guy.
I remember watching "Ocean's Eleven" and wondering how he had gotten such a small role. I think he did a great job with this role though, you know, pretending to be a crooked blackjack dealer who was on the edge. Small though this role was, he really did make the scenes where he was being investigated by Matt Damon interesting; always threatening to fly off the handle, and often intimidating Damon's character with his sudden half-rushes. Maybe this was his first big Hollywood break after his stand up stylings with the "Original Kings" crew. Or maybe he was just a funny guy. Either way, the picture from Wikipedia.org below does not do him justice. But, at least there is no copyright crud to mar this tribute.
Bernard Jeffrey McCullough, his original name, had a brand of humor all his own. I remember watching him in The Original Kings of Comedy and laughing till it hurt when he came on. Sure, the others on that show were funny. However, his jokes about taking care of his sister's kids and how he attempted to discipline them even though they were a bunch of brats were hilarious. Of the four "kings" who were part of the show, Bernie Mac's finale was the funniest. I mean, I liked D. L. Hughley and Cedric the Entertainer as well. But it was always Mr. Mac whose routine I couldn't get enough of. Check out the cover below, and see if you can spot him on it.
Such is life, however. It seems that people who make the world a more live-able place are fast disappearing. Well, at least they made us laugh while they were around, eh?
Thank you Bernie Mac, you brought a smile to my face every time I watched your shows on TV. God rest your soul.
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