Legends of Black Comedy: Bernie Mac

Uproarious laughter could go on for minutes, even after the joke had settled in over the crowd. When this 6’2” giant stepped onto any stage, not only did his tall frame and seamless midnight-black skin command attention, his larger than life personality consumed any room. 

When you think of Black comedy legends, one’s mind instantly brings up images of Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, and Chris Rock. However, the comedy legend roster would not be complete if the original King of Comedy, Chicago-reppin’ Bernard Jeffery McCullough, better known as Bernie Mac, is not mentioned among the greats.

That Moment When Hard Work Pays Off

Bernie Mac made a name for himself in the early 90s, making waves on the underground comedy circuit. It would not be long before people in Hollywood, began to notice Mr. Mac.  Shortly after starting his stand-up career, he was sought after to do his routine on the ultimate make it –or-break it stage, Russell Simmon’s: Def Comedy Jam. After his appearance on the show, Bernie started appearing in small, yet memorable movie roles, like Player’s ClubHouse Party 3 and Friday.

Known for his big eyes, quick wit and raw sense of humor, Mac made it clear that he was not scared of you Mf’ers (his words, not mine)! Bernie was not the originator of storytelling in comedy, but he definitely perfected it. Talk to any fan of comedy, and they can all tell you the story of Bernie Mac taking in his crackhead sister’s three kids. That story forever solidified the phrase; “You want some milk and cookies?” and propelled Mac to King of Comedy status, eventually landing him his own television sitcom.

Legends Live Forever

The Bernie Mac Show aired in 2001 and lasted 5 seasons. The show was based off the premise of his joke about his sister’s three kids and him taking them in so they would not be lost in “the system.” Bernie Mac joined in the ranks of Bill Cosby, Martin Lawrence, and the rest of his Kind of Comedy brethren (Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer, and DL Hughley), by landing his own show. His show exposed him to mainstream media, and Mac began appearing in big budget movies like the Ocean’s Eleven franchise. There was no place on this planet, Bernie could go, where he did not make an impact and leave an impression; he was just that great!  

The Bernie Mac Show Premiere on AspireTV

Ten years ago, Bernie Mac, lost his battle to sarcoidosis, and left us physically on August 9, 2008. Although, he departed the Earth, he has never departed from our hearts. The big Black man, with the big personality will forever remain our comedy legend and our King of Comedy.

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