Why does it feel like I’m posting so many tribute blogs lately? 😦
Some more sad news today, comedian and actor Bernie Mac died today at the young age of 50. I found some clips from the above linked Chicago Tribune article (the best of the tribute articles I looked at) to be particularly interesting about Mr. Mac,
He wasn’t scared, he told us time and again, to tell anyone what he thought, to say what others were afraid to say. That fearlessness wasn’t always welcome, considering Mac didn’t get his big break until his 30s. But when he did, the comic skyrocketed to success in stand-up, television and the big screen.
Before his 10th birthday, Mac was performing comedy standup, honing his skills on CTA trains and parks before graduating to well-known haunts like the Regal Theater and the Cotton Club. He came to a realization during those first years as a struggling comic: If he could kill in front of a black crowd, he could kill in any crowd.
“Black audiences are hard,” he told the New York Times in 2002. “You got to come with a little extra to satisfy them.”
“When I started in comedy in the clubs in 1977, blacks couldn’t do certain clubs — not because they were segregated. They just didn’t want to put the [black comics] out there. In Los Angeles, the clubs would have a black night. People would say, ‘Why don’t you come by and do something?’ I would say, ‘I’m a comedian — don’t put a title on me.’ Don’t limit yourself. How you start is how you finish,” he told the Tribune in 2007. “If you let people put tags on you, you’ll never be able to remove them. You’ve got to make people respect you. Respect is bigger than dollars and cents.”
So, peace to Bernie Mac and his family during this difficult time. Bernie will not be forgotten.
And here’s a clip from an early episode of the very funny Bernie Mac Show.
and giving a great performance in Bad Santa: