I woke up yesterday morning to a text from my girl back home, informing me of Bernie Mac's passing. I immediately jumped online to read the details and a sadness covered me like a blanket.
Bernie Mac was/is a Chicago legend. He epitomizes the Chi Town Hustle and will live on as a shining example of how to pursue and attain your dreams while taking no prisoners.
Arguably one of the most funny comedians of our time, Mr. Mac defied the odds of stardom and "making it" in Hollywood. He didn't have a Tinseltown pedigree and didn't come from a wealthy family, but he had heart, desire and loads of talent.
I remember once, back in the day, my girl JCC, the mouth of the Southside, who had aspirations of becoming a stand up comedienne, signed herself up for amateur night at The Cotton Club in the South Loop. Mr. Mac was the MC/Host that night and I don't recall word for word what he said to her when she finished (even though her routine was a hilarious mess), but I can say for sure that he wasn't harsh with his words and he didn't seek to embarrass her. That wasn't his style.
Last year, I had the honor of speaking to Mr. Mac via phone, regarding a charitable event that I was managing. The host wanted him to participate, and I had the honor of calling to ask if he could attend. While his schedule would not permit, he was humble, regretful and gracious in his response and I will never forget that moment. Dealing with celebrities is not always a pleasant experience, but Mr. Mac was a class act.
Its a known fact that at times he felt slighted in his opportunities, and he rarely missed a chance to let you know that he wasn't scared (you know the quote), but I would want him to know that he was always a star at "the crib" and in our community, and we weren't scared of him! He was and always will be truly loved. Uncle Bernie will be sorely missed!
I will be checking for his upcoming movies, and I'll continue to watch The Bernie Mac Show re-runs. I gotta get a copy of The Kings of Comedy too! He was brilliant!
"WHO YOU WIT?"