Bernie Mac, RIP

posted at 10:25 am on August 9, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

I’m getting a lot of e-mail on the sudden death of comedian Bernie Mac, who passed away today at 50 from pneumonia, as well as comments in the other threads.  Mac suffered from a chronic lung condition, but apparently the pneumonia wasn’t related to the sarcoidosis:

Bernie Mac, the Emmy and Golden Globe nominated actor and comedian who worked his way to Hollywood success from an impoverished upbringing on Chicago’s South Side, died Saturday at age 50.

“Actor/comedian Bernie Mac passed away this morning from complications due to pneumonia in a Chicago area hospital,” his publicist, Danica Smith, said in a statement from Los Angeles. ….

The comedian suffered from sarcoidosis, an inflammatory lung disease that produces tiny lumps of cells in the body’s organs, but had said the condition went into remission in 2005. He recently was hospitalized and treated for pneumonia, which his publicist said was not related to the disease.

Recently, Mac’s brand of comedy caught him flack when he was heckled during a surprise appearance at a July fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate and fellow Chicagoan Barack Obama.

I wrote about that incident four weeks ago, and noted that the Obama campaign should have thought better of inviting Mac to speak if they were going to get nervous about content.  Mac was a terrific comedian, and his genre was well known to millions.  Inviting Mac would have been the same as inviting Redd Foxx in another generation — guaranteed laughs, but with a repertoire that doesn’t exactly overlap Sinbad’s.

Not having followed Mac closely, I mostly know him from his movie appearances and television shows, with an occasional stand-up appearance on cable shows.  He had talent, personality, and a cutting perspective, and he left us far too soon.


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I can’t believe the news,this is really sad,
and only 50,prayers to his family,I’m still
shocked.

canopfor on August 9, 2008 at 10:29 AM

Wow.

Jaibones on August 9, 2008 at 10:30 AM

The same thing almost killed me when I was 28, so I can sympathize.

What a shame, condolences to his family.

Bob's Kid on August 9, 2008 at 10:31 AM

Awful. Condolences to the family.

SouthernDem on August 9, 2008 at 10:32 AM

Your are right that the Obama campaign should have been nervous to invite him, apparently he told the crowd that when it comes to taxes he’s a Republican. He was the guest comedian at one of the White House Correspondence dinners during this administration. Fifty is a ridiculous age to die at, my prayers to all who loved him.

Cindy Munford on August 9, 2008 at 10:32 AM

It is quite sad. RIP

becki51758 on August 9, 2008 at 10:33 AM

RIP, Bernie.

A genuinely funny guy. A shame the last memory of him is being tossed under Obama’s bus.

JammieWearingFool on August 9, 2008 at 10:37 AM

RIP, Bernie Mac. May there be much beer and good food where you go. You already bring laughter with you, and will be a welcome guest at any feast.

Sekhmet on August 9, 2008 at 10:38 AM

RIP, Bernie Mac.

StephC on August 9, 2008 at 10:39 AM

Wow. I didn’t follow his work that closely either but I always enjoyed him whenever I came across him unexpectedly in a movie or tv show. I had no idea he had health complications and didn’t expect this at all. Godspeed Bernie…shouldn’t have been so soon.

austinnelly on August 9, 2008 at 10:41 AM

He’ll definitely be missed.

mikeyboss on August 9, 2008 at 10:44 AM

I’ve never heard of him, but RIP, Bernie Mac.

Connie on August 9, 2008 at 10:45 AM

RIP. Great comedian, and actor in a great, family-approved sitcom.

mjtyson on August 9, 2008 at 10:47 AM

This news is saddening. I’ve never been one for the rough and bawdier variety of live, stage performances which Bernie would do, but I love his tv show and his acting work, the last which I saw was his scene in Transformers.

He was a truly funny guy and I’m going to miss him.

Dusty on August 9, 2008 at 10:50 AM

“Mr. 3000″ has left us way too soon. RIP, B-Mac.

FishFearMe on August 9, 2008 at 10:50 AM

Another young guy with everything to live for. RIP, Bernie.

baldilocks on August 9, 2008 at 10:57 AM

RIP, Bernie Mac. May there be much beer and good food where you go. You already bring laughter with you, and will be a welcome guest at any feast.

Sekhmet on August 9, 2008 at 10:38 AM

And cigars too! I loved his tv show. Very funny man, my condolences to his family.

Aggie85 on August 9, 2008 at 10:58 AM

I love his humor, especially as it presented itself on his T.V. show. He was, by every measure, Funny. His comedy was never strained, nothing was forced. This is very sad.

Weight of Glory on August 9, 2008 at 11:06 AM

I liked Bernie Mac. He worked hard to get where he was without all the whining and self pity. On his TV show, he always spoke to AMERICA – as if we all had the same struggles and triumphs, while still addressing his community’s problems.

This is a greater loss than the combined deaths of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Revrunt Wright would be.

Condolences to his family and friends.

Mommynator on August 9, 2008 at 11:08 AM

Ocean’s Last…

This came as quite a shock this morning. I just read in the morning paper that he was “doing fine” and well into “recovery”… Two minutes later Fox relayed the sad news.

singlemalt_18 on August 9, 2008 at 11:09 AM

This is such sad news this morning. So many have gone recently and many were young–50′s.

My symphathy to his loved ones and family. It is shocking.

RIP Bernie.

Conservatives R Us on August 9, 2008 at 11:10 AM

No!

Dr. Manhattan on August 9, 2008 at 11:11 AM

R.I.P :(

trailortrash on August 9, 2008 at 11:14 AM

Bernie Mac stole the movie in a three minute cameo within Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood — great serious/hilarious comedy gold. I don’t like sit-coms but his had some funny moments when I’d surf by. His stand up was great as well. He’ll be missed. Unlike so many preachy egotistical jerks in show business, or politics *cough* Obama *cough*, Bernie Mac seemed to be a genuine and decent guy.

Beagle on August 9, 2008 at 11:24 AM

His portion of “The Kings of Comedy” is still the hardest I have ever laughed in a movie theatre. He was great in “Bad Santa” as well. It’s a shame that he fell ill & that he has left us this soon.

R.I.P.

sdm

stvdog on August 9, 2008 at 11:24 AM

Our prayers go out to his friends and family, 50 is too soon. Bernie will be missed by many.

Guest1.1 on August 9, 2008 at 11:27 AM

Kings of comedy was hilarious, and so was The Bernie Mac Show. Got to watch the DVD of KOC today. We’ll miss you. R.I.P.

Sanjoboy on August 9, 2008 at 11:28 AM

Oh my God! Yet another talent taken away from us way too soon. Heaven’s a much funnier place today.

Tony737 on August 9, 2008 at 11:34 AM

Not him! He was such a funny guy! Rest in peace, man!

Pneumonia. It’s a sad thing when it isn’t caught on time. I had a bad case of it years ago, which was not caught for almost three weeks – until I told the doctor I heard a murmur in my lungs. It was then that he powered me with some strong antibiotics for a total of three weeks. I’m so glad he caught it before it became worse!

Rest in peace, man! And my most sincere condolences to his family and friends.

newton on August 9, 2008 at 11:35 AM

Sad news. RIP sir.

inviolet on August 9, 2008 at 11:41 AM

RIP, Bernie Mac

Prayers to his family and friends.

Texyank on August 9, 2008 at 11:44 AM

That’s too bad. RIP Mr. Mac.

MarkABinVA on August 9, 2008 at 11:51 AM

You will be missed B MAc “bust their heads till the white meat shows.”

TroubledMonkey on August 9, 2008 at 11:51 AM

You will be missed B MAc “bust their heads till the white meat shows.”

TroubledMonkey on August 9, 2008 at 11:51 AM

LOL, that was one of my favorite lines of his. This is so sad. He was one of the few good things to come out of the ‘south side’ of Chicago. May God rest his soul.

macblanegirl on August 9, 2008 at 12:06 PM

Most people think of pneumonia as nothing more than a really bad cold. I’ve had it 6 times, each time was its own particular form of torture.

RIP Bernie, you were taken too soon.

john1schn on August 9, 2008 at 12:50 PM

So sad. RIP

I always liked his tv show.

aikidoka on August 9, 2008 at 12:52 PM

LOL, that was one of my favorite lines of his. This is so sad. He was one of the few good things to come out of the ’south side’ of Chicago. May God rest his soul.

macblanegirl on August 9, 2008 at 12:06 PM

At least in this life-time. After all, Pullman had a company of great men living in South Chicago during the late 1800s through the mid-1900s.

Tim Burton on August 9, 2008 at 1:01 PM

May you keep all the angels in heaven laughing, Mr. McCollough.

ScottMcC on August 9, 2008 at 1:12 PM

Tim Burton on August 9, 2008 at 1:01 PM

It’s actually still a pretty nice area. They give regular tours which include much of Pullman history and many of the original homes and structures that were built back then. I’m actually planning on taking the tour for a second time sometime in the near future.

And, believe it or not, there are still pockets on the south side that are relatively safe and quiet. I live in one of them. At least for now. Once I retire next year, I’m outta here.

macblanegirl on August 9, 2008 at 1:17 PM

Very sad news. Bernie Mac was one of the funniest men in America.

His appearances in “Bad Santa”, “Friday”, “Mr. 3000″ and others were absolutely hilarious. I probably wanted Bad Santa 50 times and cracked up each and every time.

He will be missed.

bigred on August 9, 2008 at 1:24 PM

Wow. Completely unexpected! Very sad. He was very funny, and seemed like a nice guy as well. Condolences to his family.

madne0 on August 9, 2008 at 1:33 PM

It’s actually still a pretty nice area. They give regular tours which include much of Pullman history and many of the original homes and structures that were built back then. I’m actually planning on taking the tour for a second time sometime in the near future.

And, believe it or not, there are still pockets on the south side that are relatively safe and quiet. I live in one of them. At least for now. Once I retire next year, I’m outta here.

macblanegirl on August 9, 2008 at 1:17 PM

Man, wish I could join you. I lived in Chicago for about two years. Two blocks from Cabrini, I even volunteered with Sunshine there for a year.

I now fell in love with late 1800′s through 1950s Railroad Americana. Now I wish I would have went to see the area.

Tim Burton on August 9, 2008 at 1:44 PM

Horrible news. RIP Bernie.

token on August 9, 2008 at 1:45 PM

too too soon… I looked forward to years and years of his making me laugh… I loved the way he talked directly to “America” stood up for family, worked hard, and made himself an example for young black men as well as white. “America says good bye Bernie…”

Kaptain Amerika on August 9, 2008 at 1:46 PM

Just gone. he made me laugh – I don´t care what his political stripe was. Just gone.

Just Smile

james hooker on August 9, 2008 at 2:16 PM

He probably was more conservative than he knew or would admit to. Here are a few interesting quotes from IMDB:

[interview in Playboy, 12/04] I was living in a place where I was harming myself. I was irresponsible. I’d lost several apartments. I couldn’t hold a job. I was tired of being a no-good son of a bitch who called himself a man but was just a grown boy.

[interview in Playboy, 12/04] I have Glocks, .45s, Berettas, Remingtons. I like the marksmanship and the discipline that it takes to be a gun owner. I like the machinery. Being able to take it out and clean it is even more fascinating than having the gun.

[interview in Playboy, 12/04] I’m not a star, and I don’t want to be a star. Stars fall. I’m an ordinary guy with an extraordinary job.

Tim Burton on August 9, 2008 at 1:44 PM

If you ever get back here, you should definitely take the tour. It’s quite interesting and would be fascinating for someone like you with such a keen interest.

macblanegirl on August 9, 2008 at 3:47 PM

Inviting Mac would have been the same as inviting Redd Foxx in another generation — guaranteed laughs, but with a repertoire that doesn’t exactly overlap Sinbad’s.

Fred Sanford: I ain’t afraid to give you one across the lips.

MB4 on August 9, 2008 at 4:31 PM

A very funny man.

Johan Klaus on August 9, 2008 at 4:35 PM

Can’t believe it. I love Bernie, he will be sorely missed. RIP, keep the heavens laughing.

heatherrc77 on August 9, 2008 at 4:56 PM

The funny he delivered was pure bonus.
This was a very decent, very likable man.
I miss him already.

Stephen M on August 9, 2008 at 6:22 PM

Pneumonia ultimately kills most of us. It’s the result when other systems fail and your lungs fill with fluid. The oncological backwash of the 1918 influenza epidemic gave my father scarred lungs. Though the cancer industrial complex credited it to his having smoked 3 years in the ’30s the condition lead to liver, kidney and ultimately heart failure. His heart burst flooding his lungs and was reported as pneumonia.

I’ve no idea of his politics but I do know his honesty and presentation made him a better candidate for the first black president then Obama. I’ld have voted for Richard Pryor too.

i b squidly on August 10, 2008 at 12:25 AM

My wife and kids and I loved his show, and it always struck me as being very conservative in its message of personal responsibility and the importance of a strong family.

RIP

Dudley Smith on August 10, 2008 at 10:19 PM

I thought he was a great actor, didn’t see any of his comedy acts. He was way too young, very sad.

4shoes on August 10, 2008 at 10:24 PM

As Mac used to say “Goodnight America”… Via Con Dios

HotAirExpert on August 11, 2008 at 10:46 AM