Bernie Mac, dead at 50 (1957-2008)

Bernie Mac, one of the "Original Kings of Comedy," has died from complications of pneumonia. Mac was only 50. Mac appeared in the groundbreaking documentary film, The Original Kings of Comedy, which rebooted stand-up comedy. He had his own successful FOX sitcom, appeared in the three Oceans movies with George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Co., and had filmed a pilot for a return to TV earlier this year. News reports from his hometown Chicago Tribune, including a look at sarcoidosis, the disease Bernard Jeffrey McCullough suffered from (though his publicist claimed it did not factor into his death), and the recent scrape Mac got into at a fund-raiser in July for Barack Obama. "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." Mac grew up on the...

Read More