Listen Up, America

And it's Mr. Mac. Rhymes with smack, as in upside your head.

There was a quality to Bernie Mac that I related to completely. Yes, we only saw him "acting" but it didn't seem like he was...he came from an impoverished background and while it didn't drive him with anger as it has so many...he never forgot it and rose beyond it. He ran a gentle con on life and made me laugh like a fool....I don't even watch TV but came home Friday nights to watch The Mac Man...In one of most sad journeys of my life, I had flown to Memphis to attend the wake and funeral of my pal, Ernest Withers. I was in a hotel room, yanking on my suit, flicked on the tube and there was the Mac Man....I sat there in a dress shirt and underwear laughing at Uncle Bernie. I always thought that Bernie could have played Ernest in a movie...just the right amount of twinkle and stiff upper lip.

"When I can make people smile when there ain't no reason to smile, when they got test results they scared of, when they ain't got no control over their kids, when the husband and wife sleeping in separate rooms and I can get everybody together and make them laugh for an hour and a half, half an hour, whatever, that's my job."

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