15 of the Funniest Bernie Mac Jokes and Moments for the Comedy Hall of Fame
We should have appreciated Bernie Mac more when he was alive. Sure, that’s an obvious statement, but it’s no lie either. While The Bernie Mac Show and The Kings of Comedy were given their flowers, it wasn’t until the years following Mac’s 2008 death that his impact would be truly felt and the depth of the void he left behind properly measured.
Not only was Mac funny, but he was fearless, too, able to hold a crowd in the palm of his hand with a tight, tickling grip. To this very day, up-and-coming comics watch his now-legendary Def Comedy Jam set before they go on stage to get that “I ain’t scared of you motherfuckers” energy to kill any nervousness and anxiety. Meanwhile, as an actor, Mac stole the show in whenever he appeared in — even something like Transformers. Mac might not have had a long film career, but he owned every line with a gravelly-voiced, Chicago-bred charisma.
To honor the memory of such a king of comedy, we’ve gathered some of our favorite Bernie Mac jokes and moments for our Comedy Hall of Fame…
Mac’s thoughts on the word’s versatility and its usage in the Black community:
His Role as a Home-wrecking Pastor in ‘Friday’
Friday wouldn’t be the last time Mac portrayed a hypocritical holy man, and him risking fedora and limb to commit some sin is still one of the movie’s biggest laughs.
“Okay, first rule of this carpool: No breaking wind in my car. The only gas that Bernie Mac want to be smelling is unleaded.”
His Negotiation Skills in ‘Bad Santa’
Mac was able to channel his typical demeanor into something equally hilarious and sinister in the now-classic Christmas comedy, as Gin, the security chief of the store Willie and Marcus plan on robbing. Hopefully, Marcus didn’t introduce him to his wife this time. (See Friday clip above.)
Blending in as a Surfer in ‘Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle’
It’s not easy to replace legendary actor/dirtbag Bill Murray, but Mac’s performance as the replacement Bosley in the franchise provided the sequel with its best jokes.
On Suspicion and Safety
When Mac hosted Saturday Night Live, he touched upon how paranoid the country had become after 9/11 and the proper behavior to display if you ever shared an airplane with him.
His Hypocritical Judge Answering a Booty Call in ‘Booty Call’
Mac again snatches an entire scene as a hypocritical holy man, this time in the movie that introduced several 1990s teens to the idea of using cling wrap for sex. Probably the funniest interaction in the Oscar-winning sex comedy.
Buying Vans in ‘Ocean’s 11’
The most underrated member of Danny Ocean’s crew, Mac gets to live the dream of anybody who has ever had to negotiate with a car salesman.
‘The Bernie Mac Show’
In real life, Mac took custody of his sister’s kids for a while as she was battling drug addiction. This would inspire the premise of his critically-acclaimed sitcom that ran on FOX for five seasons. Like with his stand-up, Mac was able to turn his struggles and observations into comedy gold.
Mack the Repairman on ‘King of the Hill’
Mac’s quick cadence perfectly contrasted with Hank’s slow, deep drawl on King of the Hill. Mac played “Mack,” a repairman who gets growled at and attacked by Hank’s usually docile dog Ladybird. Naturally, this led to the Hill family hound getting accused of being racist and making Hank look like a bigot by proxy. Luckily, it was all sorted as it turned out that Ladybird hated repairmen of all kinds, regardless of skin color.
“I ain’t having a funeral. I like white folks — you die last night, you’re buried the next day. We gotta have four days for this dead motherfucker, four days! We gotta have the motherfucker’s visitation, the wake, the funeral and the burial. Black folks, we’re something else. Don’t tell me; I’ve been Black a long time.”
On Comedy, Stage Persona and the Craft of Making People Laugh
Mac definitely had a raw presence, but that’s the dimension we saw on stage and screen. Having the opportunity to sit down with Oprah, he dropped some wisdom on what truly motivated him and drove him toward success.
On Being ‘Respectfully Scared’ of Your Partner
Mac often got into the dynamics of his marriage and how his wife kept him in line, explaining that while he loved her, there was always a healthy dose of fear, too.
On Flatulence (Again)
“I’m getting old. I should be able to cut a fart sitting down. Just break it off. *FART NOISE* Now, I got to lean ‘cause that motherfucker hurt! Or my liver is gonna be swollen all goddamn night! Let me tell you, breakin’ wind is a bitch.”
‘I Ain’t Scared of You Motherf**kers!’
It’s said that at this Def Comedy Jam recording, the previous comedian bombed so badly that the crowd booed him off the stage. Even host Martin Lawrence had trouble calming the hostile audience down. But that all changed when Mac took the mic and said his first words. He not only quickly won them over, but the laughs and applause grew louder and longer with each punchline — all while wearing jeans with his own face airbrushed on them.
King (of Comedy) shit.