There’s no success story. Everybody’s got a ghetto story. You always want to make it bigger than what it is.
I can’t build myself by beating somebody down.
I love my daughter, but there’s a certain feeling, a certain emotion when you got a granddaughter, you know?
That’s the whole key to anything: Don’t be afraid to fail. And Bernie Mac is not afraid to fail.
My comedy comes from pain. I can’t stand to see someone hurting.
I learned hard lessons in life; I had to because I had so much happen: My mother died my sophomore year in high school. The next year, same day, my brother dropped dead. Two years after that, I got married because my girlfriend got pregnant. The year after my wedding, my father – who I had only recently met – died.
You know, every time it comes, every time that light comes on or every time that camera comes on, every time that microphone comes on, the Mac Man seek and destroy.
My daughter was a beautiful child.
Why I was so intrigued with Red Skelton was because he was able to make you cry and laugh and the same time. That was power.
I’m an ordinary guy with an extraordinary job.
Jerry Weintraub, the producer, might be a pain in the ass, but he really knows how to treat his actors.
Whatever success I’ve had, I always like to top it.
When I get a chance to play golf or go on a boat with good people, take the boat out and put some lobsters on the grill, get the ice-cold beer and the cigars – that’s heaven here on earth.
Every time you see a black romance, it’s over-the-top. There always has to be extreme hostility between the sexes. He has to cheat. She has to show him how independently strong she is, not just as a woman but as a black woman.
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.
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.
The success of my comedy has been not being afraid to touch on subject matters or issues that everyone else is politically scared of.
I’m funny. I’m a comedian. I’m not a clown.
When I started in the clubs, I had to work places where didn’t nobody else want to work. I had to do clubs where street gangs were, had to do motorcycle gangs, gay balls and things of that nature.
Bernie Mac don’t sugarcoat.
Bernie Mac just says what you think but are afraid to say.
I don’t care about how I look; I’m dedicated to the laughs. You know, I used to be a clown, so – my name was Smoothie the Clown. All the training I had, all my training is geared toward making people laugh, and I didn’t care about being cool.
I’m looking for laughs, you know? If it take me to flip over a table, if I have to go physical comedy, I will do it. But whatever the joke needs at that particular time, is where I’m dedicated to. I’m not into beating somebody down and beating myself up. I don’t do insults and things like that. I don’t do it – I’m a storyteller.
I was in love with a lot of people, because I was a student of the game of comedy – Carol Burnett, Jack Benny, Red Skelton, Jackie Gleason, Don Rickles, Red Foxx, Moms Mabley – who gets no credit, Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, George Kirby. I loved them all, and I used to just take a page out of all of them.
It was rough being dark. I got heat from my own people more than anyone else. I remember going to my mom and saying, ‘Why am I so black?’ And she said, ‘Because I’m black. You just gotta always work harder than the average bear.’
I became the storyteller of South Side Chicago. I used an old Kiwi liquid shoe polish as a microphone. I’d go around the house interviewing everybody, telling stupid jokes, doing voices. I mimicked Sidney Poitier, Sammy Davis Jr., people on ‘Laugh-In,’ Flip Wilson.
When I hit my 20s, I struggled to make it. I got married at 19, and my daughter, Je’Niece, was born a year later. I worked blue collar jobs during the day and comedy clubs at night, and I was earning about $25 a year doing stand-up.
If I can tell someone a story that makes them bend over and laugh, that’s bigger than anything else.
I’ve introduced myself with comedy, and once you’ve introduced yourself as something, that’s where people keep you. That’s where people like to hold you.
I want people to say at the end of my day, you know, like I used to say about Sidney Poitier and James Cagney and Joan Crawford and Red Skelton and those guys and Bill Cosby. They did quality and substance. You always remember them.
I hate to compare anything, especially while I’m promoting. I feel that’s another disrespect, but ‘Ocean’s 13’ is the best movie I’ve ever done in my life. No question.
I want to do something that people can really say, ‘Hey, man, that was good, I’m proud of you, I’m proud of that.’ ‘Pride’ and ‘Transformers’ and things like that.
I’ve always been a reserved cat. When I play sports, there’s people used to get mad at me because I didn’t hang out and things like that. I’ve never been that kind of person. Nothing has changed in that regard. I’ve never been posse, and all that. I’m a quiet storm.
You don’t see me in Los Angeles a lot. I go back home. Because I can’t play the game. I can’t – my tolerance – I know I’m getting old; I’ll be 50 this year. And you know how I know I’m getting old? ‘Cause my tolerance level is low.
I want to have fun. Life ain’t no dress rehearsal. I want to have fun. I’m a comedian; I ain’t no politician. So everything I do is with humor, with love.
I don’t need to pat myself on the back until my arm breaks. I don’t need any of that.
I hate to let people down. I was like that in sports and I was like that in comedy. I was like that at work. When I worked General Motors and stuff like that, when I say something, I mean it.
I don’t have no story. Everybody wants this Hollywood story, but the world don’t owe you nothing, man. It’s what you owe the world.
Like a lot of black people, I grew up straight po’. Wasn’t no question about whether we was po’, either. If you really wanted to know, all you had to do was look in our refrigerator.
You know you poor when you eatin’ breakfast food late. You fryin’ toast? At nine o’clock at night? With bacon? You’re broke.
As I got older, I got into all kinds of things in the streets – but for some reason, I never got caught up with the gangs growing up. Everybody dug me, man. I never had problems.
My name is Bernard Jeffrey McCullough, but people know me as Bernie Mac. My mama, God rest her soul – she used to call me Beanie. Used to say, ‘Don’t you worry about Beanie. Beanie gonna be just fine. Beanie gonna surprise everyone.’
I was born October 5, 1957, on the South Side of Chicago, in the Woodlawn area, a neighborhood that hasn’t changed much in forty-five years. Our house was on 66th and Blackstone, but the city tore it down when the rats took over.
People like rumors. They’re going to say things like, ‘You was at the club with Lil’ Kim, and you and Kanye West got into a fist fight.’ You can’t get upset. You’ve got to keep hope alive.
I’m a big fan of TV.
I’m not ashamed to tell the truth about what happened in my family. I think that’s what makes my comedy different.
You’re never going to see me playing a buffoon.
I think a lot of TV insults the audience.
I was a street performer for two years.
Comedy has been so good to me.
I came from a place where there wasn’t a lot of joy.
The one thing about comedy, making it become a part of you, the audience loves it, because you become part of them.
We’re so politically correct; we take things so seriously.
When I go onstage, I want to relieve your mind, your pressures.
I want to speak directly to the audience, to say, ‘I’m like you – I’m frustrated, I’m not an expert, I don’t have a manual on parenting, I make mistakes, I’m selfish too.’
I’ve been in training for stardom.
Bernie Mac is talented!
Bernie Mac is happy.
Bernie Mac is relentless. That’s one thing I like about him. He’s not PC. He doesn’t care what you think. He’s going out there to please that audience.
I was good at keeping my mother from crying.
I ain’t running for office. I ain’t running for nothing.
My humor had changed from foolishness to making sense.
The two sides of Bernie – that’s a quiet weapon that I have.
When you’re offstage, that’s the footprint. That’s the man God’s gonna judge.
I love who I am. I love what I’ve become.
I’m so black, I leave fingerprints on coal.
I don’t think the people wanna see me play Clyde Johnson the architect.
Black audiences are hard. They always think they’re better than you. So you got to come with a little extra to satisfy them.
Why do people love Richard Pryor so much? ‘Cause he had problems.
I’ve never been no superficial cat.
I don’t ever watch myself. By watching, you try to perfect yourself, become a robot.
My girlfriend Rhonda, who’s now my wife, I graduated from high school, she got pregnant. My grandfather said, ‘You’ve got to do the right thing.’
I know doing movies is where I need to be. That’s where my audience wants to see me.
I can act. I’ve been acting for a long time, but like anything else, don’t nobody owe you nothing. You’ve go to pay your dues. You go from A to Z; you don’t go from M to Z.
I want to play a villain – I can’t wait to play a villain.
It’s a pleasure to work with someone who is just as strong as you are.
Only way you can you get upset is when you expecting something.
I came up in the community center. I used to be physical director of the South Central Community Center in Chicago on 83rd. It’s still there. It used to be around there when I was a kid.
I always wanted to scuba dive. I used to scuba dive undercover like black Aquaman.
My grandmother always told me how you start is how you finish.
Stand-up is what I am; stand-up is what made me.
Fear is not one of my attributes.
My family are police officers, detectives. My brother Mitch is FBI. Mitch is like that – a stern enforcer.
I get facials. I get a manicure and pedicure every week. I get my hair cut, and I oil myself down from head to toe. I got that from my brother. I was so impressed with how high maintenance he was. When he left the room, you could still smell him for an hour.
I have so much respect for what’s funny.
You can’t be a doctor if you don’t know the entire parts of the body.