Bernie Mac
Bernie Mac made a memorable guest appearance as "Shank" in the episode titled "I Do".


Bernard Jeffrey McCullough


(1957-10-05)October 5, 1957


Chicago, Illinois, U.S.


August 9, 2008(2008-08-09) (aged 50)


Chicago, Illinois, U.S.


Rhonda McCullough 1977-2008 (his death,1 child Je'neice McCullough)


Actor, Stand-up comedian, voice actor

Years active


Appearance on The Wayans Bros.

as Shank in the episode titled I Do....

Wayans Bros Long script logo-1062px

Bernard Jeffrey "Bernie" McCullough (born October 5, 1957- died August 9, 2008), better known by his stage name Bernie Mac, appeared as Shank in the episode titled I Do.... A gifted stand-up comedian, actor, voice artist, and comedian. Born and raised on the South Side, of Chicago, Mac gained popularity as a stand-up comedian. He joined comedians Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer, and D. L. Hughley as The Original Kings of Comedy.

After briefly hosting the HBO show Midnight Mac, Mac appeared in several films in smaller roles. His most noted film role was as Frank Catton in the remake Ocean's Eleven and the titular character of Mr. 3000. He was the star of The Bernie Mac Show, which ran from 2001 through 2006, earning him two Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. His other films included starring roles in Booty Call, Friday, The Players Club, Head of State, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Bad Santa, Guess Who, Pride, Soul Men, Transformers and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.

Mac suffered from sarcoidosis, a disease in which abnormal collections of chronic inflammatory cells (granulomas) form as nodules in multiple organs, particularly the lungs and lymph nodes. Lung scarring or infection may lead to respiratory failure and death. Mac had said the condition was in remission in 2005. His death on August 9, 2008 was caused by complications from pneumonia.

Early lifeEdit

Bernie Mac was born and raised in southern Chicago, Illinois by his single mother, Mary, who died of cancer when he was 16.

He put on shows for neighborhood kids on the city's South Side. He attended Chicago Vocational Career Academy. Later, he moved to Tampa, Florida.[1] During his 20s, he worked in a variety of jobs, including furniture mover and a United Parcel Service (UPS) agent.[1]


Bernie Mac's influences were from The Three Stooges and listening to stand-up comedians Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx. Mac started as a stand-up comedian in Chicago's Cotton Club. After he won the Miller Lite Comedy Search at the age of 32, his popularity as a comedian began to grow. A performance on HBO's Def Comedy Jam thrust him into the spotlight. He opened for Dionne Warwick, Redd Foxx and Natalie Cole. He played a small role in 1994's House Party 3 as Uncle Vester. He also had a short-lived talk show on HBO titled Midnight Mac. Later, Mac also acted in minor roles and got his big break as "Pastor Clever" in Ice Cube's 1995 film Friday. Following that role, Mac had his first starring role as "Dollar Bill", a silly, slick-talking club owner in The Players Club. Mac was able to break from the traditional "black comedy" genre, having roles in the 2001 remake of Ocean's Eleven and becoming the new Bosley for the Charlie's Angels sequel, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. In 2001, he gave an impressive performance in a supporting role as the villain "Gin Slagel, The Store Dick" in Bad Santa. He also starred in Guess Who, a comedic remake of the film Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and made an appearance in the 2007 film Transformers as the car salesman "Bobby Bolivia". In his later years, he hosted the reality television talent show Last Comic Standing. He also served as the voice of Zuba, Alex the Lion's long lost father in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. He co-starred with Samuel L. Jackson in the 2008 musical comedy Soul Men as "Floyd Henderson". His final film role was as "Jimmy Lunchbox", a flamboyant children's entertainer in the 2009 Disney film Old Dogs which was released a year after his death. He starred alongside John Travolta and Robin Williams in that particular film.

In 2001, the Fox network gave Mac his own semi-autobiographical sitcom called The Bernie Mac Show portraying a fictional version of himself. In the show, he suddenly becomes custodian of his sister's three children after she enters rehab. It was a success, in part because it allowed Mac to stay true to his stand-up comedy roots, breaking the fourth wall to communicate his thoughts to the audience. The show contained many parodies of events in Bernie's actual life. It was not renewed after the 2005–2006 season. The series finale aired on April 14, 2006. However, the finale barely left a conclusion for the series, and no ending to the storyline of Bernie and Wanda trying to have a baby which had been abandoned a few episodes earlier. Among other awards, the show won an Emmy [2] for "Outstanding Writing", the Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting, and the Humanitas Prize for television writing that promotes human dignity.[3] His character on The Bernie Mac Show was ranked #47 in TV GuideTemplate:'s list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time".[4]

In 2004, Bernie Mac starred as a retired baseball player in the film Mr. 3000]]. In the 2003 National League Championship Series (NLCS), Mac sang "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" at Wrigley Field with the Chicago Cubs leading the Florida Marlins in the series 3 games to 2 and in Game 6 by a 2–0 score at the time (it would soon be 3–0 in the bottom of the 7th). Instead of saying "root, root, root for the Cubbies" Mac said, "root, root, root for the champs!, champs!" The Cubs lost the game and the series, with some fans claiming that Mac helped jinx the Cubs. Mac later admitted that he had hated the North Side's Cubs his whole life, being a die-hard fan of the South Side's Chicago White Sox, and was seen during the White Sox' 2005 World Series victory at U.S. Cellular Field.

Mac was number 72 on Comedy Central's list of the 100 greatest standups of all time. On March 19, 2007, Mac told David Letterman on the CBS Late Show with David Letterman that he would retire from his 30-year career after he finished shooting the comedy film, The Whole Truth, Nothing but the Truth, So Help Me Mac. "I'm going to still do my producing, my films, but I want to enjoy my life a little bit," Mac told Letterman." I missed a lot of things, you know. I was a street performer for two years. I went into clubs in 1977 and was on the road 47 weeks out of the year.[5]

Illness and deathEdit

In 2008, Mac was admitted to the Northwestern Memorial Hospital in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois. After a week of unsuccessful medical treatment, Mac died during the early morning hours of August 9 from sarcoidosis complicated by pneumonia. In the final three years of his life, Mac publicly disclosed that he had suffered from sarcoidosis, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in tissue, most often in his lungs.[6] Mac's public funeral was held a week later on August 16 at the House of Hope Church with over 9,000 people in attendance. Notable mourners were Chris Rock, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Samuel L. Jackson, Ashton Kutcher, Don Cheadle, the cast members from his series and his Kings of Comedy fellows D. L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer and Steve Harvey. Mac's ashes were interred at the Washington Memory Gardens Cemetery in Homewood, Illinois.

The first two of Mac's posthumous films, Soul Men and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, were released three months following his death. Mac's third and final posthumous film, Old Dogs, was released a year after his death. The 2008 [[Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic|Bud Billiken Parade, which was held in Chicago by the time of Mac's death, was also dedicated to his memory.[6] On the day of Mac's public funeral, his hometown's local television station WCIU-TV aired an exclusive television special, A Tribute to Bernie Mac, and had interviews with his former colleagues including Camille Winbush, Chris Rock, Joe Torry and some of his family members and close friends. Mac was also honored during "In Memoriam" footages at various award ceremonies following his death.


Year Title Role Notes
1992 Mo' Money Club doorman Cameo
1993 Who's the Man? G-George
1994 Above the Rim Flip
1994 House Party 3 Uncle Vester
1995 Friday Pastor Clever
1995 The Walking Dead Ray
1996 Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood Officer Self Hatred Cameo
1996 Get on the Bus Jay
1997 B*A*P*S Mr. Johnson
1997 Booty Call Judge Peabody
1997 How to Be a Player Buster
1997 Don King: Only in America Bundini Brown
1998 The Players Club Dollar Bill
1999 Life Jangle Leg
2000 The Original Kings of Comedy Himself Documentary
2001 Ocean's Eleven Frank Catton
2001 What's the Worst That Could Happen? Uncle Jack
2003 Bad Santa Gin Slagel
2003 Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle Jimmy Bosley
2003 Head of State Mitch Gilliam
2004 Mr. 3000 Stan Ross
2004 Ocean's Twelve Frank Catton
2005 Guess Who Percy Jones
2005 Lil' Pimp Fruit Juice
2007 Ocean's Thirteen Frank Catton
2007 Pride Elston
2007 Transformerd Bobby Bolivia
2008 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa Zuba the Lion (voice) Released posthumously 
2008 Soul Men Floyd Henderson Released posthumously
2009 Old Dogs Jimmy Lunchbox Released posthumously
Year Title Role Notes
1996–2000 Moesha Uncle Bernie 11 episodes
2001–2006 The Bernie Mac Show Bernie McCullough 103 episodes
2003 King of the Hill Mack (Voice) 1 episode
1997 The Wayans Bros. Shank 1 episode


  1. 1.0 1.1 Savoy Magazine May 2002
  2. Bernie Mac Emmy Award Winner
  3. Bernie Mac obituary
  4. June 20, 2004 issue
  5. Bernie Mac Plans to Retire From Standup.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Suzanne Le Mignot (August 9, 2008). Actor and comedian Bernie Mac dies at age 50. CBS2Chicago. Retrieved on 2010-03-27.

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