Bernie Mac: The Original King of YouTube

When I saw the commercial for Comedy Central’s dedication show for Bernie Mac “I Ain’t Scared of You”, my first reaction was “IT’S ABOUT TIME!!!”. The Mac Man was one of the best on the mic and more of an innovator than most of us realize.

The Bernie Mac Show was the break that Bernie was working for his entire career and the chance for the rest of “America” to see why his fans loved his work. Anybody who saw “Kings of Comedy” knew that Bernie was destined for even bigger things after shutting the show down. Sure he made of name for himself on Def Comedy Jam and having several guest appearances on TV shows and movies. But “Kings of Comedy” was Bernie Mac’s chance to talk to “America” like he always wanted to. And FOX gave “America”  an opportunity to see him on a weekly basis with “The Bernie Mac Show”. And from the beginning we knew what to expect from the show:

The show was directly based off his famous joke about dealing with his sister’s kids. When 1st hearing someone decided to give Bernie his own show, me and my family wondered how exactly would the show be constructed. I say that because yes he’s a comedian so it’s easy to have a classic sitcom set-up with a studio audience and scenes that lead up to entertaining yet predictable punchlines. But Bernie wasn’t your normal comedian. Bernie Mac was a in-your-face comedian who had a great balance of being brass yet humbling while connecting with people. He was a person who can tell a well-thought out joke or just simply talk to people about anything and make it funny. And “The Bernie Mac Show” showcased both of these talents beautifully. I remembered my father initially didn’t like the show because it wasn’t the normal comedy sitcom I explained earlier. But then I explain how Bernie wouldn’t excel in that type of show because of his jokes. Sure it’s 1 thing to joke about having a sister on drugs in a stand-up and hear people have. But it’s another thing when tell those same type of jokes on network TV (you see FOX wouldn’t let Bernie directly joke about Jordan being gay but just not as manly or boyish as others boys). The reason “The Bernie Mac Show” worked so well is because it portrayed that skit of his in real life situations and his commentary on them. It worked because they allowed Bernie Mac to be Bernie Mac.

The Bernie Mac Show started in 2001, 4 years before the creation of YouTube. YouTube is source of entertainment on countless levels. Want to see cats doing anything remotely funny, check. Want to see people attempting to hold cinnamon in their mouths just for the hell of it, check. Want to see people have a video diary of their lives chronicling their thoughts/beliefs at that time along with their adventures, check. YouTube has truly everyone a platform to express themselves on cameras. For all the random videos I come across, I see videos of people who just wanted to express their thoughts on a number of subjects. They just wanted to talk to “America” like Bernie Mac did.

Bernie Mac could talk about anything without trying to be funny and would be hilarious. He didn’t always need a punchline or force it because he naturally had the ability to entertain people. On YouTube it’s interesting to see people who will do ANYTHING for a laugh. Some are blatant with it (that’s you Kaseem G) but pull it off quite well. Others make me laugh for all the wrong reasons (this video is kind of funny but still an example of what I mean).  But then there are people who I genuinely think are funny, people on YouTube who can talk about things and be entertaining. Phillip DeFranco comes to mind. His analogies are great but he has a lot of insight on news and beliefs whether I agree with them or not. Another one of my favorite YouTubers is Kain Carter but know as hotdamnirock. This dude can talk about almost anything and make people laugh:

But one of the reasons why Bernie Mac til this day is so beloved he gave you real insight to what he believed in as a person. He wasn’t just telling people jokes, he opened up and share himself and everybody and people appreciated that. On YouTube the “daily vlog” craze is probably at its highest peak in hype where everyone wants to do it now. While it’s a cool idea for your own personal reason, I watch a video of some who only do it because everyone else is or they see it as a money-making opportunity. That’s fine also but at what point do their viewers realize it’s all for show. I watch CTFxC and the main reason I keep watching their videos is because I can appreciate how much fun Charles and Alli have and how grateful they are for everything they get to experience. And recently Charles announced he has a brain tumor. I haven’t kept up with the videos for some weeks now so hearing this I’m sure made many get concerned. But this morning I saw part of 1 of their latest videos where he’s in the hospital with the IV in and I see his laptop and couldn’t help but laugh because I that’s how I managed he would be even given his situation. To me that’s a perfect example of what shooting a vlog is, doing what you do everyday but just happen to record some of it to keep for memories and share with others. I hope and pray he has a quick recovery! (I avoided saying “speedy” his Alli’s maiden name is Speed at the risk of being cheesy.)

The death of Bernie Mac was a shock despite the reports of him being ill. He seemed like one of the guys who wasn’t necessarily invisible but can withstand everything and live to talk about it. He was well-loved and respected by his peers and you won’t find many people who won’t have a nice thing to say about him. His jokes are as funny today as they were when he first told them, which speaks to the legacy of his work. His ability to talk to “America” though was the quality I enjoyed most about him and maybe had a bigger impact on society than we realize. RIP Bernie Mac.

Skip to 12:48 to see speech…


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