Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Bernie Mac Dead at 50
August 9, 2008 5:55 AM   Subscribe

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Bernie Mac has died. Bernie Mac most recently seen at a Obam campaign event and King of Comedy has died at 50-years old. Known for his tv show based on his own life as caretaker of his sister's kids. .
posted by Duck_Lips (134 comments total)

 
He will be missed.
posted by jsavimbi at 5:58 AM on August 9, 2008


50 is way too young.
posted by Daddy-O at 6:01 AM on August 9, 2008


That is awful news. My husband loved his TV show. Way, way too young.
posted by konolia at 6:03 AM on August 9, 2008


Was he related to Freddie Mac? He's not doing too well, either.
posted by pmbuko at 6:10 AM on August 9, 2008 [8 favorites]


.
posted by fixedgear at 6:15 AM on August 9, 2008


.
posted by krautland at 6:17 AM on August 9, 2008


He is NOT dead
posted by jfrancis at 6:17 AM on August 9, 2008


Bernie Mac Death Rumors Untrue
posted by jfrancis at 6:18 AM on August 9, 2008


I saw on tv this was a rumor. I'm not sure, it seems once the paper reports it it may be real. But that really isn't true anymore...
.
posted by femmme at 6:20 AM on August 9, 2008


Phew!
posted by liquorice at 6:21 AM on August 9, 2008


My period or dot is conditional. If he's really dead, moment of silence. If not, hope he gets well.
posted by fixedgear at 6:23 AM on August 9, 2008


Any other confirmation on this?
posted by ColdChef at 6:23 AM on August 9, 2008


Oh Snap!
posted by chillmost at 6:24 AM on August 9, 2008


?
posted by The Bellman at 6:24 AM on August 9, 2008


Oh good. My joke ends up sounding not so insensitive now.
posted by pmbuko at 6:24 AM on August 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't know which sources to believe. More seem to be saying he IS dead.
posted by jfrancis at 6:26 AM on August 9, 2008


Unfortunatly the rumors of his demise were premature by about 5 days, as indicated in his obituary.
posted by humanfont at 6:27 AM on August 9, 2008


But jfrancis, your link is nearly a week stale...
posted by thejoshu at 6:27 AM on August 9, 2008


CNN's got it now, saying they've been contacted directly by his publicist.
posted by Clandestine Outlawry at 6:28 AM on August 9, 2008


Sorry for all the posts. Google News right now generally reports he's alive, I guess.
posted by jfrancis at 6:28 AM on August 9, 2008


AP is reporting the death as true.
posted by ColdChef at 6:28 AM on August 9, 2008


For what it's worth, TMZ claims to have a statement from his publicist confirming it.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 6:29 AM on August 9, 2008


From Canada:

Bernie Mac's publicist says the actor and comedian has died
6 minutes ago

CHICAGO — Bernie Mac's publicist says the actor and comedian has died.
posted by etaoin at 6:31 AM on August 9, 2008


thejoshu: I guess you are right

Clandestine Outlawry: I see that now

very sad
posted by jfrancis at 6:31 AM on August 9, 2008


Despite his occasional lapses into indecipherable muttering, the guy was hilarious. America's funnyman, we will miss you!
posted by billysumday at 6:33 AM on August 9, 2008


Chicago Tribune:
Bernie Mac dies at 50
Aug 09, 2008 08:31 -0500
Updated: 4 minutes ago


BREAKING: The comedian and Chicago native died early Saturday morning from complications due to pneumonia, his publicist confirmed.

How long before the rightwing blames this on Obama?
posted by etaoin at 6:34 AM on August 9, 2008


I can only hope that my death/near death creates this much confusion.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:43 AM on August 9, 2008


Wikipedia confirms it, and so does MetaFilter. I'm convinced.

.
posted by Knappster at 6:44 AM on August 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


This is very confusing.

Also very surprising, I always imagined Bernie Mac would be one of those old comics who live forever. 50 sure isn't forever.
posted by paisley henosis at 6:50 AM on August 9, 2008


I've never heard of Mr. B. Mac
posted by stbalbach at 6:50 AM on August 9, 2008


Bernie Mac Death Rumors Untrue

Which is dated a week ago, and quotes Danica Smith, the same publicist quoted by the AP saying that he has died. So Ithe rumours are probably true.

.
posted by cillit bang at 6:52 AM on August 9, 2008


.
posted by aerotive at 6:53 AM on August 9, 2008


I AINT AFRAID OF YOU MOTHAFUCKAS!!
posted by phaedon at 6:54 AM on August 9, 2008


We have moved on from posting multiple obit threads, and are now making multiple death reports within a single obit thread. Progress!
posted by yhbc at 6:55 AM on August 9, 2008


.
posted by fuse theorem at 6:55 AM on August 9, 2008


This is unfreakingbelievable.

.
posted by hojoki at 7:03 AM on August 9, 2008


Not a good day to be a Bernie.
posted by dobbs at 7:04 AM on August 9, 2008


Bernie Taupin is going on lockdown.
posted by ColdChef at 7:09 AM on August 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


.

R.I.P. MacAttack

Even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to comedy. Truly an American icon.
posted by porn in the woods at 7:09 AM on August 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


.
posted by gummi at 7:17 AM on August 9, 2008


.
posted by cerebus19 at 7:19 AM on August 9, 2008


He was one of my favorites.


.
posted by pearlybob at 7:20 AM on August 9, 2008


Actor and comedian Bernie Mac dies at age 50 [NPR]
posted by BeerFilter at 7:20 AM on August 9, 2008


.
posted by schyler523 at 7:20 AM on August 9, 2008


.
posted by dabitch at 7:23 AM on August 9, 2008


Very eerie sequence-6 days ago a bandmate came in saying that Morgan Freeman was in a terrible accident, and that Bernie Mac was dead. I flipped because I'd met mr. Mac & worked on a film with him. Soon it was revealed that Bernie was not dead but ill with pneumonia. Now this confirmation. My wife is convinced that Bernie was battling HIV/AIDS, arguing that people don't just die of pneumonia like this in modern times. I think that it's also quite possible that Bernie Mac caught an antibiotic resistant Super Bug while in hospital. HIV/AIDS killing a celebrity is lurid & sensational... and places blame on personal behavior, etc. Hospital acquired infections like MRSA killed nearly 20,000 Americans in 2005. A wealthy celebrity killed by a Super Bug in a modern hospital is another matter entirely. Terribly sad and tragic either way. Bernie Mac was a true comic genius.
posted by vurnt22 at 7:31 AM on August 9, 2008


I can't muthafuckin believe that that muthafuckin muthafucka is dead.



.
posted by nooneyouknow at 7:36 AM on August 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


FWIW, otherwise healthy people die of pneumonia all the time. Even in these "modern times."
posted by ColdChef at 7:37 AM on August 9, 2008


He's like the uncle I wish I'd had. How awful for his family.
posted by droplet at 7:43 AM on August 9, 2008


.
posted by A dead Quaker at 7:48 AM on August 9, 2008


Sad for his family, and I'll miss him.

But it's fucked up that CNN has a big BERNIE MAC IS DEAD and a tiny little Georgia declares war on Russia over in the corner.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:49 AM on August 9, 2008


I've never heard of Mr. B. Mac.

Well, then, you've obviously missed out on these movies. The sequels are only good in bits and pieces, and Bernie is woefully underused in all three, but whatever.
posted by zardoz at 7:49 AM on August 9, 2008


.
posted by mike3k at 7:51 AM on August 9, 2008


aww, no way. That's sad. Yes, 50 is way too young.

A few years ago, Mac disclosed that he suffered from sarcoidosis, a rare autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in tissue, most often in the lungs.

huh. Never heard of sarcoidosis before. What an interesting and difficult disease. It makes sense in light of his having sarcoidosis, that he was vulnerable to a lung infection like pneumonia.

I'm glad Bernie Mac had his chance at success. It sounds like he had a good life as well as brought a lot of laughter to others. My condolences to his wife Rhonda, daughter Je'Niece and granddaughter Jasmine.
posted by nickyskye at 7:52 AM on August 9, 2008


I never met him, but I worked on one of his films. The baseball in some shots in Mr 3000 was computer generated by me.
posted by jfrancis at 8:05 AM on August 9, 2008


.
posted by Tacodog at 8:08 AM on August 9, 2008


He was particularly awesome as Gin "The Store Dick" in Bad Santa
posted by porn in the woods at 8:22 AM on August 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


.
posted by jonp72 at 8:25 AM on August 9, 2008


What the hell is this dot crap? Have we become too lazy to even write a simple RIP or something like.. "We'll miss you." or.. something using you know.. WORDS? We're not even certain he's dead anyway.
posted by ChickenringNYC at 8:32 AM on August 9, 2008 [5 favorites]


Damn it.

.
posted by Sailormom at 8:43 AM on August 9, 2008


huh. Never heard of sarcoidosis before. What an interesting and difficult disease.

They mention it about fifty times an episode on House M.D. Does this mean I get to claim House is educational programming?
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:44 AM on August 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


What the hell is this dot crap?

ChickenringNYC the "dot crap" has long been used around here to represent a moment of silence for a deceased person.
posted by cashman at 8:45 AM on August 9, 2008


What the hell is this dot crap?

Hey, everyone! Let's welcome the noob!

.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:45 AM on August 9, 2008 [5 favorites]


Sunamabitch.

He was a truly funny guy who, from the interviews I've seen, seemed really down to earth. (I've been googling for his 60 Minutes interview but haven't had any luck.)

RIP.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:51 AM on August 9, 2008


.

That man could make a small role into a movie-stealer like few others.
posted by recoveringsophist at 8:51 AM on August 9, 2008


I guess the reports of his improving condition were sadly premature. Thanks for the laughs, Mr. Mac.

.
posted by killy willy at 8:54 AM on August 9, 2008


I suspect he packed a lot more into his 50 years than most of us will.
posted by desjardins at 9:07 AM on August 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


.
posted by robtf3 at 9:07 AM on August 9, 2008


.
posted by cashman at 9:10 AM on August 9, 2008


He had sarcoidosis? Wow.

I hadn't ever heard of sarcoidosis either, until Dr. House. In the first few seasons, whenever anyone mentioned autoimmune conditions as a possibility, someone would invariably toss out "sarcoidosis" so I finally looked it up.

It totally makes sense that something as "simple" as pneumonia could affect him so tragically, as sarcoidosis affects lung tissue.

It also makes the plot point in Ocean's 11 more poignant -- the one that got his character to move from Atlantic City to Vegas, because his doctor said he needed a drier climate.

.
posted by CitizenD at 9:12 AM on August 9, 2008


While I didn't find him particularly funny, I respect anyone who can make a good career of comedy. Yes, even Carrot Top.

.
posted by davelog at 9:13 AM on August 9, 2008


.
posted by stvspl at 9:13 AM on August 9, 2008


Thanks, Bernie.

.
posted by everichon at 9:14 AM on August 9, 2008


That man could make a small role into a movie-stealer like few others.
posted by recoveringsophist at 9:51 AM on August 9 [+] [!]


I'd never thought about that before but he really did. I wasn't a super fan by any means but I did enjoy his show a few years back. 50 is definitely too young.
posted by Octoparrot at 9:16 AM on August 9, 2008


My wife is convinced that Bernie was battling HIV/AIDS, arguing that people don't just die of pneumonia like this in modern times. I think that it's also quite possible that Bernie Mac caught an antibiotic resistant Super Bug while in hospital. HIV/AIDS killing a celebrity is lurid & sensational... and places blame on personal behavior, etc. Hospital acquired infections like MRSA killed nearly 20,000 Americans in 2005.

Can we not speculate on his cause of death considering we have basically no information at all, not to mention it seems really disrespectful.

Goodnight Bernie.

.
posted by brevator at 9:23 AM on August 9, 2008


.
posted by Smart Dalek at 9:29 AM on August 9, 2008


It also makes the plot point in Ocean's 11 more poignant -- the one that got his character to move from Atlantic City to Vegas, because his doctor said he needed a drier climate.

My first thought too. That scene where he's shown sniffling with big poor me puppy dog eyes as they sign his transfer papers - it lasts about 10 seconds and has no dialogue and yet was totally memorable and hilarious. Not so hilarious anymore.


My wife is convinced that Bernie was battling HIV/AIDS

Have her read up sarcoidosis, whydoncha?
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:37 AM on August 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


He was funny.

.
posted by humannaire at 10:03 AM on August 9, 2008


My wife is convinced that Bernie was battling HIV/AIDS

How quaint.
posted by docpops at 10:05 AM on August 9, 2008


.
posted by brundlefly at 10:11 AM on August 9, 2008


My wife is convinced that Bernie was battling HIV/AIDS, arguing that people don't just die of pneumonia like this in modern times.

Statistics on pneumonia deaths:
For patients who require hospitalization for pneumonia, the death rate is between 10 - 25%. If pneumonia develops in patients already hospitalized for other conditions, the rates are even higher. They range from 50 - 70% and are greater in women than in men....
Pneumonia is also very dangerous in people with diabetes, cirrhosis, sickle cell disease, cancer, and in those who have had their spleens removed.
posted by camcgee at 10:17 AM on August 9, 2008


Sad to see him go so young ... I liked his show and his standup, though his movies were generally not my taste.
posted by camcgee at 10:21 AM on August 9, 2008


So does this make him Schrödinger's comedian?

Sorry!
posted by Servo5678 at 10:34 AM on August 9, 2008


.
posted by brandz at 10:41 AM on August 9, 2008


I remember when Howard Stern discovered him. His career took off after Howard started playing his stand-up.

RIP.
posted by Zambrano at 10:42 AM on August 9, 2008


.
posted by cupcakeninja at 10:47 AM on August 9, 2008


Funny man. Loved him in Bad Santa.

I suspect he packed a lot more into his 50 years than most of us will.
posted by desjardins


I suspect you have no idea what you're talking about. If people live their lives the way they desire, they're living full lives. Being on teevee doesn't make your life any more or less fulfilled.

I don't get the need to put down others to make someone's life seem more worthwhile.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 10:55 AM on August 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


Oh, this is a terrible thing to wake up to. Fuck. Bernie Mac was an amazing comic, amazing - and seemed like a truly decent and cool person. I'll miss ya, B.
posted by tristeza at 10:56 AM on August 9, 2008


.

His small role and Transformers was one of the better ones/
posted by lilkeith07 at 11:20 AM on August 9, 2008


Thank you for the laughs, Mr. Mac.

.
posted by Dreama at 11:36 AM on August 9, 2008


.
posted by blucevalo at 11:41 AM on August 9, 2008


.
posted by sabira at 11:41 AM on August 9, 2008


I really liked the Bernie Mac show. He reminded me a lot of Robin Harris (who also died young, just 36).
posted by mattbucher at 11:46 AM on August 9, 2008


Mr. Mac had a long-standing respiratory ailment; sarcoidosis (lung tissue inflammation). That couldn't have been helped by pneumonia. I think HIV speculation is off the table.
posted by vurnt22 at 11:46 AM on August 9, 2008


...arguing that people don't just die of pneumonia like this in modern times

Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pneumonia_victims for famous and mostly modern victims (though in some of the cases listed it's clearly secondary to something else, as I suppose it could be seen with Bernie Mac, if he had sarcoidosis).

The famous sudden celebrity death from pneumonia that always sticks in my mind is Jim Henson.
posted by aught at 11:55 AM on August 9, 2008


I wasn't previously familiar with Mac's stand-up, so I'm taking this opportunity to enlighten myself. Funny, funny man. Too bad he never did open that day care center.

Opening from Kings of Comedy
Sex & Kids
posted by grapefruitmoon at 12:05 PM on August 9, 2008


.
posted by manguero at 12:31 PM on August 9, 2008


Thanks to everyone that brought up sarcoidosis and the statistics on pneumonia. I'll make sure to pass these on to my wife to clear that up for her. As far as quaint or disrespectful speculation is concerned, I think that it's better to do that here in this forum & have wrong ideas corrected or put in proper context before it becomes virulent disinformation.
posted by vurnt22 at 12:52 PM on August 9, 2008


Thanks to everyone that brought up sarcoidosis and the statistics on pneumonia. I'll make sure to pass these on to my wife to clear that up for her. As far as quaint or disrespectful speculation is concerned, I think that it's better to do that here in this forum & have wrong ideas corrected or put in proper context before it becomes virulent disinformation.

I thought the same thing your wife did. I didn't think people died in a hospital of pneumonia these days either. But I guess it's possible.
Anyway, RIP to the man.
posted by Liquidwolf at 1:12 PM on August 9, 2008


.
posted by VulcanMike at 1:17 PM on August 9, 2008


What a shame. I don't think I've seen or heard any of his stand-up work, but he was a great comic actor. I missed his show during its run on Fox, but I've been catching up on it in syndication. He was one of the best TV dads ever.

.
posted by MrBadExample at 1:24 PM on August 9, 2008


Fuck, man.

.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 2:00 PM on August 9, 2008


"I didn't think people died in a hospital of pneumonia these days..."


Would you believe that American citizens could be left to drown and fend for themselves in a flood these days?
posted by Student of Man at 2:38 PM on August 9, 2008


Well, fuck. Now we might as well call it whitejack.
posted by churl at 2:46 PM on August 9, 2008


I never saw his show, but every time I'd see him in movies I just had to smile and be glad he was on screen.

Anyone who can should re-watch Ocean's 11 as soon as possible, just to see all of the greatness Bernie Mac brings to it. He may be woefully underused, but every moment he's up there he's doing something subtle, iminently watchable, and hilarious. He improvised much of his lines in it, just running off on the nature of the scene like few can. The most notable of these are the scenes with the truck dealer, "You sure got some lovely hands!" and of course the scene with Matt Damon playing the man from the NGC. On your DVD menu, that scene is titled, "White Jack," after an improvised line from Mr. Mac.

In Bad Santa, the scenes between him and John Ritter (another way-too-young death, a week away from 55) are ingenious in the way in which Mac's character just completely OWNS Ritter's character, who is technically his boss. The enterplay between them is funnier every time I watch it.

Still, my favorite bit from Bernie Mac has to be in the immediately-forgotten Guess Who?, where he and Ashton Kutcher are finally having the talk. It's a movie that never needed to be made, with fucking Ashton Kutcher in the Sidney Poitier role, but Mac elevates Kutcher, and plays the climactic scene between them with a slow-burn, slow-building understanding of his future son-in-law that is almost tear-jerking.

He'll be missed. What kills me is that almost his whole career was like a prelude to the great things he'd do once he was an established and respected star, and was cut short just before he got to that point. Still, I'm glad to have seen him in the things he did.

.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:56 PM on August 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


words, they fail me.

.
posted by Hat Maui at 3:20 PM on August 9, 2008


A funny, funny man and a good dude, I'm sad that he's gone. He had my favorite kind of humor, often broad but always subtle, always something else going on that you could go back to. Navelgazer, you put it really well.

Rest in peace Mr. Mac.
posted by Divine_Wino at 3:33 PM on August 9, 2008


.
posted by coizero at 3:35 PM on August 9, 2008


.
posted by nadawi at 3:39 PM on August 9, 2008


.

And for a while earlier today, he held the rare status of Schrodinger's Celebrity. Which I hope would've made him laugh.
posted by wendell at 4:12 PM on August 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


.
posted by Mintyblonde at 4:27 PM on August 9, 2008


Aw, fuck.

.
posted by liquorice at 4:27 PM on August 9, 2008


He was a funny motherfucker. RIP, Mac Daddy.
posted by jonmc at 4:45 PM on August 9, 2008


More dots than I can make.

.
posted by brain cloud at 5:11 PM on August 9, 2008


"You have lovely hands. Do you moisturize?"

.
posted by bwg at 6:05 PM on August 9, 2008


(I hate the dots... they are the lamest "RIP" symbol I've ever come across on the net. Seriously, all a person can say is a period??!!? Mf's hx sometimes sx.)

Bernie Mac was a true original, like Richard Pryor and Steve Martin. He was underappreciated in his time, as both actor and comedian. He really was a king of comedy.

He will be missed.....
posted by docjohn at 7:26 PM on August 9, 2008


Apparently he had another sitcom in development. Too bad it won't air now. He was an absolute original, of that there's no doubt.
posted by blucevalo at 8:19 PM on August 9, 2008


Does this mean the next Ocean film is Ocean's Twelve again? Damn.

Bernie, you will be missed.

.
posted by crossoverman at 8:48 PM on August 9, 2008


.
posted by Mael Oui at 8:53 PM on August 9, 2008


cortex once posted a short history of the dot. For those who still don't get it, I'm sure there's a vBulletin site somewhere just for you.

.
posted by dhartung at 9:39 PM on August 9, 2008


Bernie Mac ruled in everything he did.

Except dying. He shoulda done it a lot later. Not good timing on that one.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:39 PM on August 9, 2008


Get it or not, it's still lame - and lazy as hell.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:42 PM on August 9, 2008


The damn dots, I meant.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:42 PM on August 9, 2008


Oh man, I loved him. His routines about kids had me on the floor once I actually had children to use as a measure. And to this day, "I ain't paying for no damn dog" is a common phrase around the house when someone suggests something ridiculous.

50 is scarily too young. I'm sad that I'll never get to see anything more from him. My sympathies to his wife and family.

.
posted by dejah420 at 10:10 PM on August 9, 2008


.

Loved his TV show. He was a damn good comedian. Take care on your way Bernie Mac.
posted by saturnine at 4:37 AM on August 10, 2008


For all those whinging about the dots, this is for you:

...................................................................................

Now shut up.
posted by bwg at 5:45 AM on August 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


.
posted by UseyurBrain at 7:07 AM on August 10, 2008


[If y'all need to keep having the dots-good-dots-bad discussion, take it to Metatalk, please.]
posted by cortex at 8:36 AM on August 10, 2008


Damn this shit is sad.

.
posted by arimathea at 10:18 AM on August 10, 2008


I didn't have much appreciation for him until I saw his work in Head of State. The scene with him walking through the train station, slugging lobbyists who tried to approach him ... man, haven't laughed that hard in a while. And, really, wasn't that exactly what he wanted to do with his life?
posted by WCityMike at 10:33 AM on August 10, 2008


[Again: drop it with the assholery or take it up in Metatalk.]
posted by cortex at 6:20 PM on August 10, 2008


Bernard Maclover III will be sorely missed. His comedy was not particularly innovative but he became deservedly famous. Rest in peace, dude.

:
posted by ChickenringNYC at 8:47 PM on August 10, 2008


Bernie Mac made be proud to be a Chicagoan. A truly funny man and a mensch.

.

(question/observation for mods: the 2nd link not only is poorly spelled [Obam?] but also leads to a 2006 blog post about another topic entirely than a campaign event. Edit?)
posted by beelzbubba at 8:53 PM on August 10, 2008


Damn! He was the funniest of all the "Original Kings of Comedy!"
.
posted by Francis7 at 9:25 PM on August 10, 2008


« Older Guitarist and banjo player Erik Darling died last ...  |  Yobler.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments