Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Stir It Like Coffee

A few years ago when the second intifada was in full swing, and people were talking about what the hell was going on and what was going to happen, someone, and it wasn't me, said a thing I will always remember. I don't know who it was, and I'm sure i would remember who said it if it was anyone cool. Or if I wasn't sure they just read it in some op-ed piece earlier in the week. Anyway, in the midst of worry and debate about how much further and how much longer the senseless violence would continue, this person who I can't remember said, "in situations like these, things will only stop when there is a either a mind numbing huge tragedy or a gigantic act of human kindness."

That was an opening paragraph to illustrate that it's just too bad it took a tragedy like the passing of Bernie Mac for me to end my semi-retirement from blogging.

Onto Bernie Mac.
There isn't too much i can say about him. There's no need to get long winded and tell some story about the first time I ever heard him or something quasi-sentimental like that. But, in the interest of giving you all something to read, I will. When I saw Bernie Mac on Def Jam do his "you don't understand" routine, I had one of these rare moments when you realize that you have just witnessed something truly amazing. Something new, different, and boundlessly creative. It's one thing to hear a great song, but to hear a song that truly does something you haven't heard in music before, to see a scene in a film that is unlike anything you've ever witnessed, Bernie Mac did that for comedy in seven minutes one night back in the early 90s. But that was only half of it. As brilliant and hilarious and different and new this routine was, it also immediately established Bernie Mac as a brilliant, hilarious, different, and new comedian. And that doesn't happen every time someone does something brilliant, hilarious, different, and new. If I write anymore about this, I will keep using the words, brilliant, hilarious, different, and new, and I can't even imagine how annoying that would be to read.

He went on to prove to a much wider audience how truly funny he was. He had the unique talent to be funny when he wasn't funny. Just his voice and facial expression alone was enough to create laughter.

The other routine I'm posting is the "stir it like coffee" bit. These different bits can also be classified as the "air-brushed jeans with his face on it" and the "awesome yellow sweater" routine.

Bernie Mac was a very, very, funny man. We lost a good one.

for the comment board: Was Bernie Mac a black comic in the classic sense? While race was in the background for some of his material, it never really went past that. Granted his delivery is a different story, but what does that mean? Discuss:


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