This isn't fucking fair. Both Bernie Mac and Issac Hayes were taken from us this weekend, and it just isn't fair at all. Both talented African American figures in the entertainment industry, they made America laugh and smile at everything from the clitoris to milk and cookies.
For me, my first exposure to Bernie Mac was when I saw The Original Kings of Comedy. I had taped the movie off of Pay Per View (thanks to an illegal "hot box") and decided to watch it one weekend afternoon. It was no surprise that his segment was the last one, because that's where the biggest laughs were to be had. The Big Momma riff was the funniest of them all, because it was something even a white teenager could relate to...the old school authority figure who would whoop your ass in a second if you toed the line. Of course, I never had a "big momma", but I could still laugh at the concept because Bernie Mac explained it so well, right down to the humming church hymns and swaying back and forth. His role as Frank Catton in the Oceans trilogy was one of the best parts about the whole damn trilogy. The incident with the Used Car Salesman will always be one of my favorite bits from the first film, and the push for his Dominoes to be installed into Al Pacino's casino in the third is a scene stealer. I was really hoping he'd get some sort of cameo in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and it's a shame we'll never get to see him crack wise live again.
Issac Hayes was introduced to me, of course, through South Park. When the show was first airing, during it "sci fi plotline" phase, my parents forbade me to watch it. Of course, this was very much like when I was forbidden to watch Ren and Stimpy...I'd watch it when they weren't looking. In the case of South Park, my cousin has the first VHS they released of the first three episodes, and he lent it to me to watch. Sure enough, Chef was always one of the go-to guys for comic relief, 9 times out of 10 with a sexy song he wanted to sing. (At least, that's how he was during the first couple of seasons.) Most importantly, he gave Stan the best advice you can give someone on how to get a woman to like you..."You've just gotta find the clitoris". Wise words from a wise man. The theme from Shaft should be retired so no pretenders to the throne try and outdo the only performance worth a damn of said theme, because it just ain't Shaft without Issac Hayes.
Goodbye gentlemen, keep 'em laughing in the hereafter.
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