The Original Bernie Bro
Keep in mind that around this time the internet wasn’t the internet that I know today. Between that and the fact that I only had basic cable for most of my life meant that I missed out on most of the Def Jam Comedy Hour talent except for on free HBO weekends. That said, I didn’t miss an opportunity to watch the show whenever I got the chance. Thanks to this sporadic viewing habit, I didn’t witness Bernie Mac’s brilliance until I saw him on The Original Kings Of Comedy where he got me laughing until I damn near peed my pants.
Though I felt that everyone involved in The Original Kings Of Comedy tour were hilarious, Bernie Mac won me over the most to the point where right when I got home from the theater, I downloaded every bit of his stand-up that I could find, again, keeping in mind this was via an old-school internet. It reminded me of finding a cool new underground band and then immersing myself in their work as if I were the great discoverer.
I’m not surprised that the comedy special launched him into a lucrative period of his career. At first, I wasn’t a huge fan of the softening of Bernie that came with this success, mainly through his FOX sit-com, but I never stopped being a fan of the man or his stand up. By the time the episode of SNL air, I think Bernie was back to where he was more balanced, maybe not as offensive and extreme as the comedian who won me over but at the same time he was getting accepted enough to where he could afford to bring back some of his edge.
Tonight’s episode was a nice break from all of the non-comedic hosts who plagued the first half of the season. Don’t get me wrong, there have been plenty of good shows this year but still, for the most part, all of my praises have been followed by “for a non-comedic host.” Remember, this is now episode number sixteen and Bernie make is literally the first of the hosts who earned a bulk of his income by making people laugh so it was fun to watch someone tell jokes with some experience.
Not only was it fun to watch this comedic-master work in a stand-up related field, it was just fun to see Bernie Mac again since I can’t believe that it’s already been ten years since he’s been gone. Being that this was before the mass exodus of celebrities from this world when I learned of Bernie’s passing, I was really caught off guard.
I’m sure he’s been missed by more than me but it was still fun to have this virtual moment with his work. With that, it’s now time to shift gears in order to share what actually went down, as I give you…
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started with A Message From The President Of The United States where Chris Parnell as George W. Bush addressed the situation in Iraq by attempting to make even the most mundane signs of progress sound like major accomplishments toward winning the war. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
Bernie Mac then officially opened the show with a few bits from his stand-up routine where he joked about how he’s constantly on the lookout for suspicious behavior as a result of all of the fear-mongering that was being pushed by our political leaders and the news and how he might be going too far with what he finds to be suspicious.
Jimmy Fallon and Rachel Dratch then revised their always recorder Boston Teens couple characters where this week they were at a game at Fenway Park where they attempted to buy a beer off of Bernie Mac as a beer vendor by using a fake I.D. At first, Bernie seemed like the type that wouldn’t put up with the couple nonsense claiming that he wasn’t willing to risk his job so that the two underaged lovers could get drunk but then he joined in on the recorded fun while taking a mini-break.
Brain Busters was a game show parody that had Bernie Mac as the host who asked trivia questions to Jimmy Fallon and Horatio Sanz. At first thing run rather smoothly, the two contestants even broke a record by not getting a single question wrong, that is until they got to the final category devoted to Black History where they not only struggled to get a single question correct, they were aware how bad it looked and were terrified about offending out host.
This was followed by a fake ad for the Hot Sauce Carry Purse where Bernie Mac and Maya Rudolph played two partygoers who couldn’t enjoy their burgers while attending a white people party because there was no hot sauce which led them to resort to the Hot Sauce Carry Purse to save the day.
The Pianist had Bernie Mac and Tracy Morgan as two black guys in a movie theater who talked through the movie The Pianist in the same clichéd way that it’s often portrayed that black people talk to the screen during horror films.
Good Charlotte then took to the stage to perform Anthem.
Once again, Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey gave us the news. This week, Horatio Sanz played Gene Shalit once again only this time he’s become an embedded reporter who was checking in from Iraq via satellite to deliver war news with his puns. Jeff Richards also returned as Drunk Girl in order to share a few spring break tips. Chris Parnell and Will Forte then rounded out the news as the singing duo named U.S. Amen and the two sang a song in response to all of the anti-war celebrities who were making a lot of noise when it was very unpopular to be against the Iraq war or whatever we call wars these days.
The Four Stooges was a parody of The Three Stooges that had Bernie Mac as a late addition to the trio, Slapping Rib-Eye who introduced a much more extreme brand of violence to the Stooges’ old black and white routine after getting slapped for the sake of humor that didn’t go over all that well.
No Smoking had Bernie Mac, Amy Poehler, and Jimmy Fallon as a bunch of chain-smoking barflies who don’t know how to handle themselves now that smoking has been banned from their favorite drinking establishment.
Second Time Around was a talk show with Maya Rudolph as the show’s host, Glenda Goodwin, and Rachel Dratch as her sidekick. This was a show devoted to people who were turning over a new leaf of life and had on Bernie Mac as Goodwin’s ex-husband so that the two could sign papers so that she could turn over a new leaf of her own.
This was followed by yet another repeat of the Swiffer Sleepers commercial from earlier in the season which was for a line of pajamas for kids made out of Swiffer material so that they could passively clean while they played.
We then went down into Saddam's Bunker where Horatio Sanz played the hiding dictator and his guards kept trying to trick him out of his hiding space to help aid the U.S.’s win since everyone felt it was a lost cause by this time and were tired of having to lie and constantly claim the opposite.
Good Charlotte then returned to the stage to perform Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous.
We then got a fake ad for Don Banks' King of "Comedy" Suits which had Bernie Mac as a pitchman who promotes his clothing store filled with loud colored suits designed in the style of the stand-up special/movie The Original Kings Of Comedy.
Finally, Bernie Mac closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
Again, it was great to have fun watching the late Bernie Mac again, especially thanks to sketches like these the contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved The Four Stooges sketch because I am such a huge fan of The Three Stooges and it was funny to see how things would have played out with the trio if Bernie Mac was their fourth. Next, I really liked Don Banks' King of "Comedy" Suits because I really liked The Original Kings Of Comedy and I used to own a very similar mustard-colored suit that was advertised thanks to my love of the movie New Jack City where the style had a similar look. Finally, I was a fan of The Pianist sketch because as I’ve said in the past, I used to frequent a “Black Theater” a lot when I was a kid and as cliché as black people yelling at the screen during movies may be, I witnessed it a lot and felt that it added to the fun of seeing certain movies with a crowd.