The Original Kings of Comedy reunited to honour the late, great Bernie Mac.
The special occasion was equal parts laughter and tears, as D.L. Hughley and Cedric the Entertainer joined Steve Harvey on his daytime show. There were some emotional surprises planned for Mac’s high-school sweetheart, Rhonda, and the couple’s daughter and granddaughter.
Harvey fought back tears while addressing Rhonda, but regained his composure and revealed that November 14 had been declared “Bernie Mac Day” in the city of Chicago, per Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The comedian emphasized the importance of the occasion: “I urge all Chicagoans to mark this occasion just as Bernie would have. With thanks given for both our trials and triumphs in finding the humour no matter what.”
He then turned to Mike Epps, who appeared via satellite from Bernie and Rhonda’s alma mater. Epps and the high school’s principal announced that the auditorium would be renamed in honour of Mac: “Bernie Mac paved the way for a lot of great comedians like myself, and it’s a great time to honour this man,” said Epps.
Rhonda was perhaps the most emotional of those attending, thanking the comedians for their kind gestures. “I’m so touched, I’m so honoured, and I’m always amazed at the outpouring of love people still have for him. It just warms my heart that they remember him and love him the way that they do.”
Mac died in 2008, suffering from an inflammatory lung disease called sarcoidosis.