Sunday, August 17

Bernie's Memorial Service

Yesterday thousands of people gathered at the House of Hope church in Chicago to say their fairwells to Oringinal King of Comedy, Bernie Mac. The packed house included the likes of Jesse Jackson, Steve Harvey, Chris Rock, Cedric The Entertainer, comedian George Wallace, Bruce Bruce, Juwan Howard, and the cast from Bernie Mac’s TV show Kellita Smith (who played his wife), Camille Winbrush, and Jeremy Suarez. It was a very emotional memorial service. Rest in peace Bernie Mac.

Via People:

Thousands of mourners came out for a Chicago memorial service honoring Bernie Mac Saturday.

Some fans slept outside overnight in hopes of securing a seat inside the House of Hope church on the city’s South Side, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Chris Rock, Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer and Rev. Jesse Jackson attended the emotional service, in which photos from the comedian’s career were shown on projectors and the White Sox organization presented Mac’s widow Rhonda with a No. 1 jersey bearing his name, the paper reports.

Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama and Andy Garcia also sent condolences.

During the service, Mayor Richard Daley remembered Mac as someone with “a heart and passion.” Daley, who met with Mac a few weeks ago, added: “He knew the street, he knew the people, and that’s why he was a king of comedy. He wanted to do something personally to get children away from the life of violence. . . . He never lost his soul in Chicago.”

Mayor Richard Daley recalled that Mac was in his office recently, asking how he could help fight violent crime in the city.

"He wanted to help get children away from a life of crime and violence," Daley said during the service. "That's why he's the king of comedy. He never lost his soul in Chicago."

Mac died Aug. 9 at age 50 of what his publicist said were complications from pneumonia. He had been at Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital since the middle of July.

Samuel L. Jackson, who co-stars with Mac in the upcoming movie "Soul Men," spoke at the church, saying he knew Mac "was having some health issues, but he always said to me every morning that he was always good."

Isaac Hayes, who died Sunday, also stars in the movie, and Hayes' music was played during the service.

Jackson observed that Mac didn't mind the loss of privacy that comes with fame.

"He never turned that kid down for an autograph," Jackson said. "He always had time to shake a hand. He was always that kid from Chicago who wanted to make everybody happy and everybody laugh

His co-stars from the documentary "The Original Kings of Comedy" -- Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley and Cedric The Entertainer -- took the stage together at the church.

Hughley recalled that he and the others eagerly awaited Mac's stage attire each night. He said: "Bernie would wear colors that crayons hadn't even thought of yet."

He said he met Mac in Detroit, but that Mac always wanted to talk about Chicago.

"All he talked about was his family and this city," Hughley said. "He loved this city."

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)