DAR Films: The Best Bernie Mac Roles

By @TrueGodImmortal

Bernie Mac was one of the greatest comedians of our time. Through his career, he managed to make us laugh time and time again with his brash humor and true to life stand up comedy. Though the biggest success for Bernie came from stand up comedy and subsequently television, in films, he had quite a few memorable roles and moments. Today, we wanted to take a look back at his underappreciated work in films and his best roles. The late Bernie Mac's legacy lives on forever. Let's get into it.

*House Party 3 
(1994- Uncle Vester)

-One role that tends to go slept on when we think about Bernie is his role as Uncle Vester in the third House Party. Truthfully, this was the role where I first found out about him and he was hilarious. From his mannerisms to the way he delivers every line, Bernie is absolutely great in this role.

*Above The Rim 
(1994- Flip)

-In a role that didn't allow him much of a dialogue or anything in that manner, Bernie was memorable as Flip, the homeless man who used to have glory on the basketball court. Though he would meet his end halfway through the film (unnecessarily at the hands of Birdie), Flip was still a vital part of this movie and another role that Bernie had that was memorable.

(1995- Pastor Cleaver)

-One of the things about Bernie that makes him so great is the fact that he's taken just about every role he's ever had and really aced it. After seeing him in House Party and Above The Rim, I didn't see this one coming. In a scene that only takes about a minute or two of the film, Bernie plays a pastor that arrives at Craig's house looking for his father (for an unspecified reason), and asks Smokey for some weed, which is ridiculous and funny at the same time. He eventually ends up over at Mrs. Parker's house.... leading her in "prayer", as it is called. Bernie makes the most of this short role and steals the scenes he was a part of. The norm for him.

*Don't Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood 
(1996- Cop)

-This was literally the shortest cameo for him ever, but it was still so memorable. In reality, a cameo this short shouldn't be one of the most memorable scenes of the movie, but Bernie took this role as a cop and turned it into comedic gold. As a cop with apparent self hatred, Bernie ended up speaking of his hatred for all things black, from black pepper, the back of Forrest Whitaker's neck, and his own gums for being so black. Just that short scene was hilarious enough to earn a spot on this list because Bernie stole this movie in just about 3 minutes.

*The Player's Club 
(1998- Dollar Bill)

-My favorite role from Bernie is of course his turn in the hilarious film The Player's Club. Now, while this movie itself was pretty bad (it had a lot of cheesy moments and commentary, especially from Lisa Raye's character Diamond), Bernie was one of the saving graces of this film. His hilarious mannerisms and comedic delivery was always right on time in this movie, and every single speech he gave in the film was honestly top notch and some of the most quotable lines in black film comedies.

(1999- Jangle Leg)

-Though a role devoid of a large amount of dialogue, anytime you hear the term "I'm the pappy", the first thing you think about is this film and Bernie. His role as Jangle Leg is hilarious even with his limited vocabulary, and two of the best scenes in the movie come from him, making this yet another memorable role for him.

*Ocean's Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen 
(2001, 2004, 2007- Frank Catton)

-Though neither one of these movies are my favorite, I can admit that Bernie was the reason I even went in to watch it. Sure, I know the cast featured a large amount of successful actors, but seeing Bernie in this role was the best thing about it (IMO). Bernie was smooth yet hilarious as the casino worker turned Con Man who assisted in the heist. His role wasn't as significant as Clooney or Matt Damon (to the general public), but was still very important to the success of the film overall. Just imagine if Steve Harvey had somehow worked his way into this role, like he attempted to twice (which is why Bernie and Steve had a falling out). Bernie owned this role and no one else could have executed it the way he did.

*Head of State 
(2003- Mitch Gilliam)

-An interesting movie in general, the film about a black man running and winning the presidency, Bernie stars as the Vice Presidential Candidate and brother to Chris Rock's character Mays Gilliam. Bernie goes around slapping people, telling it like it is, referencing a man named Nado Jenkins on the news, and even more hilariously, making his presence felt by trying to flirt with Lynn Whitfield's character. Overall, this felt like a breakout film role for Bernie, as it showed he could possibly handle a big co-starring role or even more, a starring role of his own.

*Bad Santa 
(2003- Gin Siegel)

-Bernie was enjoying a bit of love from the Hollywood scene during this time period and this role was one that shocked me. Starring as the security chief at the mall where Billy Bob Thornton worked as "Santa", Bernie is hilarious in this dark and raunchy comedy. This was a bit darker than expected however, considering the fact they end up killing his character, but Bernie still shines for a majority of the time he's on the screen and once his character is removed, the movie really takes a turn for the worse. Another movie where Bernie steals the show? Of course.

*Guess Who 
(2005- Percy Jones)

-In a movie sort of centered around interracial dating (Zoe Saldana is no shock as the lead..... but that's another story), Bernie plays the overprotective father Percy Jones who is not sold completely on Ashton Kutcher dating his daughter. Bernie plays this role to perfection, from the random love of a B2K song to express emotion to the hilarious scenarios he finds himself in, Bernie is nothing short of brilliant as the disgruntled father, a role that based on his comedy and show, he was familiar with personally.

*Soul Men 
(2008- Floyd Henderson)

-The last official starring role for Bernie is one that I really felt was slept on. I've watched this movie more times than I care to admit, but never saw it in theaters. It didn't really seem like it was the film to watch Bernie go out in, but after I watched it, I realize it was a perfect role. As Floyd Henderson, a former backup soul singer looking for the last hurrah after the death of his former singing partner, Bernie outshines Samuel L. Jackson in this movie. Bernie showcases his comedic timing, and plays the role of the old singer perfectly. The last hurrah ends up being fitting and though the movie wasn't successful financially, I still enjoy watching it and Bernie at his best.

We'll never have another quite like Bernie and though his film career wasn't as noteworthy as it could have been, he still managed to own every single role he had. The mark of a legend.



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