Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Isaac Hayes and Bernie Mac Remembered

Fresh Air re-ran interviews with both Isaac Hayes and Bernie Mac.

The Washington Post piece on Bernie Mac looks at the big differences between "the two Bernies," his onstage persona versus the offstage man. His New York Times obituary ain't bad (although reading "Mr. Mac" provides some unintentional comedy).

The WP and NYT obits for Hayes give an overview of his career. In the WP, Wil Haygood also took a closer look at Hayes' musical impact and discussed it with readers.

Lower Manhattanite has a good remembrance for both men.

Bernie Mac is also remembered by skippy, who worked with him.

Both men appear in Soul Men, scheduled to come out later this year.

It's fun to hear Isaac Hayes talk about how he wrote the theme from Shaft, which is a good period piece, sure, but also still a fantastic track.

Meanwhile, I was a fan of The Bernie Mac Show. After seeing his act in The Original Kings of Comedy, I wasn't sure his material and style of comedy would be well received by a larger (and whiter) audience in a sitcom, but Wilmore and Bernie Mac tweaked the genre and made it work. The best episodes had some really sharp writing, and it was pretty cool to see it nab an Emmy for best writing in its first season (accepting was series creator Larry Wilmore, who moved on to The Daily Show). I had heard about Bernie Mac's lung issues several years back, including how his health stopped the show for a while, but he was making enough appearances recently I thought he was doing okay. His brand of comedy wasn't for everybody. But he had some comedic range, from his stand-up to his sitcom to his turns in some popular movies - his one scene in Transformers is really funny, and two of his scenes in Oceans's Eleven, buying the vans ("interfere with my social agenda") and the pickpocketing ("whitejack") are hilarious.

In any case, rather than a moment of silence, I think it's only right to go out with a laugh and some funk:

(Cross-posted at The Blue Herald)

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