Saturday, August 9, 2008

No More Milk and Cookies

We have lost Bernie Mac. Anyone who has ever seen him perform knows what a devastating loss it is. I'm not going to list all of his brilliant contributions here. Everyone's doing that. Although, I am going to say I LOVED "Mr. 3000". I thought he showed real leading man potential there. If you've never seen it, check it out.

I want to share my personal Bernie Mac story this morning. In the days when Barry Diller and Jonathan Dolgen were at the top of the heap at 20th Century Fox (when Studio Heads had balls!) I was just starting out as an assistant and became friends with one of Jonathan Dolgen's assistants. Now Dolgen's office was known as a revolving door for assistants. I've literally seen temps RUN from his office as if chased by demons! Dolgen always had two assistants and one of them was always a fine black woman. That was his own personal contribution to equality (or maybe they just had the strength to handle him!). One of the women who lasted the longest was Rhonda, Bernie Mac's wife. In the almost all white echelons of the Executive Building back then, nobody really knew who Bernie Mac was at the time. Until one day...

I was visiting my friend in Dolgen's office when something happened to displease the master and the tantrum began. I wasn't even involved but was rooted to the floor in fear and awe as Dolgen eloquently made his point at thunderous decibels. With his light blue devil dog eyes flashing and spittle flying, you couldn't look away.

Just then the door opened and there stood Bernie Mac. He filled the doorway - tall, dark black, all dressed in black. A black turtleneck and black leather jacket. His eyes widened slightly. Dolgen stopped, mid tirade. He stared at Bernie, not sure what was going to happen next. Neither was I! Bernie looked from Dolgen to Rhonda and said "What's going on here?" She glided around her desk and put her hand gently but firmly on Bernie's arm. "Jon, this is my husband, Bernie Mac." It was all very civil. Dolgen shook his hand. They made small talk and Bernie Mac took his wife to lunch, leaving a void where his palpable energy had just been. Dolgen looked at us and without a word went into his inner office and shut the door. From that day on I loved me some Bernie Mac!

YouTube - Bernie Mac - My Sisters Kids

“When I get a chance to play golf or go on a boat with good people, take the boat out and put some lobsters on the grill, get the ice-cold beer and the cigars - that's heaven here on earth.”
~Bernie Mac

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