Maybe You Never Cry Again

Maybe You Never Cry Again

Book - 2003
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One night, I come in and find my mama in front of the TV, cryin'. And you know how it is when you're a little kid: your mama cryin', you gonna be cryin' in a minute.

"What's wrong, Mama?" I ask her.

"It's nothin', Bean. Sometimes I think sad thoughts."

"What thoughts?"

She didn't answer. She was lookin' at the TV. Black guy's talkin' to Ed Sullivan. I look at him, but I don't hear but a few words. And I can't make them out anyway, see, because suddenly my mama's laughin' to bust a gut. Her whole lap's shakin'. I got to hold on tight or get thrown clear across the room.

I turn to look at her -- this is the same woman that was cryin' a second ago? -- then turn back to the TV. "Who that man, Mama?"

She's still laughin'. Takes her a while to catch her breath. "Bill Cosby, son. He's a comedian."

A comedian?

"What's that?"

I look over at this Bill Cosby. I don't know what he's talkin' about -- but I know that, whatever it is, it's got power.

"That's what I want to be, Mama. A comedian. Make you laugh like that, maybe you never cry again."

By the tender age of five, Bernie Mac had found his calling: making others laugh. Now this amazing comedian delves deep inside to tell the poignant story of his childhood and the people who helped shape him into the comedian -- and the strong and self-reliant man -- he is today.

When Bernie was just sixteen, he lost his beloved mother to breast cancer. As he was growing up, she was a tough but loving teacher of life lessons and "Mac-isms," which would carry him through many hardships: You have to meet all of the challenges, big and small. Because how you start is how you finish. The loudest, clearest voice needs to be the one inside your own self. These lessons gave him the strength to choose hope over despair and to follow his dream of becoming a comedian.

Bernie recounts his slow rise to stardom, from doing stand-up at a church dinner at age eight to performing in amateur open-mike nights to earning a regular gig at Chicago's Cotton Club, and eventually to entertaining huge audiences onstage and in film and on television.

An inspiring memoir filled with hope-restoring humor, Maybe You Never Cry Again is a powerful testament to how a mother's love makes everything possible.

Publisher: New York : Regan Books, c2003.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780060529284
Branch Call Number: BIO MAC B. Mac 2003
Characteristics: 292 p. :,ill. ;,24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Fenjves, Pablo F.


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Jul 31, 2014

I'm still not over the loss of George Carlin, so it seems really unfair, to lose another of our most important entertainers: a comedian. For me, comedians are much more than people who make me laugh; they inform and help me put things into perspective.

Bernie Mac was from my neck of the woods: the south side of Chicago. We grew up around the same time, and we had something in common. His book: "Maybe You Never Cry Again," reminded me of how I had also used comedy, as a device to deflect from the pain in my life.

I first met him just after 9/11, at his book signing at Eso Won Books, an Afro-centric book store in Los Angeles. The people there know me, because I am one of the few white persons attending its book signings.

The night that Bernie was to appear, Fox News interviewed me, no doubt, because I was one of the two white folks there. "I think that comedy is very important, especially now. Comedians will be instrumental in helping to heal our wounds," I said.

As approached him, Bernie broke into a huge smile. "Aw, baby, you can party with me anytime!" he beamed. I leaned in and said "Bernie, you keep healing the world with your comedy." "Thank you for that," he said, embracing me.

I've seen Bernie's standup, and had always been amazed at his honesty. I saw The Kings of Comedy four times in the theater, as well as adding it to my DVD collection. It will always be one of my favorites, as will he. The fact that so few knew that he was ill, is a testament to the kind of person he was - and his legacy will remain as he lived his life: without compromise. It's a great lesson for everyone, and the best tribute to him, would be that we try to do the same.


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