March 28, 1998- Radio City Music Hall. The biggest comedy tour ever was here tonight in New York City, The Kings Of Comedy starring Steve Harvey, Cedric The Entertainer and Bernie Mac. DL Hughley had not join the cast yet. Bernie Mac hooked me up with two tickets, I took my friend Dana and four of her girlfriends. I bumped into some more friends along the way that wanted to go. I said come on and lets see if we can get in. My entourage grew to 6 deep. We get to the back door and security was tight. I asked for Bernie Mac or Cedric to come to the door. Ced comes and OK's my whole crew in! At that time the line up Chris Thomas hosting, Cedric, Bernie Mac and Steve takes them home.
I breeze by Bernie Mac's dressing room and knocked on the door. I heard "come in!" I cracked the door and Bernie was sitting back in what looks like a reclined chair. I yelled from the door "I know you're in your zone but thanks for the love and good luck tonight" -as if he needed it. It was pretty noisy outside. Bernie shouts back "hey Wil what's up man! Come on in and close the door behind you!" We exchange pound and a hug and he said, "have a seat."
We kicked a few jokes about bullshit and talked about the tour, when he was last in NYC, and things he's working on. He ask me, "how's the Boston comedy spot you're doing?" I said, "it's cool, it's a great spot thats helping me grow and I have learned a lot and still learning. But I want to move on but I feel like I'm stuck. Plus I have to take some speech classes cause I can't talk for shit. A few people in the industry tell me no one is gonna hire me if they don't understand me..." Bernie says "first of all you don't have to be stuck. Get up and do your own thang. And man fuck the industry, fuck 'em. Someone understands you cause you're killing the clubs and stages. Someone understands what the fuck ya' saying. Unless all of 'em are your family and friends. If you fix your speech then you won't be the Wil that everyone knows that can't talk for shit. These are the things that give you character and defines who you are. Keep fucking up 'em words! Be who you are, never stop working hard, and always stay humble. Cause it can all be taken as fast as you got it!"
"Thanks Bernie" I replied. "I definitely look up too you cause people used to say things about you like you're too black for TV or sitcoms, you talk with a heavy southern accent and you may scare white people. But somebody understands you too. You never changed, you keep getting better and you're getting standing ovations on this tour. Everyone is talking about that in every city." He said, "thanks Wil. I'm always working hard. I still got ways to go."
I said, "what ever happened to your Midnight Madness show?" He said, "I'm working on some other things now. I want to do my own thang you know. I'm a grown ass man I never cared much about a joke thief you know. When people steal your jokes it's OK, I can always write new ones. But when they start to steal your mannerisms, the things that make you who are, the thangs that make you who you are, your style, down to the very same way you execute your words then it's time to move on. I'm working on my own show idea that I have. It's still in the early stages."
He was about go on stage so I told him I wish him luck and we'll talk again later. That was some of the best life learning advice I've gotten...although it took six year for it sink in.
Bernie Mac went on doing movies and a hit TV show, he worked very hard, stayed humble and always remain being Bernie Mac.