The Humor Mill

Stand Up Spotlight: Bernie Mac’s Classic Performance On HBO’s Def Comedy Jam

Stand-up comedy isn’t about just having funny jokes; it’s about controlling the crowd and getting them to do what you want them to do.

Few have done crowd-control better than Bernie Mac did here. Why did Bernie do better than almost everyone in this situation?

“I ain’t scared of you motherfuckers!”

That’s why.

This performance came from an episode of the old HBO “Def Comedy Jam” series, and this particular episode featured a crowd that was famously hostile. In one of his first major performances of comedy, Bernie Mac came out and was able to immediately sway the crowd in his favor, largely because of his quick delivery and outspoken fearlessness of the crowd.

In two minutes, Bernie Mac told jokes almost exclusively about his being “blessed” and about “sex in a can”. That was his material, it got over quickly, and it is still a legendary moment in comedy today.

RIP

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