Steve Harvey and the Original Kings of Comedy fought through waves of emotion as they reunited and honored their late co-star Bernie Mac in a touching tribute.
D.L. Hughley and Cedric the Entertainer joined Harvey Monday on his daytime talk show, and the gentlemen had some emotional surprises planed for Mac’s high school sweetheart, Rhonda, their daughter, Je’Niece, and granddaughter Jasmine, who were all in the audience.
Though the host had to take a moment to collect himself, he surprised Rhonda with a proclamation from the city of Chicago and Mayor Rahm Emanuel declaring Nov. 14 “Bernie Mac Day” in Chicago. “I urge all Chicagoans to mark this occasion just as Bernie would have,” Harvey said through tears. “With thanks given for both our trials and triumphs in finding the humor no matter what.”
Harvey then turned to Mike Epps, who appeared via satellite live from Bernie and Rhonda’s alma mater in Chicago. Epps and the principal announced that the school would be renaming its auditorium in honor of the comedian. “Bernie Mac paved the way for a lot of great comedians like myself, and it’s a great time to honor this man,” Epps said, as an enthusiastic crowd made up of Mac’s friends and former classmates cheered. “We love Bernie Mac.”
Mac’s wife Rhonda was visibly touched by the act, and choked back tears as she thanked those who made it possible. “I’m so touched, I’m so honored, and I’m always amazed at the outpouring of love people still have for him,” she said. “It just warms my heart that they remember him and love him the way that they do.”
Mac died in 2008 of complications from sarcoidosis, an inflammatory lung disease. His family was on hand to chat about the Bernie Mac Foundation, which was set up in the comedian’s memory to help fight the disease.
Watch the full clip below.