I came up in the community center. I used to be physical director of the South Central Community Center in Chicago on 83rd. It's still there. It used to be around there when I was a kid.

My humor had changed from foolishness to making sense.

I'm not ashamed to tell the truth about what happened in my family. I think that's what makes my comedy different.

Fear is not one of my attributes.

I've always been a reserved cat. When I play sports, there's people used to get mad at me because I didn't hang out and things like that. I've never been that kind of person. Nothing has changed in that regard. I've never been posse, and all that. I'm a quiet storm.

I was a street performer for two years.

I want to have fun. Life ain't no dress rehearsal. I want to have fun. I'm a comedian; I ain't no politician. So everything I do is with humor, with love.

I don't care about how I look; I'm dedicated to the laughs. You know, I used to be a clown, so - my name was Smoothie the Clown. All the training I had, all my training is geared toward making people laugh, and I didn't care about being cool.

The two sides of Bernie - that's a quiet weapon that I have.

I've been in training for stardom.

Bernie Mac just says what you think but are afraid to say.

I can act. I've been acting for a long time, but like anything else, don't nobody owe you nothing. You've go to pay your dues. You go from A to Z; you don't go from M to Z.

I'm so black, I leave fingerprints on coal.

Bernie Mac is relentless. That's one thing I like about him. He's not PC. He doesn't care what you think. He's going out there to please that audience.

I'm funny. I'm a comedian. I'm not a clown.

I came from a place where there wasn't a lot of joy.

Comedy has been so good to me.

I was good at keeping my mother from crying.

My girlfriend Rhonda, who's now my wife, I graduated from high school, she got pregnant. My grandfather said, 'You've got to do the right thing.'

I have so much respect for what's funny.

Bernie Mac don't sugarcoat.

That's the whole key to anything: Don't be afraid to fail. And Bernie Mac is not afraid to fail.

I don't need to pat myself on the back until my arm breaks. I don't need any of that.

You can't be a doctor if you don't know the entire parts of the body.

Bernie Mac is talented!

Whatever success I've had, I always like to top it.

I think a lot of TV insults the audience.

I want to speak directly to the audience, to say, 'I'm like you - I'm frustrated, I'm not an expert, I don't have a manual on parenting, I make mistakes, I'm selfish too.'

Jerry Weintraub, the producer, might be a pain in the ass, but he really knows how to treat his actors.

I'm not a star, and I don't want to be a star. Stars fall. I'm an ordinary guy with an extraordinary job.

You know, every time it comes, every time that light comes on or every time that camera comes on, every time that microphone comes on, the Mac Man seek and destroy.

You don't see me in Los Angeles a lot. I go back home. Because I can't play the game. I can't - my tolerance - I know I'm getting old; I'll be 50 this year. And you know how I know I'm getting old? 'Cause my tolerance level is low.

You're never going to see me playing a buffoon.

Stand-up is what I am; stand-up is what made me.

When I hit my 20s, I struggled to make it. I got married at 19, and my daughter, Je'Niece, was born a year later. I worked blue collar jobs during the day and comedy clubs at night, and I was earning about $25 a year doing stand-up.

Black audiences are hard. They always think they're better than you. So you got to come with a little extra to satisfy them.

When I started in the clubs, I had to work places where didn't nobody else want to work. I had to do clubs where street gangs were, had to do motorcycle gangs, gay balls and things of that nature.

I have Glocks, .45s, Berettas, Remingtons. I like the marksmanship and the discipline that it takes to be a gun owner. I like the machinery. Being able to take it out and clean it is even more fascinating than having the gun.

I'm looking for laughs, you know? If it take me to flip over a table, if I have to go physical comedy, I will do it. But whatever the joke needs at that particular time, is where I'm dedicated to. I'm not into beating somebody down and beating myself up. I don't do insults and things like that. I don't do it - I'm a storyteller.

It was rough being dark. I got heat from my own people more than anyone else. I remember going to my mom and saying, 'Why am I so black?' And she said, 'Because I'm black. You just gotta always work harder than the average bear.'

People like rumors. They're going to say things like, 'You was at the club with Lil' Kim, and you and Kanye West got into a fist fight.' You can't get upset. You've got to keep hope alive.

I want people to say at the end of my day, you know, like I used to say about Sidney Poitier and James Cagney and Joan Crawford and Red Skelton and those guys and Bill Cosby. They did quality and substance. You always remember them.

I don't think the people wanna see me play Clyde Johnson the architect.

I don't ever watch myself. By watching, you try to perfect yourself, become a robot.

I can't build myself by beating somebody down.

My comedy comes from pain. I can't stand to see someone hurting.

There's no success story. Everybody's got a ghetto story. You always want to make it bigger than what it is.

Like a lot of black people, I grew up straight po'. Wasn't no question about whether we was po', either. If you really wanted to know, all you had to do was look in our refrigerator.

My daughter was a beautiful child.