Bernie Mac was a Chicago native and passed away in 2008
ALSIP, Ill. (WLS) -- Stars came out Saturday night to celebrate the life and legacy of the late comedian Bernie Mac.
Mac was a Chicago native and passed away in 2008.
Riddles Comedy Club held the celebration in honor of Mac.
It's through their laughter that they remember the late legendary comedian.
Fans, fellow comedians and Mac's family came together to pay tribute to one of Chicago's most famous funny men who would have been turned 65 this week.
"It's been 14 years," said Mac's daughter, Je' niece McCullough. "I know what it means to me, but to look around at all these people to see how much they still remember him, love him and celebrate him - it's humbling."
The citywide two-day celebration was at a southwest suburban comedy club in Alsip, which is co-owned by well-known Chicago comedian and Mac friend, Damon Williams.
"Bernie was like a mentor to me, like a big brother to me," Williams. Said.
The Saturday show featured nearly a dozen local comedians, including comedian Stephon who credits Mac with giving him his big break nearly 30 years ago.
"He brought that all out of me and I just think the opportunity he saw to give me, he said, 'Hey do it,' Stephon said. "And I've been doing it ever since."
Mac began his career as a standup comedian and skyrocketed to fame with his often raw, but real, comedy.
His talent garnered him roles in films like, "The Original Kings of Comedy," "Head of State," "Charlie's Angels," and "Oceans Eleven."
He became a TV star with his self-titled sitcom, "The Bernie Mac Show," which ran for five seasons and earned him several Emmy Award nominations.
But the laughter was silenced in 2008 when Mac died of complications of sarcoidosis, a respiratory disease.
Proceeds from the weekend celebration will go toward researching the illness as those who attended the event honor his legacy.
"This is legacy. This is his life. This is his laughter," said Yvonne Moore, the Bernie Mac Official Brand Manager. "So it's always present when you say, Bernie Mac."