August 9 of this year marked 11 years since Bernie Mac passed away from cardiac arrest, and Kellita Smith, who co-starred with him for five seasons on the “The Bernie Mac Show,” recently spoke about the last time she talked to him.
During that conversation, which Smith explained to Comedy Hype, Mac offered her a huge opportunity, and she simply couldn’t believe it at the time.
“He called to tell me he was opening up for a month at MGM Grand in Vegas, and that he had been looking for a female comedian to open up for him,” she said as tears started to form. “And he called to say he couldn’t find what he was looking for, and that he wanted me to open up for him.”
Smith said she freaked out at the opportunity, and Mac explained to her that she had the chops to not only do stand-up, but also to play a gig that size.
“‘I watched you on the set and you got it,'” she remembered Mac telling her. “‘You’ve got timing. Even Don Rickles said to me I need to be doing stand-up comedy. I want you to be my wingman, and I want you to open up for me.'”
“What I didn’t know was he actually called me from the hospital,” added Smith. “And he already been hospitalized. That was April, May and then he was set to do a month of June, July, and then he was gone.”
Smith then said Mac was a “workhorse” who stayed busy, which made it even more surprising to her that he passed. The actress said she thought he was “unbreakable” because of how hard he worked.
“That kind of person you just don’t think they’re going to expire,” she stated.
Mac suffered from the inflammatory disease sarcoidosis and also had pneumonia before he passed.
You can watch Smith’s interview below.