Steve Harvey dedicated Monday's episode of his soon-to-end daytime talk show to honoring the legacy of the late Bernie Mac. Mac, a friend and frequent collaborator to Harvey, passed away in 2008 at age 50 due to complications from pneumonia. For this year's tribute special, Harvey was joined by D.L. Hughley and Cedric the Entertainer for the announcement that Nov. 14 had been formally declared Bernie Mac Day by Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel.
"Bernie was a Chicagoan through and through, which is why the city of Chicago sent this over," Harvey said. "This is from the city of Chicago. It's actually a proclamation that says, in recognition of Bernie's remarkable life and legacy, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel has proclaimed today, Nov. 14, Bernie Mac Day in Chicago."
As members of Mac's family burst into tears at the news, a clearly touched Harvey offered some advice on how to celebrate his friend's life. "I urge all Chicagoans to mark this occasion just as Bernie would have," Harvey continued, "with thanksgiving for both our trials and triumphs, and finding the humor no matter what. It's Bernie Mac Day today." Mike Epps, who joined the tribute via satellite, also announced that Mac's Chicago alma mater would be renaming its auditorium in his honor.
Mac, whose underrated sitcom The Bernie Mac Show scored the comedian multiple Emmy nominations, had long battled the inflammatory lung disease known as sarcoidosis. Shortly before Mac's death, the Bernie Mac Foundation was established to push for a "more thorough understanding" of sarcoidosis by supporting research.