Q&A With Bernie Mac

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Bernie Mac is in two places at once. the film Bad Santa and the third season of his sitcom both debut this week.

IN BAD SANTA, YOU PLAY A STORE DETECTIVE WHO TAKES HIMSELF VERY SERIOUSLY.
Too seriously. My family are police officers, detectives. My brother Mitch is FBI. Mitch is like that, a stern enforcer.

YOU GET MANICURES. ARE YOU A METROSEXUAL?
I've never heard that word before.

IT'S A FASTIDIOUSLY GROOMED STRAIGHT GUY.
Oh, yeah, I get facials. I get a manicure and pedicure every week. I get my hair cut, and I oil myself down from head to toe. I got that from my brother. I was so impressed with how high maintenance he was. When he left the room, you could still smell him for an hour.

TO HONE YOUR CRAFT, DID YOU MAKE FACES IN THE BATHROOM MIRROR?
I used to watch Don Rickles, Richard Pryor, Red Skelton, Carol Burnett — people whose expressions are so real. I have so much respect for what's funny.

YOU TAKE COMEDY PRETTY SERIOUSLY.
I always want to top myself. I want to get good. You just don't know how much I want to get good. I want the audience to leave the theater and say, "He did good."