|Bernard "Bernie Mac" McCullough|
|'The Bernie Mac Show' character|
|First appearance||"Pilot" (2001)|
|Last appearance||"Bernie's Angels" (2006)|
|Created by||Bernie Mac|
|Portrayed by||Bernie Mac|
|Alias||Bernard Jeffrey McCullough (birth name)|
|Family||"Big Mama" (mother; deceased; first mentioned in Sweet Home Chicago, Part One) |
"Mama Lena" (aunt)
"Uncle Ellister" (father; deceased; born Ellister Bernard Dower)
Carl McCullough ( maternal half-brother) Benita "B" McCullough (maternal half-sister)
Stacy Thomkins (maternal half-sister)
Darryl McCullough (maternal half-brother; mentioned in Sweet Home Chicago, Part One)
Vanessa Thomkins (half-niece)
Bryana "Baby Girl" Thomkins (half-niece)
Jordan Thomkins (half-nephew)
"Aunt Sis" (aunt)
"Cousin Lou" (cousin)
"Aunt Livia" (aunt)
"Cousin D" (cousin/paternal half-brother)
unknown stepfather (alleged father; first mentioned in Sweet Home Chicago, Part Two)
Lloyd (father in law)
Leora (mother in law)
Valerie (sister in law)
unnamed brother in law (Vanessa and Jordan's father)
Bernard Jeffrey McCullough was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised by his mother, "Big Mama". He barely knew his father and he had two sisters, Bernita (Niecy Nash) and Stacy, and an older brother, Carl (Glynn Turman), and a younger brother, Darryl. In the episode "Sweet Home Chicago, Part Two", Bernie discovers that his father was really his "Uncle" Ellister (In that same episode, he mentions to his niece that his father showed up at his birthday party asking for money. Since his "Uncle Ellister" was his actual father this would make the man he was talking about his stepfather). He decided he wanted to be a comedian. While delivering a package to a friendly customer (who was actually his future father in law, Lloyd), he met his future wife, Wanda (Kellita Smith). He had a rough start but he eventually won her heart and they later married in 1996. When Bernie's career took off they moved to Los Angeles. During that time, Bernie lived a happy life with his beautiful wife throughout a five-year period. In the pilot, he has to take in his sisters three children: Jordan (Jeremy Suarez), Bryana (Dee Dee Davis) and Vanessa (Camille Winbush). At first his patience is put to the test on a daily basis from Vanessa's attitude and Jordan's insecurities, but as the show progressed, he began to love and support the children as if they were his own.
He frequently threatens to beat his children, saying things like, "Bust yo head 'til the white meat shows!" and "Excuse me, America...I gotta go stunt one of them kids growth". Mac would always speak to the audience and address them as "America". The show is somewhat of a spoof of a reality series.
In the series finale, he gets an electrical shock and when he recovers he worries what will happen to his "Angels" if something happened to him. He decides to teach Jordan how to be more masculine (including teaching him how to make a "Mac Sandwich") and Bryana how to be more careful of the things she uses (which was the cause of his shock, because she put a Baked potato wrapped in aluminum foil in the microwave and when he foolishly tried to cut it off, he was electrocuted). Vanessa finally finds a college but does not want him to be involved. With Wanda's advice, Vanessa changes her feelings towards her uncle and they reconcile. Bernie discovers that Jordan has been taking advantage of his kindness and in the final scene of the series, Bernie takes back the iPod he bought him.
Unlike the real Bernie Mac, Bernie McCullough (the TV character) was married with no children; however, in real life, Bernie Mac was married with one daughter. Bernie Mac did not look after his sister's three children after his daughter left home. "In reality, the story is a blend of two real incidents: Mac briefly took in his gang-banging niece Toya and her daughter Monique; while a friend of his had to raise her junkie sister's children long-term." Mac discussed a fictional custody arrangement with his sister's children in a stand-up routine which was eventually featured in The Original Kings of Comedy stand up show and the accompanying Spike Lee movie. This routine contained the germinating idea for Bernie McCullough's custody of his nieces and nephew in The Bernie Mac show.
From 2005 until 2009, The character Bernie was one of the official U'z Guys on Chicago's television station The U. The U'z Guys is a lineup of all the male main characters from the station's television programs. Bernie was removed from the lineup when The Bernie Mac Show was removed from the station's schedule.