Bernie Mac makes off-color joke at Obama event

July 12, 2008 at 4:03 pm | Posted in Barack Obama, Bernie Mac | 14 Comments
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Comedian Bernie Mac endured some heckling and a campaign rebuke during a surprise appearance Friday night at a fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Toward the end of a 10-minute standup routine at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Chicago, the 50-year-old star of “The Bernie Mac Show” joked about menopause, sexual infidelity and promiscuity, and used occasional crude language.

“My little nephew came to me and he said, ‘Uncle, what’s the difference between a hypothetical question and a realistic question?'” Mac said. “I said, I don’t know, but I said, ‘Go upstairs and ask your mother if she’d make love to the mailman for $50,000.'”

As the joke continued, the punchline evoked an angry response from at least one person in the audience, who said it was offensive to women.

“It’s not funny. Let’s get Barack on,” a man shouted from the crowd, which paid $2,300 each to support the Illinois senator.

About 15 minutes later, Obama tried to smooth things over with a joke of his own.

“We can’t afford to be divided by race. We can’t afford to be divided by region or by class and we can’t afford to be divided by gender, which by the way, that means, Bernie, you’ve got to clean up your act next time,” Obama said. “This is a family affair. By the way, I’m just messing with you, man.”

The incident drew response from Obama’s campaign, which criticized Mac for his choice of material.

“Sen. Obama told Bernie that he doesn’t condone these statements and believes what was said was inappropriate,” spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement after the event.

Mac, a Chicago native, said he’s a longtime Obama supporter and called the presumptive Democratic nominee a “man’s man” while offering him advice for the duration of the campaign trail.

“People like rumors. They’re going to say things like you was at the club with Lil’ Kim, and you and Kanye West got into a fist fight,” he said. “You can’t get upset. You’ve got to keep hope alive.”

Mac’s appearance was Obama’s first celebrity event of the evening. Later at a Lincoln Park nightclub, Obama spoke to a raucous crowd of music fans, who paid up to $500 per person to see a performance by Wilco lead singer Jeff Tweedy, and two other band members.

“Before these guys go, I want them to know that I had heard a rumor that they had suggested that I had nothing by them on my iPod,” Obama said. “That is not true. I love Wilco.”

Barack Obama inspires Milan men’s runway styles

June 23, 2008 at 9:27 am | Posted in Barack Obama | Leave a comment
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The latest “first” for Barack Obama comes off the Milan runway.

Calling the U.S. presidential hopeful “the man of the moment,”Donatella Versace dedicated her Spring-Summer 2009 collection presented Saturday evening to Obama, creating a style she said was designed for “a relaxed man who doesn’t need to flex muscles to show he has power.”

Chatting with reporters in the cool of the garden of her private palazzo in downtown Milan at an after-show dinner party, the designer also had some fashion tips for the campaign trail. “I would get rid of the tie and jazz up the shirt,” she said.

In fact, there were no ties in Donatella’s latest show, and shirts under jackets were either super easy with rolled up sleeves or replaced by a silk T-shirt.

The new Versace suit has a structured jacket softened by a double lapel or no lapel at all and slim trousers with slick techno-fabric sheen. Crazy zigzags break up the monotony of pinstripes and checks, while the pastel palette gives the collection a warm summer feel.

Sitting in the front row, actor Rupert Everett applauded enthusiastically, showing that even if it was not dedicated to him, he found the collection right up his alley.

Overall, this round of “moda Milanese” menswear preview collections, which ends Wednesday, promises to be all about chilling out, a refreshing thought in a Milan in the grip of this summer’s first heat wave.

The relaxed feel of the collections is epitomized by the return of the unlined jacket, which, when coupled with wide loose trousers, creates a casual yet elegant summer suit.

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