The Bernie Mac Show is a sitcom loosely based on the late comedian's stand-up persona that explores his humorous parenting style as he attempts to raise his sister's three children while she recovers from addiction.
Much of the humour in the show is derived from Mac's continual adjustment to and his unique take on parenthood.
A frequent motif of the show is the juxtaposition of Mac's acerbic comments, such as his threats to "bust the (children's) heads 'til the white meat shows," and the deep parental affection he feels towards the trio, which often brings him to the verge of tears during happy moments.
Towards the end of the series, Bryanna's long-lost father (Anthony Anderson) returns and drops by from time to time to help Bernie and Wanda with the kids.
Many of his most emotional scenes occur in segments in which Mac, while still in character, breaks the 'fourth wall' and talks to the television audience. As was also the case during his stand-up routine, Mac habitually addresses the audience as "America" for humorous effect.
Mac's character's celebrity works as a plot device allowing other celebrities to appear on the show as themselves.
Halle Berry, Serena Williams, Chris Rock, Ashton Kutcher, Dom DeLuise, Billy Crystal, Carl Reiner, Don Rickles, Angela Bassett, Ellen DeGeneres, Ice Cube, Isaac Hayes, Lucy Lawless, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Triple H, Matt Damon, Wesley Snipes, Charles Barkley, Jon Garland, Jules Sylvester, Sugar Ray Leonard, India.Arie, Snoop Dogg, Shaquille O'Neal, Hugh Hefner and Phil McGraw all appear as themselves over the course of the show.
Season 3 premiered on Fox on Sunday 30 November 2003, at 20h30. After a mid-season hiatus it returned in a new timeslot of Mondays at 20h00.