My name is Martha, and I like Bernie Mac. (Yes, Mark and I will be fighting about it later.) I think his show is great, that the "cracker" scene was the best thing about Ocean's Eleven, and that The Original Kings of Comedy is one of the funniest concert films I've ever seen. All of which puts me squarely in the "broader, middle America" audience (since I'm sadly not in their "urban core aud") Lionsgate was eying when they signed a production deal (their first ever) with Mac's MacMac Entertainment.

Under the terms of the deal, Mac will first get to work on a new concert film, which the studio will release theatrically. In addition, he's agreed to host at least four "Dean Martin-style celebrity roasts" over the mutliyear length of the contract's run; those will go straight to DVD. Call me crazy, but I sort of love that idea. Granted, the Martin roasts are enjoyable due primarily to the combination of generously flowing alcohol and their host's incredibly laid back demeanor, but I wouldn't put it past Mac to step into the Martin role and, as the great Tim Gunn would say, make it work.