M. Spencer Green, Associated Press
The Rev. Jesse Jackson, left, and comedian Chris Rock speak as they arrive at a memorial service for comedian Bernie Mac Saturday.

As Cedric the Entertainer scanned the crowd of more than 6,000 gathered on Chicago's South Side to remember Bernie Mac on Saturday, he cracked that the comedy king was "still the hottest ticket in town."

Fans, friends and fellow celebrities descended on the House of Hope megachurch in Chicago to bid their farewells to a man who never forgot his humble roots. Hundreds of mourners had never even met Mac — or had met him only long enough to shake his hand, get an autograph or thank him for representing his neighborhood.

Mayor Richard Daley recalled that Mac was in his office recently, asking how he could help fight violent crime in the city.

"He wanted to help get children away from a life of crime and violence," Daley said during the service. "That's why he's the king of comedy. He never lost his soul in Chicago."

Mac died Aug. 9 at age 50 of what his publicist said were complications from pneumonia. He had been at Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital since the middle of July.