Perhaps it was good buddy Steve Harvey, his boss on The Steve Harvey Show, his running mate on "The Original Kings of Comedy" tour, and his co-host on the recent maiden BET Awards, who best described Cedric "The Entertainer." In an Entertainment Weekly article a year back, Harvey likened him to "the lovable family uncle," depicting the portly but spry comedian as "just as funny but not as mean" as the other Kings. (Harvey is not the only one who shares this sentiment; it has been reported that white people who saw The Original Kings of Comedy concert movie thought Cedric's routine was the most tolerable of all the performers, too.) But that's probably because "The Entertainer," 36, is going for more than a quick laugh when he hits the stage.
Although his routines are deeply rooted in comedy, he does more than crack jokes. The eager, bespectacled, sharp-dressed comic (born Cedric Kyles) comes at you from all angles: He sings, he dances, he does characters, he makes balloon animals for the kiddies. (Okay, so maybe that last one isn't true.) But it's his willingness to be a multi-talented force, a man who really loves to entertain (hence the stage name), that makes him such a respected figure in contemporary black entertainment.
The onetime host of BET's Comicview has recently appeared in Big Momma's House and Kingdom Come playing, interestingly enough, reverends in both films. But he has a couple of must-see projects in the works. He will co-star with Snoop Dogg in the movie The Wash, billed as "a black Odd Couple," and he is developing a Fat Albert-esque cartoon show based on his childhood in St. Louis. If more big-time endeavors keep coming his way, people are gonna have to stop referring to him as a lovable uncle -- and start calling him "Big Daddy"!
Cedric "The Entertainer"
Houston Arena Theatre, 7326 Southwest Freeway
8 p.m. on Sunday, July 15. $32.50 to $53.50. For more information, call 713-629-3700 or 713-988-1020.
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