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Cedric the Entertainer brings stand-up to Wilbur

Jacquinn Williams | 4/27/2011, 10:36 a.m.
Cedric the Entertainer performed at the Wilbur Theatre last week.

Entertain the people. That’s what Cedric the Entertainer does best. Last Friday, fans of the affable and extremely funny comedian filled the Wilbur Theatre with uproarious laughter and thunderous clapping. Cedric has starred in numerous TV shows and movies but is best known for his roles on “The Steve Harvey Show,”  “Barbershop,” “Barbershop 2: Back in Business” and being one of “The Original Kings of Comedy.”

The self-proclaimed Ceddy Bear started his career doing stand up and has continued to grow as an actor, producer and most recently as a director. In the early 1990s he was on “Showtime at the Apollo,” and HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam.”  Later he went on to host BET’s “Comic View” 1993-94 season.

The married father of three has poked fun at Condoleezza Rice while performing for former President George W. Bush and makes audiences think about politics and education with a well-delivered joke or pregnant pause.

He had his own self-titled variety show that lasted one season. Despite the show’s cancellation, Cedric continued to star in TV shows such as “All of Us,” appeared on “Mad TV” and was the voice of Bobby Proud in the “Proud Family” cartoon.  He recently finished an NBC press conference for a new game show he’s hosting called “It’s Worth What?”  that airs this summer and is working on “Hot in Cleveland” due to air June 15.

In addition to performing, Cedric has penned the book “Grown A$$ Man,” and is dedicated to helping at risk youth get an education with his Cedric the Entertainer Charitable Foundation.

It’s Monday, four days before his show at the Wilbur and the Entertainer — a recipient of the Richard Pryor Comic of the Year Award — is visiting his family in St. Louis, Mo. He’s getting some R and R before he heads to Boston.  The longtime comedian who can sing and dance opens up about his future plans and his biggest pet peeve.

How was it starring in your own show? Did you gain or lose control over the content?

Well it’s interesting. On the show level you have lots of control; it’s the network level you have to worry about. On the show level, we can shoot what we want to shoot, set the atmosphere and tone of the show and even control who gets hired and fired. But, what night your show airs on, how many times it airs and things like that are network decisions. We get left out of that process and sometimes the network doesn’t really know who the real audience is. They have certain goals that they’re trying to meet.

The funniest skit was the one at the funeral where everyone was talking in Spanish, but you were only saying basic words like Hola!

 [Laughs] Oh yeah! ¿Qué hora es? That was real funny. I really loved working on that show because I got to be different characters. I had a lot of success on “The Steve Harvey Show,” but it’s different playing the same character every day.