HOLLYWOOD _ Cedric the Entertainer lives in a sprawling, 7,000-square-foot Mediterranean-style home with six bedrooms, six bathrooms and a park-like back yard, complete with a pool, Jacuzzi and waterfall.
Clearly, Cedric the Entertainer has made it. But for the comedian/actor, it’s not about excess it’s about success. And the hits keep coming.
As executive producer on the new Fox TV variety series bearing his name, “Cedric the Entertainer Presents …,” he has control over scripts, casting, wardrobe and sets.
His movie “Barbershop” was the fall’s surprise crossover hit, largely thanks to his character Eddie’s controversial lines.
Cedric the Entertainer, holder of one of show biz’s most auspicious and, yes, unusual, names, loves to say he hasn’t changed a bit _ that he’s still Cedric Kyles, the 37-year-old former State Farm Insurance claims adjuster and 1982 Berkeley High School graduate.
Of course, we don’t have to believe it.
“Other than having people address me as `Your Excellency’ and not looking me exactly in the eye, I’m a regular dude. When my maid turns down my bed and my bath is drawn, and the nanny puts the kids to bed and the gardener is gone, we’re all the same,” says Cedric, all smiles as he sat in his official “Cedric the Entertainer” chair on the Hollywood set of his TV show one recent evening.
Just as viewers are clamoring for more of Cafeteria Lady, Hollywood is clamoring for more of its portrayer, Cedric, the clean funny man of the racy “Original Kings of Comedy” troupe.
Cedric’s latest schedule had him filming bits for “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Extra,” “Access Hollywood,” “Entertainment Tonight” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”
Still, he’s willing to go deeper and talk about the differences between the real man Cedric Kyles and the creation that is Cedric the Entertainer.
“I walk in that same space most of the time. They’re very similar,” he says. “Kyles is the home man. I enjoy being at home. I’m more of a family man than anything. I work and go home for the most part. I enjoy more thought-provoking conversations and intellectual encounters.
“Cedric the Entertainer is gregarious. He’s having a good time.”
That doesn’t mean he wants to be Mr. Black Hollywood.
“You’re not going to see me running around with Chris Tucker, out ballin’ with him, or walking into a room with Jamie Foxx and Morris Chestnut. But when I see those guys, it’s always cool,” says Cedric, looking noticeably trimmer thanks to his “sexy for the summer program” that includes those workouts with Denzel and a diet of no red meat or carbohydrates .
The normal side of Cedric might be the key to his success.
“I don’t go out just to be seen on the red carpet,” says Cedric. “It has more of an enigma aspect when people don’t see you like that, and then you show up. I like to call them Cedric the Entertainer sightings.”