Cedric The Entertainer has been busier than ever living up to his colorful moniker. The 47-year-old comedian appears in three movies set to release this year, including Larry Crowne, which stars Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. In addition, this King of Comedy will soon make his directorial debut with the comedy film Chicago Pulaski Jones. But first you can catch Cedric as host of the new summer NBC game show, It’s Worth What?
BET.com caught up with the comic chameleon to discuss the game show world, his upcoming movie and the future of The Kings of Comedy.
It’s Worth What? is a game show where contestants guess the price of various items for a chance to win a million dollars. Why did you want to be apart of it?
This is a game show and a variety show. I get to play some characters, throw off the contestants and compare some really cool expensive items. It was a great opportunity [for me] to come back to television and do something that’s bright and energetic. It fell in line with the idea of being a standup comedian because [I could] directly talk to an audience and have fun with them and deal with them one-on-one.
Your friend Steve Harvey hosts Family Feud. Did you speak to him about doing a game show?
I did talk to Steve. I love the idea of expanding my horizons; I even had the opportunity to do Broadway a couple of years ago. It’s Worth What? was the right project and it’s fun. It offers the opportunity to interact with an audience, to be witty, funny and fast and give away some money. And of course NBC made it very attractive.
Tell us more about your directorial debut, Chicago Pulaski Jones.
It’s a teen comedy about a choreographer who comes from Chicago to Hollywood to make it big. Then he has to avenge his uncle’s death, but he realizes he can’t fight unless he hears music. So he has to learn the art of "Dance Fu."
Sounds funny. What was it like being behind the camera, helming all the action?
My strength was really dealing with the actors. I have a lot of young stars in the movie like Kel Mitchell (from Keenan and Kel) and Affion Crockett from FOX. So I think my experience being in front of camera encouraged them to give their best performances.
Has the fourth King of Comedy been chosen? Will you all continue with that standup concert tour?
Nobody’s been chosen yet, but most people have been leaning toward Kevin Hart. He’s one of my favorite comedians out there doing it. Steve [Harvey] and I talk all the time about how to put this thing together. There were some reservations after Bernie [Mac] passed and if we should do it at all, so we’re still trying to figure it out. But, Bernie definitely would want us to keep it rolling.
(Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images)