For more than 30 years, Cedric the Entertainer and Tichina Arnold have been two of the industry's most highly regarded, talented, and consistent performers. Whether on TV or in film, Cedric and Arnold have been bringing the funny for years, and neither is showing signs of slowing up.
Cedric and Arnold will showcase their undeniable chemistry as hosts for the 25th Anniversary edition of the "Super Bowl Soulful Celebration" during Super Bowl weekend. Featuring performances by Mary Mary, Earth Wind & Fire, Adam Blackstone, Kirk Franklin, and The Players Choir. The show will be broadcast on CBS and streamed on Paramount on February 10 at 8 p.m.
BET.com spoke with Cedric and Arnold about their keys to success, what to expect in the upcoming season of “The Neighborhood,” and if they have a duet planned for the Celebration stage.
BET.com: You two have been mainstays in the culture with long and diverse careers. What do you believe has been the key to your longevity in the entertainment industry that’s constantly changing?
Cedric the Entertainer: I was just mentioning that Tichina has been such a staple for our community on television, and her shows always run for a long time. It's just been a blessing for both of us. Another thing I love about her is that she’s gonna bring the funny, but she’s also a professional.
When it comes to longevity, you want to be funny; you want to make sure you make people laugh, but you also have to have the drive and work ethic. You have to show up and give it all you got all the time.
Tichina Arnold: The longevity comes from being able to work with people. It's beyond just the work. The work is the finished product, but it's what it takes to get a finished product. I learned a long time ago that you have to be able to work with everybody. And Cedric, of course, I always give him his kudos because he's just a good person. When you have somebody at the lead who's a good person, everything else follows. When you have someone who’s effed up, that’s going to follow, too [Laughs]. So he's not like that at all.
BET.com: How excited were you to get the call to host the Super Bowl Celebration on the 25th anniversary?
Cedric the Entertainer: Very exciting. I had an opportunity to host this event many years ago when it was just the gospel celebration. I loved the pivot to be more inclusive and at the same time still honor the gospel background of the celebration and recognize all that the players do throughout the year. I was alluding to it a little bit earlier that the Super Bowl is one of the biggest events of the year and we know these players for their athletic prowess on the field. But we don’t always know the good that they do and how they affect their communities. This is a perfect format to highlight what they do, plus there’s going to be good music, and we get to get dressed up and get sharp, baby [Laughs].
Tichina Arnold: I do miss people dressing up. Back in the 90s, we used to get dressed up for anything and everything. We would use any excuse to get dressed up [Laughs]. As far as the celebration goes, it's always wonderful to join together with people around music. We get to confide in each other regarding how we feel and that it’s always done best through the music. I think we need music now more than ever. We need that ministry right now.
BET.com: Speaking of music, are you two planning on doing a duet at the Celebration? We know both of y’all have the vocals.
Cedric the Entertainer: Wow. We didn’t even think about it. We didn’t have a chance to rehearse anything because we were in the middle of shooting “The Neighborhood” and then this happened. So it was one of those things where we couldn't put it together. But you never know. We might just get out there and hit em with something [Laughs].
Tichina Arnold: We might have to do Peaches and Herb's “Reunited” or Ashford and Simpson’s “Solid As a Rock.” I would love it!
BET.com: The sixth season of “The Neighborhood” is set to premiere. When you were at the first table reading, did you envision the show would be this successful and run for so long?
Tichina Arnold: I remember the feeling at the table read and I've always been able to call it. I said to Cedric, “Oh my gosh. The table read felt great. This is going to be an amazing show. We're going to be around for a minute.” I knew it. Even though this is the first time Cedric and I have worked together, I felt it. I felt like we worked with each other forever.
Cedric the Entertainer: It did have a wonderful feeling very early on. It had a unique vibe. I have two great actors who play our sons, Sheaun McKinney and Marcel Spears and these guys are young and dynamic. It just felt like a show that was of the time. I'm happy and excited about the opportunity to go even further.
We really got lucky with “The Neighborhood” because we have solid actors all around and a great writing staff. It’s been a really fun ride to be on the show. This season is going to be great. We’re having a good time already and we look forward to everyone seeing it because it premieres right after the Super Bowl on that Monday, so we want people to tune in.
“The Neighborhood” airs on CBS on Feb.12 at 8 p.m.
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