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Cedric the Entertainer

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Cedric the Entertainer
Cedric in 2023
Cedric Antonio Kyles

(1964-04-24) April 24, 1964 (age 60)
EducationSoutheast Missouri State University (BA)
  • Comedian
  • actor
  • television host
  • producer
Years active1987–present
Lorna Wells
(m. 1999)
AwardsSix NAACP Image Awards
One Gotham Award
Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Comedy career
GenresObservational comedy, blue comedy, surreal humour, insult comedy
Subject(s)African-American culture, everyday life, human sexuality, pop culture, race relations, racism, self-deprecation

Cedric Antonio Kyles (born April 24, 1964), better known by his stage name Cedric the Entertainer, is an American stand-up comedian, actor and television host. He hosted BET's ComicView during the 1993–1994 season and Def Comedy Jam in 1995. He is best known for co-starring with Steve Harvey on The WB sitcom The Steve Harvey Show, as one of The Original Kings of Comedy, and for starring as Eddie Walker in Barbershop. He hosted the 12th season of the daytime version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in 2013–14 and starred in the TV Land original series The Soul Man, which aired from 2012 to 2016. He has also done voice work for Ice Age, the Madagascar film series, Charlotte's Web, Planes and Planes: Fire & Rescue. He currently stars on the CBS sitcom The Neighborhood. In 2019, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[1]

Early life[edit]

Cedric was born on April 24, 1964, in Jefferson City, Missouri, the son of Rosetta (née Boyce), a schoolteacher, and Kittrell Kyles, an employee of The Missouri Pacific Railroad.[2][3] He has a younger sister, Sharita Kyles Wilson, a communications professor at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.[4][5]

Cedric was raised in Caruthersville, Missouri, but after junior high school he moved to Berkeley, Missouri, a northern suburb of St. Louis. He is a graduate of Berkeley High School.[6]

He earned a degree in communications from Southeast Missouri State University.[7]


Cedric's stage name came about when he felt that his real name, Cedric Kyles, sounded too formal. Inspired by an entertainer named Kodak, he came up with the name "Cheerio", but received a cease and desist letter from General Mills over their cereal Cheerios. He settled on his stage name when someone introduced him as "an entertainer, Cedric the entertainer" and the name stuck.[8]

In 1995, Cedric moved into acting, auditioning for and receiving his first-ever role as The Cowardly Lion in the 1995 Apollo Theater Revival of The Wiz. He expanded his career by playing Steve Harvey's friend Cedric Jackie Robinson on The Steve Harvey Show.[9][10]

He began appearing in films, including Barbershop,[11] Barbershop 2: Back in Business,[12] Ride, Serving Sara, Johnson Family Vacation, Code Name: The Cleaner, Intolerable Cruelty, Man of the House, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, Madagascar, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and Be Cool. He was the subject of controversy when his Barbershop character made unpopular remarks about Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks.[13] These comments were spoken in character, as part of the script; he has never apologized for them. In Madagascar, he voiced Maurice the aye aye. In October 2005, he joined the Champ Car auto racing series as a part owner.[14] He appeared in the film Charlotte's Web as the voice of Golly the gander.[15]

While his acting career grew, Cedric continued to perform stand-up comedy and traveled the country as one of the Kings of Comedy headliners with Steve Harvey, D. L. Hughley and Bernie Mac. The act was later made into a Spike Lee film, The Original Kings of Comedy.[16] Cedric had his own sketch comedy show, Cedric the Entertainer Presents, but after being renewed for a second season, it was canceled by Fox before the season began. He took time to write a book, Grown-A$$ Man.[17] He appeared in the 2003 video game Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004. A more recent HBO Comedy Special was Cedric The Entertainer: Taking You Higher.[a] He recorded comedic interludes on two Nelly albums, Country Grammar (2000) and Nellyville (2002) as well as on Jay-Z's The Black Album (2003).[18]

In the 2007 comedy film Code Name: The Cleaner, Cedric plays Jake, a janitor with amnesia who may be a secret undercover government agent involved in an illegal arms conspiracy. He starred in the 2008 films Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins and Street Kings.[19][20]

Cedric appeared as the lead comedian at the White House Correspondents Dinner, but jokingly remarked that he was unprepared because he thought that he would follow a humorous speech by President George W. Bush. He instead followed First Lady Laura Bush, who called him "hilarious" and "probably the funniest person" she had ever met.[21][22]

Cedric has won many awards, beginning with $500 in the Johnny Walker National Comedy Contest in 1990 and coming in first in the Miller Genuine Draft Comedy Contest in 1993.[23] BET named him Richard Pryor Comic of the Year.[24] He has also won four NAACP Awards.[25]

He was inducted to the St. Louis Walk of Fame on June 7, 2008. His star is at 6166 Delmar.[26]

He was the special guest host for WWE Raw on September 21, 2009, in Little Rock, Arkansas. During the show, he participated in a wrestling match, defeating Chavo Guerrero Jr. by pinfall. The match also featured Santino Marella as a guest referee. Cedric also got help from an unknown wrestler dubbed The Sledge Hammer (played by Imani Lee) and Hornswoggle.[27][28]

In March 2010, Cedric made his directorial debut with Dance Fu, produced and funded independently by his company Bird and a Bear Entertainment with producer Eric C. Rhone. It starred comedian Kel Mitchell. Cedric made a cameo appearance in the film as a homicide detective. It was released straight to DVD on October 4, 2011.[29]

Cedric appeared in the Broadway revival of David Mamet's play American Buffalo.[30]

In a June 21, 2011, interview, Cedric said his latest reality game show, It's Worth What?, would air on NBC on July 12, 2011,[31] but the start date was delayed by one week to July 19. Starting in 2012, he played the main character in the TV Land original series The Soul Man, featuring Niecy Nash. The series ran for five seasons and ended in 2016.[32]

Cedric was the host of the American TV game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, beginning with its 12th season in national syndication, which premiered on September 2, 2013.[33] On April 30, 2014, Cedric announced that he was leaving the game show after the 2013–14 season to focus on other projects.[34] Terry Crews took over as host on September 8, 2014.[35] Starting in 2018, Cedric played the character of Calvin Butler in the television sitcom The Neighborhood.[36][37][38]

Personal life[edit]

Cedric is married to Lorna Wells. They have two children, Croix (born 2000) and Lucky Rose (born 2003).[39] He also has a daughter, Tiara (born 1990), from a previous relationship.[40] He continues his involvement with his high school by awarding a scholarship each year to a graduating senior through the Cedric the Entertainer Charitable Foundation, whose motto is "Reaching Out...Giving Back". Cedric majored in mass communication at Southeast Missouri State University and worked as a State Farm insurance claims adjuster and substitute high school teacher before becoming a full-time comedian. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi. In May 2015, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in fine arts and humanities by Lincoln University of Missouri (his parents' alma mater). In 2018, St. Louis honored him by renaming the street in front of the Kappa Alpha Psi Alumni House Cedric The Entertainer Way.[41][42]


Cedric at the June 2008 premiere of Get Smart
List of film performances
Year Title Role Notes
1998 Ride Bo
2000 Big Momma's House The Reverend
The Original Kings of Comedy Himself Also writer
2001 Kingdom Come Reverend Beverly H. Hooker
2001 Dr. Dolittle 2 Zoo Bear #1 Voice[43]
2002 Serving Sara Ray Harris
Barbershop Eddie Walker
Ice Age Carl Voice[43]
2003 Intolerable Cruelty Gus Petch
2004 Barbershop 2: Back in Business Eddie Walker
Johnson Family Vacation Nate Johnson Also producer
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events Constable
2005 Be Cool 'Sin' LaSalle
Madagascar Maurice Voice[43]
Man of the House Percy Stevens
The Honeymooners Ralph Kramden Also executive producer
2006 Charlotte's Web Golly The Gander Voice[43]
2007 Code Name: The Cleaner Jake Rogers Also producer
Talk to Me Bob 'Nighthawk' Terry
2008 Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins Clyde Stubbs
Street Kings Winston 'Scribble'
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa Maurice Voice[43]
Cadillac Records Willie Dixon
2009 Un-broke: What You Need To Know About Money Himself TV film
Merry Madagascar Maurice Voice
TV film[43]
2011 Dance Fu Detective Also executive producer
Larry Crowne Lamar
2012 Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted Maurice Voice[43]
2013 A Haunted House Father Doug Williams
Madly Madagascar Maurice Voice[43]
Planes Leadbottom
2014 A Haunted House 2 Father Doug Williams
Planes: Fire & Rescue Leadbottom Voice[43]
Top Five Jazzy
2016 Barbershop: The Next Cut Eddie Walker
Why Him? Lou Dunne
2017 First Reformed Pastor Joel Jeffers as Cedric Kyles
2020 Poor Greg Drowning Narrator
Son of the South Reverend Ralph Abernathy
The Opening Act Billy 'Billy G'
2022 The Black Karen Sergeant Warren Short film
2023 The Plus One Alfred Anders
How I Learned to Fly Louis
2024 Outlaw Posse Horatio
A Hip-Hop Story The Notorious B.I.G.
Unfrosted Stu Smiley
List of television performances
Year Title Role Notes
1987 It's Showtime at the Apollo Himself
1993–1994 ComicView Host[44]
1995 Def Comedy Jam 1 episode
1996–2002 The Steve Harvey Show Cedric Jackie Robinson Main role
2001–2005 The Proud Family Bobby Proud Voice, 14 episodes
2002–2003 Cedric the Entertainer Presents Himself Main role
2004 Eve Episode: "Porn Free"
2006 Wild 'n Out Episode: "Cedric the Entertainer"
All of Us Clarence DeWitt Episode: "Pass the Peas"
2007 The Boondocks Cousin Jericho Freeman Voice, episode: "Invasion of the Katrinians"
2009 WWE Raw Himself Special guest host, 1 episode
2011 It's Worth What? Host
Take Two with Phineas and Ferb Episode: "Cedric the Entertainer"
2011, 2014 Hot in Cleveland Reverend Boyce Ballentine Episodes: "Bridezelka" and "Stayin' Alive"
2012–2016 The Soul Man Main role, 54 episodes
2012 2 Broke Girls Darius Episode: "And the Pre-Approved Credit Card"[45][46]
2013 Real Husbands of Hollywood Himself Episode: "Blackstabbers"[47]
2013–2014 Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Host[48][49]
2015, 2020 Whose Line is It Anyway? Season 11 Episode 1, Season 16
2015 Cedric's Barber Battle Host[50]
2016 Another Period Scott Joplin Episode: "Joplin"[51]
2017 Master of None Kenny 'The Magnificent' Episode: "Door #3"[52]
Drop the Mic Himself Episode: "Niecy Nash vs. Cedric the Entertainer / Liam Payne vs. Jason Derulo"[53]
Nightcap Episode: "Spinster Code"[54]
The Comedy Get Down Main role[55]
Superior Donuts Reggie Wicks 2 episodes[56]
Funny You Should Ask Himself 4 episodes[57]
2018–2020 The Last O.G. Miniard Mullins Main cast[58]
2018–2021 Summer Camp Island The Moon Voice, 11 episodes[59][43]
2018–present The Neighborhood Calvin Butler Main role; also executive producer[60]
2018 Black-ish 'Smokey' 2 episodes
Nobodies Himself 2 episodes[61]
2019–2020 Power Croop 3 episodes[62]
2020–present The Greatest #AtHome Videos Himself Host[63]
2020 Woke Trashcan Voice, 3 episodes[64]
2021 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards Himself (host) Television special[65][66]
2022–present The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder Bobby Proud Voice[67][43]
2023 The Daily Show Himself (guest) Episode: April 5
2024 John Mulaney Presents: Everybody's in LA Himself Episode: "Earthquakes"[68]


  1. ^ Two of the background dancers from the special were Kamilah Barrett and Sandra Colton, who were finalists in Fox's So You Think You Can Dance.


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  20. ^ Fuller, Alice (April 18, 2008). "Cedric Still an Entertainer in Street Kings". Los Angeles Sentinel. Retrieved August 20, 2023.
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  24. ^ Who's Who in America (70th ed.). New Providence, New Jersey: Marquis Who's Who LLC, 2016. 2016.
  25. ^ "Cedric the Entertainer". Contemporary Black Biography. 60: 35–37. 2007.
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  27. ^ Kelly, Adam. "WWE RAW Results - 21/09/2009". Archived from the original on September 25, 2009.
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  29. ^ Silvestri, Max (August 23, 2012). "We found it on Netflix Instant: Dance Fu". Grantland.com. Retrieved July 10, 2021.
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External links[edit]

Preceded by Host of TV Land Awards
Succeeded by