Cedric the Entertainer talked with me upon the arrival of his latest HBO special, Taking You Higher, which he helped promote with a club tour. He had a brief stint on the small screen a few years ago with his 2002 sketch show, Cedric the Entertainer Presents. He has another TV deal in the works. But first, he has to figure out what kind of show he wants it to be.
“It does make it very hard to think of how do you approach television in an environment like today, where it’s all reality-oriented, and produced reality at that,” he said. “The sitcom has suffered.” Sketch, too. “Even though Chappelle’s Show is very successful, I don’t know if sketch can succeed outside of cable.”
Would there be singing and dancing, staples of his previous big stage productions?
“I love those elements, but I’d want to do it uniquely different…I’d probably step to a different format. I’d try to figure out how to naturally integrate it.” He mentions a previous role. “Like Eddie from Barbershop, where it’s a neat fun character with a unique point of view and I can have fun doing it from week to week.” Or…”I see Flavor Flav is having guests this year. Maybe I’ll just do that!”
Why are you playing clubs instead of theaters?
“Just doing the special, it’s all about developing new material. I have to start working again. (In the clubs), the crowds are tight and intimate and you can have a good time working with them. Even though it is a bigger room, it’s still fun and they’re usually comedy-sophisticated,” he said. “You give away an hour of material for television. So now you have to get back on the bicycle and work away at it!”