*Whether it be the stage or the small and big screen, comedy and Cedric the Entertainer fit like hand to glove. It’s no surprise the Missouri native would bring his stand-up stylings to Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium for his new Netflix stand-up comedy special, “Cedric the Entertainer: Live from the Ville.”
The one-hour showcase, which premiered Friday (Sept. 16), finds viewers entering the world according to Cedric as he takes on everything from the legacy of President Barack Obama to aggressive lyrics of today’s rap artists to raising kids who populate the Snapchat generation.
“It’s an observational slice of the world, the language, the sexuality you see in music and social media. I’m not saying that stuff is bad, I’m just old and have different way of looking at it,” Cedric told EURweb regarding what fans can expect from him in his latest stand-up special. “I also talk family and little bit of political stuff. When we filmed the special, I didn’t know when it would air so I didn’t want to go too heavy into the politics because I wanted it to be timely, but Trump still pushing the wall! People are going to get that quintessential Cedric The Entertainer in this special. I think this is something people can watch with their grandma and their kids. Maybe not all the kids, but the kids from the first marriage… the older ones [laughs]. I keep it real.”
Continuing his chat, Cedric touched on his return to the Ryman Auditorium, who he would pick to comprise the new Kings of Comedy and his hit show, “The Soul Man,” which ended its five-season run on TV Land in June.
EURweb: You explore a variety of topics in “Live From the Ville.” Was there a topic you considered addressing, but ultimately decided to not do so with this special?
Cedric the Entertainer: I had written a lot of political comedy. I’m getting great material out of this Clinton/Trump run. But, I didn’t know when the special was going to premiere, so I eased back on that so the material felt timely. Trump has been beaten down by so many comedians, so I only did a few jokes on that in the special. But that allowed me to keep the rest of the political material for the comedy tour.
EUR: Was this your first time performing at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville? If so, how did it feel to perform in such a historic place, one that was formerly known as the Grand Ole Opry House?
CTE: I’ve performed there before, which is one of the reasons I really wanted to be there for the “Live from the Ville” taping. The church seats gives it this sort of majestic feel, with the acoustics and sound. Especially with the marching band that opened up the show. I thought it would give the special a big feeling. The venue is small, but big enough to fit my persona. People know the Ryman for country music, but it’s become part of this “New South” movement with a lot of hot acts performing there.
EUR: For anyone who hasn’t seen you do your stand-up and doesn’t know much about Cedric the Entertainer, aside from a few things here or there, how would you get them to invest an hour into watching you do your thing on “Live From the Ville”?
CTE: If you got kids, you want to see this. I’m talking about stuff that happens to you on the regular. If you want to know what your kids are up to, you want to watch this too. It’s old school, like me, but with the modern vibe. It reminds you of old school comedians, but there’s a quick wittedness that gives it a new vibe.
EUR: This year marked the end of “The Soul Man” with the final episode airing back in June? What are your thoughts and memories regarding the show you co-created, its five seasons and saying goodbye to Boyce “The Voice” Ballantine and his family?
CTE: It was a truly fun show to do and great opportunity to create a series around a character that did one thing most of his life, but later decided to something completely different. It’s the reason we created the show. There are some parallels into what was going on in my life at the time. It was a great run and I’m sad to see it go. But to do five seasons is really a blessing.
EUR: Is there any possibility of seeing you regularly on another TV show, now that “The Soul Man” is no more?
CTE: As a creator, writer and producer, I am constantly working on new concepts. I want to do something different. Maybe try out a single camera show. I definitely want to go back on TV again for sure.
EUR: You were a part of one of the greatest stand-up comedy tours and movies of all time, “The Original Kings of Comedy” with you, Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley and the late, great Bernie Mac. If you could assemble a new quartet as the new Kings, who would they be and why?
CTE: I’m out right now with a great group comedians for The Comedy Get Down tour and sharing the stage with D.L. Hughley, George Lopez, Charlie Murphy and Eddie Griffin. If I was to create a new Kings of Comedy, I’d want to bring my guys into the act. But there’s also younger acts like Kevin Hart, who is just killing it and really doing his thing in comedy. A few others I’d consider: Chris Rock is one of the greats, Jamie Foxx and Dave Chappelle… who would never do it, but he has to be part of that line up! I also love Russell Peters. That would be my short list.
EUR: Going back to “Live from the Ville,” what is it that you hope people take away from watching your latest stand-up comedy special?
CTE: I think you want people have something they can just go to and laugh any time. As part of the Original Kings of Comedy, we knew a good laugh can last much longer than the moment you tell the joke. You want people to have a reason to watch the special again and again.
EUR: What is up next from you? Are there any other upcoming projects that fans should be on the lookout for?
CTE: We are actually creating a TV show around The Comedy Get Down tour. It will be on BET. It’s like Curb Your Enthusiasm. It’s scripted and loosely based on our lives and, but there is a lot of improve. Look out for it. It’s a funny show. We’ll also be shooting Johnson Family Vacation 2 starting next spring.
Cedric the Entertainer’s “Live From the Ville” is available to watch now on Netflix. Scroll below for an exclusive clip from the special: