Standup Guy

It takes some brass huevos to crack on Rosa Parks. But if your name is Cedric Kyles (better known as Cedric "The Entertainer"), it's all in a day's work.

Cedric's lively, physical standup comedy first took mainstream audiences by storm in Spike Lee's 2000 docu-film The Original Kings of Comedy. He shared the celluloid with heavy hitters D.L. Hughley, Bernie Mac and Steve Harvey -- and proved he could get down with the best of them. His standup in the film centered on break-dancing, looking cool while smoking cigarettes, President Clinton's sexual adventures, and the reason there can never be an African-American president: They don't know how to handle debt.

And that joke about Rosa Parks? In the film Barbershop, Cedric's character accused Parks of getting attention only because she was connected to the NAACP. And Parks wasn't the only one in Cedric's line of fire; Jesse Jackson was pilloried, and even Martin Luther King Jr.'s alleged promiscuity got a mention.

"I mostly get my inspiration from my own life as a husband and a father," Cedric says. He calls himself an "observationist," and some of his best observations are collected in his first book, Grown-A$$ Man. His recent focus on his film career has paid off: Cedric just finished production on Be Cool, the sequel to Get Shorty; Lemony Snicket (he shares billing with Jim Carrey); a remake of the Rodney Dangerfield comedy Back to School; and a remake of the classic '50s sitcom The Honeymooners, in which he plays Ralph Kramden (a role immortalized by Jackie Gleason).

Despite his busy schedule, Cedric still performs standup and is set to make his Tempe debut early next week. It's your chance to watch Cedric do his thing -- and laugh your a$$ off.

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Maidi Terry