Part Chappelles Show, part In Living Color, Cedric the Entertainer Presents features one of the "Original Kings of Comedy" in an all-out-hilarious sketch variety show that was too hot for network TV. The complete series includes 6 never aired, uncensored episodes.
Cedric the Entertainer revives the popular combination of sketch comedy and sexy, scantily clad dancers in his TV series Cedric the Entertainer Presents
. Cedric honed a kind of cheerful, even gleeful cynicism in movies like Barbershop
and Intolerable Cruelty
, but he dulls his edge in this show. Which is not to say it's a flop--characters like the Cafeteria Lady (queen of all she surveys and dispenser of corn and mashed potatoes) and the Love Doctor (a marriage counselor with a Barry White fixation) are entertaining, and sketches about a couple named Cecily and Cash take a bemused look at African-American class issues. The supporting cast is energetic and eager (though notably not as funny as Cedric) and the Ced-sation dancers, who wear a wide range of skimpy outfits (including homages to Tina Turner, Bettie Page, and Men in Black
), are a babelicious bunch. But Cedric seems to restrain himself, avoiding controversy and sticking with material that makes inflammatory noises but doesn't actually set off any alarms. Cedric the Entertainer Presents: The Complete Series
includes six episodes that never made it on the air. Guest stars range from Ice Cube to Rick James to Anna Nicole Smith. --Bret Fetzer