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A consummate performer: Cedric the Entertainer joins the Aces of Comedy lineup

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The Mirage’s Aces of Comedy series will be welcoming a new face to its star-studded lineup Dec. 29 and 30: Cedric the Entertainer.

Best known for his performances in The Original Kings of Comedy, “The Steve Harvey Show” and TV Land’s hit series “The Soul Man,” Cedric the Entertainer, whose real name is Cedric Antonio Kyles, promises to live up to his stage name during his Aces of Comedy debut.

“There will be dancing, singing, stand-up, a little lighting—people will be quite surprised by the well-roundedness of the show,” Cedric told Examiner.com. “I’ve been doing this for 20 years, so there will be some solid jokes; I’ll actually be retiring a lot of the material (following the Vegas dates) so I can work on my upcoming special. We’re going to have a good time.”

Although Cedric may be making his Aces of Comedy debut, the observational comedian is no stranger to Las Vegas. When asked if he had any favorite restaurants in town, Cedric immediately noted Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab inside The Forum Shops at Caesars as one of his favorite spots to eat.

“I’m interested to see what’s new in town, though,” he remarked. “There are a couple places inside Wynn I’ve heard about, and one that’s more out by Red Rock.”

When asked if he had any guilty food pleasures, the funnyman replied that he’s “a sucker for truffle anything.”

“If there’s a baked biscuit with truffle butter on it, I’m getting it,” he replied. “I don’t care if it’s a Hungry Jack biscuit for $8,000, I’ll pull out my Black Card.”

Since the advent of camera phones, though, Cedric admitted that sometimes it’s a bit difficult to enjoy a meal out in public.

“The thing that gets me the most is when your meal comes and someone comes up to you and says, ‘I know you’re eating, and I hate to bother you, but I can I get a picture?’ It’s like they know that what they’re doing is rude, yet they’re doing it anyway—so I can’t let them off the hook,” Cedric said. “Wait until I’m done eating. I also don’t like when people stop me when I’m with my kids or take a picture of my kids without asking me first. It’s like, ‘Oh—click!—is this your son?’”

While there’s no doubt Cedric has become a household name for a variety of reasons—stand-up comedy, television, movies—the versatile comedian added yet another title to his diverse resume this past fall: game show host. Joining a long list of comedians-turned-game show hosts (Howie Mandel, Bob Saget, Drew Carey, Wayne Brady, Jeff Foxworthy), Cedric took over as host of the popular game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” during its 12th season in national syndication. When asked what makes being a game show host such a natural stepping stone for comics, Cedric noted the “unique skill set” it takes to work with a live audience.

“The comedic mind just works well to take the tension out of the situation at hand,” he replied. “You’ve got this contest going on and someone trying to win money—that’s a pretty serious situation, and things can get a little tense and mundane. We put a twist on things to help people relax.”

Cedric noted that the hardest part for him becoming a game show host wasn’t learning how to work the crowd, but trying not to steer the contestants in the wrong direction.

“There are times where you just think you’re smarter than the contestant and you want to be like, ‘A? Really, that’s your final answer?’ There probably have been three times where if someone had listened to me, I would have ruined their life ’cause I was wrong, so I’m so thankful they didn’t listen to me,” he stated with a laugh.

Given all the success Cedric has had, it’s only natural to wonder what he spent his first million on when he became a millionaire.

“I was actually pretty conservative,” Cedric said. “I bought a couple of houses to live in: one in St. Louis and one in California. They were good investments. Before I was a millionaire, though, back when I was just a thousand-aire, that’s when I went crazy. I’d go to a fish fry shack and get a sandwich so good I’d buy the restaurant—and I don’t even cook! I’m ashamed of the number of diamond watches I have—rapper watches, and I’m not even a rapper! I have Seikos with diamonds on them!”

Considering most Aces of Comedy performers turn their Las Vegas engagements into recurring gigs, Examiner.com had to ask if Cedric had any plans to return to the A-list comedy lineup in the near future.

“It’s something we’re discussing,” Cedric admitted. “I’d love having a little residency like all the cool DJs; I think it would be great to help develop a brand. Since I like music and dancing so much, I can put on more of a show in Las Vegas. The city allows me that [luxury] because people are expecting to see all kinds of stuff here with Cirque du Soleil and all the Broadway shows—anything can happen.”

For now, Cedric is just grateful to be in such great company.

“All the people (performing as part of the Aces of Comedy series) are people I respect and who have great comedic brands,” Cedric commented. “They’re all professionals and they’re all known for putting out a quality product. It’s like when you purchase a Mercedes or something from Sony, you know you’re getting a good buy, so to be a part of a group like that, that’s something I’ve always strived for.”

As for what else Cedric is striving for in the New Year, the funnyman said he doesn’t make a lot of resolutions, but does have one for 2014.

“I want to get healthier,” he replied. “As I get older, that’s becoming a top priority. But it’s really not so much a New Year’s resolution as it is a life mantra. So I guess I’ll be eating less truffle butter in the New Year—unless it’s truffle lite!”

Cedric the Entertainer performs inside The Mirage Dec. 29 and 30 at 10 p.m. Tickets are priced at $65.99, $75.99 and $95.99, plus tax and service charges. To reserve your seats, call 702-791-7111 or simply click here.

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