Cedric The Entertainer: Love, Laughs and Longevity

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Comedian, actor and host Cedric the Entertainer got his start in the comedy game by doing stand up comedy. He was selling insurance and suggested by a friend to enter a comedy contest. After entering the contest, he won and never looked back. Now with movies, TV shows and a host of comedy specials later, he still loves coming back to his roots in stand up.

“The thing about standup is with most of the big comedians is you gotta keep your finger on the pulse of being able to get out and get to the audience and getting that live immediate response. That’s the main thing that I like about it. Even when you do movies, you’re dealing with other writers, directors and editors, and everybody’s got an opinion. So for me, it’s that immediate response of going out there and throwing some stuff out there into the atmosphere of folks and getting that response. Having a good time and making people laugh right there in a live environment is kind of what I was raised on so I just feel like I have to always do it.”

Now, instead of stand up comedy, there is something else Ced is standing up for something that hits even closer to home.

Cedric’s father, who is currently living with diabetes, has diabetic nerve pain (diabetic peripheral neuropathy) – often felt as a burning, shooting pain in his feet and hands. And just like any good son, Cedric is using his voice to tell everyone he knows with diabetes that you don’t have to live in pain anymore. BlackDoctor.org spoke with Cedric to see why he’s so passionate about encouraging people to start a conversation with their doctors.

BDO: How is your family health history?:
CTE: Fortunately, my health is doing well.  My dad has been dealing with Type 2 diabetes since ’09 so I’ve seen what it can do to a person, their body and family.

Cedric’s dad isn’t the only one with a health connection. The Rosetta Boyce Kyles Women’s Pavilion at SSM St. Mary’s Health Center in St. Louis, Cedric’s hometown, is named after Cedric’s late mother, Rosetta Boyce Kyles. Mrs. Kyles died on June 1, 2015. The women’s pavilion, serves a full spectrum of women’s health care needs; from adolescence through post-menopause clinical care, with a focus on women’s health, not only in the traditional areas of obstetrics and gynecology, but also in areas as diverse as sports medicine and cardiology. The pavilion happens be one of the first comprehensive women’s health centers of its kind in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

BDO: How did your relationship with the American Diabetes Association come about?:

CTE: Started when I was hosting Millionaire and they being one of the sponsors, I found out about the work they were doing with diabetic nerve pain and SteponUp.com and thought it would be great to help others as well.

BDO: What would you say to a family member who has diabetes?: 
CTE: First thing people should do is simply go see your doctor, man. People get diagnosed with diabetes and think they could handle it themselves, but they can’t. You know everybody has their own thoughts about how to handle something: chicken feet, Vick’s vapor rub and…