COVENANT BLU—Just a quarter-mile from Redd Foxx Lane in north St. Louis, now aptly runs Cedric The Entertainer Way, a street named in honor of comedy “King” Cedric “The Entertainer” Kyles.
The entertainer’s street-namesake spans a stretch of Vandeventer Blvd. between Olive and Washington Boulevards, and alongside The Kappa House, where a warm, crowded and joke-filled honoring ceremony occurred last Saturday morning.
“When I was growing up, it was James ‘Cool Papa’ Bell street (and, course, Redd Foxx) and now kids growing up will know: “Cedric ‘The Entertainer’ Way,” Cedric said of the dedication.
While the comic already boasts a star cemented on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and currently stars on the CBS sitcom “The Neighborhood,” he said this hometown honor is just as important to him.
“It’s good to know that people at home have your back and I am humbled and thankful,” he said. He then joked, “I don’t want nothing happening on my street, no crimes – don’t steal no Amazon packages or nothing.”
It’s fitting that Cedric The Entertainer’s street encompasses the Kappa House. The comic, who attended Southeast State University, is a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. It’s also significant due to its proximity to his early, nearby performance venues.
In his formative comic years, he hosted a weekly comedy show called “Ced’s Backyard” at the former Manny’s Lounge just a block away. One of his first big shows was at The Fox Theater in Grand Center. But he said it was at nearby Grandel Square Theatre where he had an eye-opening moment.
“I did five characters in one night [when I was at Grandel Square Theatre] and one of my friends working there that night took off his apron and said, ‘I’m going with you,” joked the Entertainer.
The funnyman also named The Wiz on the east side (Saguet, Illinois) where he hosted a weekly gong show as the source of his confidence.
“When I went to Hollywood, I had that same confidence and I felt that spirit of being of a St. Louis guy,” he said.
And he always finds his way back to St. Louis.
“He knows his way to success, he knows his way to Hollywood, he knows his way to Heaven and that’s and big part of his success. And he knows his way home,” said Sharita Kyles Wilson, Cedric’s sister.
Steve Shankman of Contemporary Productions added, “No matter how busy he is, he always comes home to talk and raise money.”
The “hometown hero,” as 19th Ward Alderwoman Marlene Davis called him, also received proclamations from the State of Missouri and the City of St. Louis, marking Dec. 15, 2018 as “Cedric The Entertainer Day” in St. Louis.
Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed said that while the comic is an entertainer, he is also a role model.
“He gives young people someone to follow – this is a business for him and Eric.
Eric Rhone is Cedric’s longtime friend and business partner and co-produces “The Neighborhood.”
The comic is currently performing on the national Get Down tour with George Lopez, Eddie Griffin and D.L Hughley.
“The Neighborhood” can be seen Mondays at 7 PM on KMOV, Channel 4.