The year was 2002, and moviegoers were introduced to what would become a Black movie universe with the release of “Barbershop.”
The film centered around the importance of communal gathering through a local institutional staple, the Black barbershop. In it, we see the struggles of entrepreneurship, the importance of relationships, an exposition of gender equity, and an emphatic acknowledgment of Black cultural norms.
Among the many characters in the film, one of the most memorable was “Eddie,” portrayed by Cedric The Entertainer. However, the audacious and opinionated onscreen uncle we all grew to love almost didn’t come to life in the same way.
Born Cedric Antonio Kyles, Cedric The Entertainer started his career as a stand-up comedian gaining some acclaim as the host of BET’s “Comic View.” From there, his career would blossom as he became a co-star of the WB’s “The Steve Harvey Show” as well as a co-headliner on the comedic tour and movie “The Kings of Comedy,” with Steve Harvey, DL Hughley, and the late Bernie Mac.
Cedric also starred in other films that include “Kingdom Come,” “The Honey Mooners,” and “Johnson Family Vacation.”
Cedric’s success is undeniable, as he has brought laughter to the homes and hearts of many through the decades of his career. Still relevant today and cemented in the entertainment industry as a living legend and icon, it wasn’t his stand-up that catapulted him to stardom. His role as Eddie in “Barbershop” came with a $150,000 payout and changed the game for his career.
“In my mind, I knew I wanted to be this old man because I…just used to do all these old characters. I was like, ‘I know that old man.’ So when I was in the read, they was like, ‘Yo, you want to do the old man?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll do the old man,” Cedric said on the podcast.
And once he got in the role, he rocked it and made far more money in the second and third installments of the “Barbershop” series.
“This was one of those things, like a choice, knowing a character is for you, and it has changed my career for sure,” Cedric said. “The first ‘Barbershop,’ that was one of those things that change your career. The first ‘Barbershop,’ I got like $150,000, and the second one was way, way, way over there,” Cedric explained.