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Polished Edge: Cedric the Entertainer of ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’
Q: Was Steve Harvey’s success in taking his comedic sensibility to “Family Feud” an inspiration for you to succeed Meredith Vieira on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”?
A: Definitely. Right off, it was one of the reasons why I was excited about doing the show ... Steve taking “Family Feud” and really making the show popular again. He has a lot of fun doing it. I called him. I was like, you know, “You’re having a real good time doing this show, and I have the opportunity to host ‘Millionaire.’ ”
So for me, it was one of the reasons -- and, of course, seeing other comedians who have done it: Drew Carey, Wayne Brady, Jeff Foxworthy. A lot of those guys motivated me to look at this as a great opportunity to do something fun and exciting.
Q: Is it also an opportunity to extend your own brand as a comedian?
A: I think that that’s the big thing about it, the opportunity to be a stand-up, to be engaged with the contestants and a bit of the audience. You can have fun and keep the show energetic while keeping the gameplay alive, and I think that’s what most comedians find attractive about this particular form of entertainment.
Q: What was your first thought about inheriting the “Millionaire” hosting job from Meredith Vieira and before her, Regis Philbin?
A: I just mainly wanted to be as sharply dressed as Regis. And hug and kiss as many people as Meredith.
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