Let’s try and cook up a new show, all right? First, take “Saturday Night Live” skits and add the flare from the cast of “Mad TV”. Now throw in an original king of comedy, and you have “Cedric the Entertainer Presents,” a new variety show on Fox which features, you guessed it, the big lovable comedian Cedric and his cast of three other aspiring stars (Amy Brassette, Shaun Majumber and Wendy Raquel Robinson). It sounds like must see TV, but then something goes terribly wrong: the show starts.

Paul Wong
Courtesy of FOX
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Cedric calls his extravaganza an “old-school variety show.” Well, he got that part right. The skits look like rejects, or at least rip-offs, of old “SNL” sketches.

The Sensation Dancers start off the program with their gyrating movement and then the man of the hour (or maybe half-hour), Cedric, makes his appearance and proceeds to injure all the female rump-shakers with his ridiculous movements. He gives an uninspired SNL-esque monologue, and then it’s on to the skits.

Take the first one: A smooth playa (Cedric) on a date with a girl who proceeds to run into his hood-bred ex-girlfriend who, after a few stereotypical lines (i.e. she went to the movies to see Snoop Doggy Dogg and Ice Cube in “Deader Than a Mug”) ends up fighting with the other girl while a stunned Cedric, who looks like he doesn’t even belong in the scene, proclaims to them “This is better than the movie.”

Skits featuring a golf announcer sweating bullets and a gagging man applying for a job also fall by the wayside. However, two sketches are tolerable, the first being Mrs. Cafeteria Lady (Cedric) who insults her students and personifies herself with various objects to show her attitude (“I’m a cup of coffee. I’m hot, black and strong”).

The next features the Love Doctor (Cedric again), a suave Barry White-style therapist type who encourages everyone to “get their love on.” Brief dance interludes and boring black-and-white behind the scenes footage cap off the production.

If you’re sitting around some Wednesday night, waiting for “The West Wing” or some other show to start, “Cedric the Entertainer Presents” may be a good distraction. Unfortunately, watching Cedric made out to be the star in these condensed, undeveloped skits when the diamond in the rough is the supporting cast may cause you to start channel surfing.

A quote from Cedric from his Bud Light commercial fame sums up his project best: “It’s not that bad.” Unfortunately, it’s not that good, either.

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