Cedric the Entertainer sounds off -- The ''Honeymooners'' star talks about his new movie

As Ralph Kramden in the new big-screen remake of The Honeymooners, Cedric the Entertainer (né Cedric Kyles) has big bus-driver britches to fill: Jackie Gleason immortalized the role in the 1955-56 TV series. It’s a tough job, but they don’t call the 41-year-old comic Cedric the Entertainer for nothing.

”Playing Ralph Kramden is like stepping into a Shakespearean role. How do you redefine it, and pay homage to [the original] as well? I would find myself doing a scene and then going, ‘I want to do it over. I think I got a little too Gleason on that one.’ I wanted to do different things, but at the same time pay respect to Jackie. It was a tricky dance! It’s the mambo salsa merengue! That’s a hard dance to do.”

”For me, the most important aspect of the movie was keeping the tone the same, not so much trying to make it ‘new.’ We tried a few ‘To the moon!’s, and it never really landed. Nobody says that anymore, so you’d have to go, ‘I’LL KNOCK YOUR ASS TO THE MOON!’ Put the ‘ass’ in there and then now you’re messing with a PG-13 [the film’s rating]. And everybody didn’t like that — there was money involved.”

”People ask me about the African-American cast. When it was a TV show with an all-white cast, it was just as popular with African Americans. Hopefully, everybody will get the fact that this is just the American story. If you’re not super Bill Gates rich, everybody on some level is like, ‘I’m doing okay. I’m enjoying life, but I wish I could get a boat, or I wish I could get a bigger house.’ Whatever the next step is. You dream for it, you work for it, sometimes you scheme for it. That’s the core of this story and who Ralph Kramden is.”

The Honeymooners
  • Movie
  • 90 minutes