Cover image for Grown-a$$ man
Grown-a$$ man
Cedric, the Entertainer, 1965-
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Ballantine, [2002]

Physical Description:
xvii, 151 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN6162 .C326 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Grown-A$$ Man. What does it mean? It means I ain't got time to playno nonsense. For one thing, it means I don't wear baggy pants sagging off my bootie. I can't let you see my underwear label. That's not cute. I'm a grown-a$$ man. "Grown-a$$ man" is more than a catch phrase. It's a way of life. It's aperspective. Say you got a younger cousin. He's got one of those ghetto nicknames. He calls himself "Delicious." Says, "Hey, call me Delicious." You say: "Listen, I'm a grown-a$$ man. I ain't going to call a guy Delicious." Making love is no longer a full time occupation, not the way it once was. I used to do it all night, but now it takes me all night to do it. It's not that I don't like sex, but I'm a grown-a$$ man. I got other things to do. You know those 500 mile walkathon people? I'm a grown-a$$ man. I got a driver's license. ***** Cedric the Entertainer has sold out major theaters across America, starred in Spike Lee's hit movieThe Original Kings of Comedy, added his lovable appeal to the WB'sThe Steve Harvey Show, and his Bud Light commercial was voted the #1 ad on the Super Bowl. Now inGrown-A$$ Manhis laugh-out-loud, first ever bookhe proudly presents the very best of his unique brand of comedy. Here's the red-hot comic in all his hilarity, talking about everything from old music vs. new ("I like Big, curl-ain't-quite-right Luther. His curl never really curled all the way over. Always concerned me.") to the pain of political correctness ("You can't even smoke cigarettes on Earth now. You got to leave Earth to do it.") to the differences between black people and white folks. He talks about the influences that shaped him while growing up in small town Missouri, a town "so small anyone could whip your butt, not just your mama." InGrown-A$$ Man, you'll see the many faces of Cedric, all outrageously funny and delivered with his trademark warmth and wit.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

If profusion denotes quality, this must be the golden age of stand-up comics' books, what with recent tomes by Bill Cosby, Dennis Miller, Mike Nelson, and now Cedric the Entertainer, one of the Original Kings of Comedy for both tour and movie, a cable-TV regular since the early '90s. Think Chris Rock by way of Sinbad via George Wallace--the black comic, not the dead white pol. We're talking big-ass folksy humor with that always-entertaining (?) urban-contemporary edge. C's routines translate to the page much better than Cosby's and Miller's, and still, stand-up works better heard and seen than paged and read. That said, if riffs like "Malcolm X Games" (sports in which more than just the majority of players are black), "White-friendly Blacks" (Oprah si, Farrakhan no; Bill Cosby si, Bill Clinton no--Bill Clinton!?!), and "Getting Some" (whaddaya mean, "some what" ?) sound promising, chow down. Excellent episodic reading; once circulation slides, it could be deployed near staff restrooms. --Mike Tribby

Publisher's Weekly Review

In a riff that mirrors the tone and content of his celebrated stand-up routines, Cedric the Entertainer now offers Grown A$$ Man. Jocular and friendly, yet socially and politically observant, these 23 essays cover the usual comic ground (credit cards, dating, working out) with a distinctively African-American spin. Never recoiling from explicating the foibles of the African-American community ("You know how black folks like to show off. When we get a little money, we like to make sure everyone knows we hit it. It's part of being ghetto fabulous"), Cedric finds his broader appeal in his cross between being a hip "playa" and his mixture of good sense and ethics. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



Heaven Help Us! Church was a big part of my growing up. Back then, it seemed like church was so important. It was about community. It was a time when everybody got together. Sunday was the day for the whole family. You'd go home, have dinner together--cousins and uncles would show up and it'd be a nice day. It was like the movie Soul Food. That's how it was in Caruthersville, Missouri, where I lived until age ten. It was the kind of small town where the lady across the street could whip your butt if she saw you doing something wrong and your mama wasn't home. I couldn't walk home from school without hearing her. "Cedric, get off that man's grass! You know that man don't want nobody on his grass!" That was Miss Tessie Mae. "I hate her," I'd say under my breath. "I heard you!" And that lady really did hear you even though she was sitting way up on her porch. She would whip your ass and then make sure you got another whipping when your mama got home from work. Those were the good old days. You can imagine how important Sunday was in a town like that. My grandmother was one of those real religious people who believed the Lord did everything. She was constantly muttering something about the Lord. "Ooooh, I woke up this morning, and the Lord put on my house shoes, yes he did. Then I was drivin' down the street and the light turned red, but the Lord told me to keep on going." "No he didn't, Grandma," I said. "The Lord doesn't tell people to break the law." I'd hear her speech every Sunday morning for years to come. She didn't care what time you got home from partying on Saturday night. She didn't care that you were sound asleep--one of those good, satisfying, deep sleeps. She'd come in and hit you with the speech. "You can't tell me you've got time to party on Saturday, but you ain't got time for the Lord on Sunday. Get on up and go on in there." And you'd know it was useless to argue. Then you'd find yourself sitting up at church with your nightclub clothes on, trying to stay awake. And you aren't the only one. Everybody's nodding--except your grandma and mother. They see your head start jerking like a fishing lure, your eyelids dropping, and you know what happens next? You get that pinch. "Ouch!" Then you look the other way. "Man, you got a peppermint, a Certs, a lemon drop, or something? I'm trying to tell you, I ain't gonna make it." But that was back in the day, before Altoids. Because two or more Altoids will freeze your whole head. Back then, when you're ten, you're still trying to resist. You start thinking about your daddy. He never goes to church. You see him sitting at home, watching television, drinking a beer, scratching himself, having the kind of good old time you wish you could have. In fact, he'd never look as happy as he did while waving good-bye and talking about praying for him. "Y'all pray for me now," he'd say. "Go on ahead." So you'd turn to your grandma. "What about Daddy?" "What about him?" "He don't never go to church?" "Your daddy knows better. But he's decided he'd rather be going to hell." And you know she's right. You know your daddy's in trouble. You picture yourself arriving at the pearly gates and St. Peter's saying to him, "Hey dawg, remember that Sunday you didn't feel like getting dressed?" That's when I think, "A little church might be good for me. Let me just run down and get a TiVo so I don't miss the game." My favorite part about going to church was the change I got from my mother. It was just a few coins. I'd hit the bottom of the basket as I pretended to put the money in while making the basket jingle. I wanted my mom to think I'd put the money in, though secretly I put it in my pocket. Only me and God knew. Then after church, I'd buy gum and suckers. I was fine until bedtime. Then I'd think, "Am I going to hell now?" The other big thing to do on Sundays was go to the Dairy Queen, and everyone in church started to think about that around the same time. So about fifteen minutes before church was over, people started whispering to each other. There'd be light bickering in which you could tell people were saying, "You go." "No, you go." "Just get up, I'm right behind you." "That's right, amen . . . I went first last week!" Then people made their moves. One person would pretend to cough and finally get up. He'd be followed by another. Next thing you know, everyone's at the Dairy Queen. The preacher, though not finished with his sermon, knew what was going on, and as the last person hurried out, he worked it right into his sermon, saying, "God wants you to . . . order me a Dilly bar." "Amen," someone would say from the choir. "Make that two." The Dairy Queen was right next door to the city jail, so often times you had relatives at the window, hollering down, "Hey, kinfolk, throw me up a banana split or a Blizzard or something." "Naw, that's too messy. How about a Dilly bar?" At least you got some visiting time in from the Dairy Queen. That's how it was back in the day. But there seems to be less of that now. Society as a whole seems to be going in a totally different direction. Today, it doesn't seem like church and Sundays have the same importance. You have so many religious leaders, so many televangelists, who are as big as rappers. They're just as famous as the celebrities. They live inside their fame. These guys got private jets. They have mansions. They have money. They're living the same lifestyle as the celebrities. They're friends with Will Smith and Chris Tucker. They want them coming to their church--not so much to save them, but to be associated with them. Church has become trendy. Choirs have record deals. Going to church nowadays is like going to a concert. It's semicool to go. It's star-studded, people looking around to see who's coming. If you're a celebrity, you get to park in a special parking lot and go in a special back door. You're a celebrity, you don't have to do the regular thing. That's church in L.A. As if God cares that you're a celebrity, like there's going to be some special roped-off section in Heaven. I go to church and folks got their instant box cameras with them. People wanting a picture and an autograph . . . during services. "Can you sign this?" "Uh, that's your Bible, dawg!" "Yeah, sign right in Matthew, chapter 7 between verses 20 and 21." I guess all of that has me a little tainted. The regular common folks want autographs. Is that necessary on a day when everyone should be normal? How do you get celebrity status in a church? There's something about church and the church environment that indicates we all should be equal because we're all looking for the same thing--salvation. No matter what, you still have to go to church. When you haven't been to church in a while, you start feeling guilty. You start having thoughts, like maybe the end is near, and suddenly you start hearing a deep, authoritative voice. "You might want to get up in there, dawg." "Is that you God?" "I ain't saying. Alls I'm sayin' is you might want to get your behind into My house soon." "What do you mean, soon?" "I mean right now. Not now, but right now!" Then you start promising yourself that you're going, but you don't make it. "I'm gonna get on up 'n go on in," you say. "That's what I'm gonna do." But you don't go, and the next week you raise the ante. "I'm a go in and pray some, that's what I'm gonna do. I'm a iron my clothes on Saturday. That way, I can just hop right up and go on in." It's easy to spot the brothers who haven't been to church for a long time. They're the ones who don't know what to do. They walk in thinking they're in a club and find themselves in the pulpit. "Hey, player, these seats taken? These two?" pointing to the choir director's and deacon's seats. "Ah, they're somebody's seats? All right, damn!" But he stays cool. He tries another seat. "Hey, dawg, that's where the preacher sits. You can't sit there. That's where the preacher go!" It's frightening when you do finally go to church after not having been in a long time. First, you might be identified as a visitor, which means you might have to stand up and have words. And that's a lot of pressure at a black church. You don't know that church language, which is painfully obvious if you've got to follow that lady who's out traveling. She knows the whole little speech and everything. She gets up right in front of you, giving honor to God, looking you right in the eye. "Pastor, members, and friends. I come to you on behalf of the Greenway Missionary Baptist Church, Greenway, Mississippi, where my reverend, the Honorable Thesselonious Archinkaid Junior the Third says . . ." The brother behind her starts panicking. He's next. He starts talking to himself. "I'm in trouble. I don't know none of that shit. What am I supposed to say?! I don't know none of what that woman's saying. All I know is hip-hop language." Then he just thinks, "What the hell!" because when his turn comes, he stands up in the middle of the church and gives it a try. "Ummm, ummm, first of all, givin' big ups to God, Reverend, you 'bout it, you 'bout it. Everybody, big ups. And the choir. Y'all real tight. Real tight. That's on everything. Big ups to y'all." He keeps on rolling until the sister in the pew next to him leans over and whispers, "Sit your ass down." The other pressure you might have to deal with going to church after a long dry spell is a good sermon. A good sermon puts a lot of damn pressure on you, boy. You're sitting in your seat and the preacher is doing his thing, calling people up. When he gets like that, he'll eventually find you. You'll think he's finished, but then the Lord will remind him you're there. "Well, I feel it's just one more person in here that wants to come to the Lord," and he's looking directly at you. A good sermon is dangerous. It gets you thinking. It starts that internal debate the preacher spoke about. You're in your seat going through it, thinking about it, telling yourself, "Damn, I should go on up there to the altar. I should go ahead on. Pastor's right. I should get my life together. Start right now. Today. If only I didn't . . . have that last little bit of weed left at the crib . . . I'm a join next week. That's what I'm gonna do." Once, I went to an all-white Catholic church, and I noticed that they prayed differently than black folks. It's true. White folks be praying about trees, clean oceans, peace. They don't care what it is, as long as they're in church they're happy to pray. "Oh Father, thank you for the trees. Thank you for the birds that fly, Father, and the rivers that run. And the streets we drive on. Amen." Now you know, if you was at the Great Amount Give A Lot Missionary Baptist Church--in other words, a black church--the prayer is going to be totally different. Black folk pray for stuff that they need--like their lottery numbers to come through. Then there's always that brother who comes out and prays the same way every time, and for the same things, and you know it's going to be long. You've been planning your escape. You saw Heaven, and it looked like the open highway straight to home. Suddenly you're like, "Oh no, not him! Damn, the game's on!" But that brother don't care about no game. He's got a whole list of praying to do. "Dear Lord, you gave me government cheese. Yes you did, Father. I was able to make me a grilled cheese sandwich that was burnt around the edges just like I like it. And Father, when my cable got turned off, your kindness let me run cable from next door. Jesus, y'alright, you such a friend to me. In Jesus's name, Amen." White folks are so orderly and solemn when they take communion. They're full of quiet contemplation. It ain't that way in a black church. There's always that brother sitting up all important, having the communion wine like he was at a club. He knocks one back and says, "Yo, usher, let me get two more of them. Y'all got any snacks? What's up playa, you gonna eat your cracker? Don't shush me, I'm just askin' if you was gonna eat your cracker?! I was just askin' . . . damn!" Chapter Two My Mama Knows Best When I was around eleven, my family moved to Berkeley, Missouri, a suburb north of St. Louis. At the time, all the black families were moving from the inner city into the suburbs, and we didn't want to be left behind. Actually, we had to get out. White people were moving into the city, building lofts, decorating them with ferns, and ruining perfectly good ghettos. My mother and father were divorced. My dad was pretty much a weekend dad. For the most part growing up, I lived with my mama, my sister, and my grandmother. Being around all those women is where I started learning about things. I mean the real deal. I'm talking about all those little secrets that explain so much. My grandmother used to have this bag hanging over the bathtub. I had no idea what it was, so I used to fill it with water and play army man in the tub, squirting water all over the damn place. My mother busted me doing that and gave me a whooping. "What did I do?" "You touched that!" my mother said, pointing to what had been my rifle. "What is it?" She explained what it was and what it was used for, and . . . "Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! I ain't never gonna do that again." I learned more than I needed to know. I remember asking, "What's going on with Grandma? It's snowing outside and she's fanning herself, saying it's hotter 'n hell." Excerpted from Grown-A$$ Man by Cedric the Entertainer All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.