Kedar Ashadd Flies High [classic article]

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You have seen Kedar Ashadd, born Andre Butler, on BET, HBO, In Living Color, in several independent films, and in comedy clubs across the Unites States. Kedar has opened for the likes of the Amazing Jonathan, Tommy Davidson, Jaimie Foxx, and Steve Harvey. This articulate father of two was the No. 2 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and went on to become Executive Chef at Madison Square Garden and the Kennedy Center. He specialized in creating Mexican, African and Portuguese menus and even made borscht.

Just to give you a glimpse of the dashing life of the celebrity reporter, know that I landed this interview because Kedar was my seatmate in First Class on a Baltimore to Cleveland flight. The well-dressed Ashadd agreed to be interrogated after I asked, “Who are you?” The Mitchellville, Md., resident was just beginning a 20-city tour.

GREEN: How old are you?

Kedar Ashadd: 27… I guess I should say that. Or put 30. I like that you keep it real. I’ve been a comedian for 7 years. When I was working as a chef, people were always saying, ‘You should be a comedian.’

So, you must be doing well — you’re in First Class.

Ha Ha. I’m a frequent flyer.

So, are you a full-time comedian?

Yes, but it’s still a struggle.

Do you have any investments?

Well, my car and my summer house. Next question.

Are you involved with any charities?

I have performed for NASA and for Cerebral Palsy. I have a special project for kids in school that I do: “Special Vibes.” I do this with my best friend, Griff, a local DJ. The kids want to see someone they’ve heard about, someone to talk to.

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Do you manage your own money?

I’m self-made, no agent, no manager. My financial goals are to physically set myself to handle my family — kids in the best schools, open doors for people, stuff for my ma, like diamonds, cash.

What won’t you spend money on?

Women. How ’bout that? I’m not like other comedians, spending their last $35 on a strip joint instead of the bills. For a lot of comedians, women are the downfall — mentally, spiritually.

How do you get your gigs?

I go from state to state, I go to LA. I’m always networking, volume! Griff be on the radio, he knows DJs from state to state. Radio is popular.

Do your kids know you’re famous?

My kids know. I do radio spots. My daughter wants to be on TV. I believe she will be.

What’s the worst of fame?

They expect a lot from you.

What’s the best of fame?

I’m a Leo, I like to be in the spotlight. What are you?

I’m a Leo, too. What projects do you have in the works?

I’m getting up my own Web site. I’m developing a cartoon character, Kedar. I’ve had the idea for 3 1/2 years, through my experience. It’ll be a role model for kids. I’ve always been a good person. Also, I will have an alien character.

Have you ever had your material stolen?

Yes, by the most famous people. Martin Lawrence, Eddie Murphy. They’ll steal it.

I just wrote that down.

Oh no, you didn’t!

Do you ever copy material?

I’m too animated to steal, I have an abundance.

What kind of training do you have?

I’ve had two years of acting class in New York and Maryland.

What’s Martin Lawrence doing that ol’ tired drag queen stuff for?

He knows it sells. It’s mainstream, for all walks of life. He’d better get it while he can, ’cause Kedar’s coming.

What does a typical gig pay?

$3,000, plus expenses.

What did you get paid when you first started?

When you first start, it’s a pimping game. $25 to $50.

Would you want to write for Saturday Night Live?

No, I want to work for myself. I would like to do commercials.

I decided to leave my seatmate be. He really just wanted to nap. As we deplaned, Kedar said he liked my blue eyes and reddish blonde hair. Twenty minutes later, I was just about to board the connecting flight to O’Hare. Kedar ran up the gate yelling out my name. He’d found me, and gave me a press pack, and all the other passengers were wondering who I was. I thought he was going to ask for a date. At least I got the bio and photo.

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