Kevin Darnell Hart (born July 6, 1979) is an American comedian and actor.

Kevin Hart
Kevin Hart 2014 (cropped 2).jpg
Hart in March 2014
Born (1979-07-06) July 6, 1979 (age 42)
Occupation
  • Comedian
  • actor
Years active2001–present
Spouse(s)
Torrei Hart
(m. 2003; div. 2011)

Eniko Parrish
(m. 2016)
Children4
Websitekevinhartnation.com

After winning several stand-up comedy competitions, Hart had his first breakthrough when Judd Apatow cast him in a recurring role on the TV series Undeclared (2001). He has since had roles in films such as Paper Soldiers (2002), Scary Movie 3 (2003), Soul Plane (2004), In the Mix (2005), Little Fockers (2010), Think Like a Man (2012), Grudge Match (2013), Ride Along (2014) About Last Night (2014), Get Hard (2015), Central Intelligence (2016), The Secret Life of Pets film franchise (2016-2019), Ride Along 2 (2016), Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017), the Jumanji film franchise (2017-present), and Night School (2018). He also created and starred as a fictionalized version of himself in Real Husbands of Hollywood (2013–2016).

Hart's comedic reputation continued to grow with the release of his first stand-up album I'm a Grown Little Man (2009). He has since released four more comedy albums: Seriously Funny (2010), Laugh at My Pain (2011), Let Me Explain (2013), and What Now? (2016). In 2015, Time Magazine named him on its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.[1] In 2017, he launched the Laugh Out Loud Network, a subscription video streaming service in partnership with Lionsgate.

Early life

Kevin Darnell Hart[2] was born in Philadelphia on July 6, 1979,[3] the son of Nancy (died 2007)[4] and Henry Hart.[3][5] He has an older brother named Robert.[2] He was raised in a single-parent household by his mother, who worked as a systems analyst for the Office of Student Registration and Financial Services at the University of Pennsylvania.[2] His father was a cocaine addict who was in and out of jail throughout most of Hart's childhood, prompting Hart to use humor as a way to cope with his troubled family life.[3] His relationship with his father improved after his father recovered from his addiction.[4] He would also later talk about his mother in his stand-up routine, portraying her as a loving yet intimidating woman.[6] After graduating from George Washington High School, Hart briefly attended the Community College of Philadelphia before dropping out and moving to New York City.[7][8][9] He then moved to Brockton, Massachusetts, and found work as a shoe salesman.[9]

Career

Stand-up

Hart's first stand-up performance took place at The Laff House in his native Philadelphia under the name of Lil Kev, which did not go well.[4][10] His career suffered a slow start and he was booed offstage several times, once even having a piece of chicken thrown at him.[11] After those initial unsuccessful shows, he began entering comedy competitions throughout Massachusetts, with audience receptions eventually improving.[9] It took time for Hart to develop a unique comedic style. After an early period of attempting to imitate comedians like Chris Tucker, he found his own rhythm by delving into his insecurities and life experiences. He said, "Because of what I do, it has to be an open book. But right now this is a book that is being written."[11]

Hart's comedy tours began in 2009 with his act titled I'm a Grown Little Man, followed by Seriously Funny in 2010, Laugh at My Pain in 2011, and Let Me Explain in 2013, the later two of which were also released as features in movie theaters.[4] Hart grossed over $15 million from "Laugh at My Pain", making it one of the year's top-selling comedy tours.[12] Hart also has a game available through iTunes called "Little Jumpman". His Facebook page, Twitter account, and YouTube channel are all connected to and accessible through this app.[10] Most overseas fans of Hart discovered him on YouTube, as well.[13]

On April 9, 2015, Hart embarked on a comedy world tour titled the What Now? Tour at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, which concluded on August 7, 2016, at the Columbus Civic Center in Columbus, Georgia. On July 16, 2015, Universal Pictures announced that Kevin Hart: What Now?, a stand-up comedy film featuring a performance of Hart's What Now? Tour, would be theatrically released in the United States on October 14, 2016.[14] The show was filmed live on August 30, 2015, in front of 53,000 people, at Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field.[15][16]

Film and television roles

 
Hart and Charles M. Robinson in October 2009

Hart came to prominence from his guest appearance in Undeclared. He made his film debut in the film Paper Soldiers. Hart then gained further recognition from his other films such as the Scary Movie franchise, Soul Plane, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Death at a Funeral, and Little Fockers.[17] He turned down a role in the 2008 film Tropic Thunder because the character is gay, citing his own "insecurities".[18]

He played Doug in the film The Five-Year Engagement (2012) and appeared in Think Like a Man which was a box office success. He also appeared in the sequel. He had a cameo as himself in This Is the End. In 2013, Hart played a boxing promoter in Grudge Match and appeared in Exit Strategy as Mannequin Head Man. He also appeared in 35 and Ticking.

In 2014, Hart starred as Ben in Ride Along, opposite Ice Cube.[19] The film received generally negative reviews from critics, but was a major box office success.[20][21] Hart returned in the sequel, Ride Along 2, which was released on January 15, 2016.[22][23]

In 2013, Hart co-created Real Husbands of Hollywood with Chris Spencer.[24] The show follows Hart along with other married celebrities (each playing a comical fictionalized version of themselves) within the series including: Boris Kodjoe, Nelly, Duane Martin, J.B. Smoove, Nick Cannon, and Robin Thicke. Thicke didn't return for the second season due to his music career, though Hart has stated that the door is open for Thicke to return.[25] The series is intentionally filmed in a style similar to Bravo's The Real Housewives. Episodes often hinge on the "real" Hart's desperately unsuccessful attempts to climb Hollywood's celebrity social ladder (which always backfire in humiliating ways), and the character's barely-hidden jealousy of his more successful celebrity friends. A sneak peek was shown as a segment during the 2012 BET Awards and the official promo was released in October 2012.[26]

In 2015, Hart starred in the films Get Hard with Will Ferrell and The Wedding Ringer. In 2016, he starred in the movies Central Intelligence, with Dwayne Johnson, and the animated The Secret Life of Pets.[27][28] In 2017, he starred in the movies Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, in a voice role, and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle with Jack Black, Karen Gillan, and reteaming again with Johnson.[29][30] He earned an estimated $32.5 million in 2017.[31]

In 2018, he produced his first film under his production company HartBeat Productions, Night School.[32] In October 2018, it was announced that through his production company, he has signed a first-look deal with Nickelodeon. Under the deal, Hart and his HartBeat Productions banner will develop and produce live-action, scripted kids content for the network. Hart also has a first-look film deal with Universal Studios.[33]

In 2019, Hart's film The Upside, his first headlining role in a drama, was theatrically released. It also starred Bryan Cranston and Nicole Kidman.[34] Hart also reprised his role of Snowball in the sequel The Secret Life of Pets 2.

In 2021, Hart starred in Fatherhood, a drama about a man whose wife dies shortly after childbirth, leaving him to raise their daughter on his own.[35] It premiered on Netflix on June 18, 2021.[36]

In 2020, his series Die Hart premiered on Quibi on July 20 and had a great first weekend, with numerous households streaming the series. On June 9, ROKU and Hart's multi-platform comedy brand Laugh Out Loud the series' return to Roku with a second season.

In addition to returning to his starring role, Hart will also executive produce the second season; Laugh Out Loud CEO and Hart’s longtime business partner, Jeff Clanagan, will serve as a producer on the project.[37]

Hart is set to play Arnold Drummond in the Diff'rent Strokes portion of the third edition of Live in Front of a Studio Audience[38]

Upcoming projects

As of October 2016, Hart was set to portray Santa Claus in Dashing Through the Snow, a planned 2017 Disney Christmas-themed film.[39][40] In October 2018, it was reported that Chris Rock will direct Hart in a movie based on an original idea by the both of them. The film will be written by Black-ish writer Yamara Taylor and the film will revolve around a stay at home dad who raises the kids while his star CEO wife serves as the breadwinner. The man finds himself in emotional and public turmoil when his wife kicks him to the curb, and they engage in a bitter divorce and custody battle.[41] In 2019, Hart signed on to star in and produce Monopoly, Black Friday, an untitled international romantic comedy, Extreme Job, and Scrooged.[42][43][44][45] He signed a first look deal with Netflix in January 2021.[46] Hart will star as a master thief in the Netflix comedy heist film Lift directed by F. Gary Gray alongside Úrsula Corberó from Money Heist and Vincent d'Onofrio.[47]

Laugh Out Loud Productions

In 2017, Hart founded Laugh Out Loud,[48] a global media and production company to provide opportunities for top comedic talent of all ethnicities worldwide.[49]  Originally partnered with Lionsgate,[50] Hart became majority owner in 2019 after buying out most of the Liongate’s stake. LOL spans the full range of media channels, including digital, audio, linear and experiential, with four divisions: LOL Network, LOL Studios, LOL Audio and LOL X![51]

Hart has aggressively expanded LOL's reach since its founding, securing partnership deals with PlutoTV, Roku, Snap, Facebook, Peacock, and YouTube. In 2020, he extended his company's agreement with Sirius XM.[52] The network has launched successful programming, including Cold As Balls which has amassed over one billion YouTube views,[53] Kevin Hart: Lyft Legend, What the Fit, and Straight From The Hart. LOL has won numerous accolades, including nominations and awards from the Producers Guild of America, Critics' Choice Movie Awards, Realscreen, Streamy, and Webby.[54][55][56]

Known for content such as Cold As Balls, What the Fit, Die Hart, and more, the company has amassed more than 1 billion video views across its digital platforms and has worked with brand partners such as AT&T, Headspace, Lyft, Old Spice, P&G, and Viacom.[37]

Hosting

 
Hart with Dwayne Johnson and Albert Trovato in June 2016

In addition to acting, Hart has also hosted various ceremonies. Hart first hosted the 2011 BET Awards.[57] Hart then hosted the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards.[58] His longtime friend Judd Apatow, the director who gave him his first big on-screen break in the TV series Undeclared, was the one who recommended him for the gig.[59] Hart hoped that this will project him further into a side career as an emcee, stating, "Hopefully after MTV, of course we're talking Emmys, Oscars, whatever."[4] He has hosted three episodes of Saturday Night Live.[60][61] In 2015, Hart hosted the Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber.[62] In 2016, Hart co-hosted the 2016 MTV Movie Awards with Dwayne Johnson.[63]

Hart has also hosted on HQ Trivia and gave away $100,000 to 1 person with Scott Rogowsky on September 26, 2018 which had 699K players.[citation needed]

On December 4, 2018, Hart was announced as the host of the 2019 Academy Awards. Two days later, however, he withdrew from hosting duties in the wake of backlash against him over several homophobic tweets he had posted between 2010 and 2011.[64][65][66][67] He characterized the protest as non-constructive and argued, "If you don't believe people change, grow as they get older, I don't know what to tell you". On December 7, he tweeted an apology to the LGBTQ community following criticism for not issuing one the previous day.[68] On January 3, 2019, Hart stated that he was going to reconsider stepping down as host, after openly lesbian comedian Ellen DeGeneres, who has hosted the Academy Awards multiple times, expressed support for him to do so and said she had contacted the Academy to ask if Hart would be able to reverse his decision if he wished and, according to DeGeneres, they said he would be able to do so.[69] On January 8, following backlash for what was perceived as an insincere apology by critics, Hart confirmed that he would not be hosting the Academy Awards.[70] That year's ceremony was ultimately held without a host.

On September 9, 2020, executives from the Muscular Dystrophy Association announced plans to relaunch their annual MDA telethon, move it to October 2020, and make Hart its new host, taking over duties that had been previously held from 1966 to 2010 by comedian and former National MDA Chairman, Jerry Lewis.[71] Entitled The MDA Kevin Hart Kids Telethon, the new two-hour telethon will be seen exclusively through participating social media platforms; the event was held on October 24, 2020 at 8 p.m. EDT.[72]

Music

As Chocolate Droppa, his alias, he signed to Motown Records and released Kevin Hart: What Now? (The Mixtape Presents Chocolate Droppa), the soundtrack to his stand-up film of the same name.[73] He released the singles "Push It On Me" featuring Trey Songz and "Baller Alert" with Migos & T.I.[74]

Modeling

In 2017, Hart and Tommy John appeared in an underwear commercial for Macy's.[75]

Influences

Hart has cited George Carlin, Dave Chappelle, Bill Cosby, Eddie Murphy, Patrice O'Neal, Richard Pryor, Keith Robinson, Chris Rock, and Jerry Seinfeld as his influences.[76][77]

Legal issues

On April 14, 2013, Hart was charged on suspicion of drunk driving after his black Mercedes nearly collided with a tanker truck on a Southern California freeway. He failed a field sobriety test and was booked for misdemeanor DUI.[78] On August 5, he was sentenced to three years of probation after pleading no contest to one count of driving under the influence of alcohol.[79]

On September 1, 2019, Hart was a passenger in a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda that went off Mulholland Highway and rolled down an embankment near Calabasas, California. He and the driver reportedly suffered "major back injuries" and were taken to separate hospitals.[80] Hart was released from the hospital ten days later, and continued recovery at a rehabilitation facility.[81]

Personal life

Hart married Torrei in 2003, and they filed for divorce in 2010 after citing irreconcilable differences. Hart requested joint custody of their two children, daughter Heaven Leigh (born March 22, 2005) and son Hendrix (born October 8, 2007).[82][83] The divorce was finalized in November 2011.[84]

On August 18, 2014, Hart became engaged to Eniko Parrish.[85] They were married near Santa Barbara, California, on August 13, 2016.[86] Their son was born on November 21, 2017.[87] A month later, he publicly admitted to having cheated on her while she was pregnant with their son.[88] They reconciled and their second child together, a daughter, was born on September 29, 2020.[89]

Hart is a practising Christian.[90] An avid poker player since around 2010, he has entered major tournaments such as the WSOP, cashing in one event for $4,783 in 2014. He also plays cash games, like the ones organized by PokerStars, and actually became their Brand Ambassador in 2017. As such, he was featured in PokerStars ad campaigns and promotional content, alongside Usain Bolt.[91] As of September 2020, he has earned $47,828 in live tournament cashes.[92]

Work

Tours

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
2002 Paper Soldiers Shawn
2003 Scary Movie 3 CJ
Death of a Dynasty P-Diddy / Cop 1 / Dance Coach / Hyper Rapper /
H. Lector
2004 Along Came Polly Vic
Soul Plane Nashawn Wade
2005 The 40-Year-Old Virgin Smart Tech Customer
In the Mix Busta
2006 Scary Movie 4 CJ
The Last Stand F Stop / G Spot
2007 Epic Movie Silas
2008 Fool's Gold Bigg Bunny
Superhero Movie Trey
Extreme Movie Barry
Meet Dave Number 17
Drillbit Taylor Pawn Shop Dealer
2009 Not Easily Broken Tree
2010 Something Like a Business JoJo
Death at a Funeral Brian
Little Fockers Nurse Louis
2011 35 and Ticking Cleavon
Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain Himself
Let Go Kris Styles
2012 The Five-Year Engagement Doug
Think Like a Man Cedric
Exit Strategy Mannequin Head Man
2013 This Is the End Himself
Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain Himself
Grudge Match Dante Slate Jr.
2014 Ride Along Ben Barber
About Last Night Bernie
Think Like a Man Too Cedric
School Dance OG Pretty Lil' Thug Uncredited[93]
Top Five Charles
2015 The Wedding Ringer Jimmy Callahan/Bic Mitchum
Get Hard Darnell Lewis
2016 Ride Along 2 Ben Barber
Central Intelligence Calvin Joyner
The Secret Life of Pets Snowball (voice)
Kevin Hart: What Now? Himself
2017 Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie George Beard (voice) Also songwriter for "Saturday"
The Upside Dell Scott
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Franklin "Mouse" Finbar
2018 Night School Teddy Walker Also producer and writer
2019 The Secret Life of Pets 2 Snowball (voice)
Hobbs & Shaw Dinkley Uncredited
Jumanji: The Next Level Franklin "Mouse" Finbar
2021 Fatherhood Matt Logelin Also producer
The One and Only Dick Gregory Himself Also executive producer
2022 The Man from Toronto Teddy Post-production
DC League of Super-Pets Ace the Bat-Hound (voice) Post-production
TBA Borderlands Roland Post-production[94]

Television

Year Title Role Notes
2002–2003 Undeclared Luke 3 episodes
2004 The Big House Kevin 6 episodes
2004 Comedy Central Presents Himself
2005 Barbershop James Ricky 3 episodes
2005–2006 Jake In Progress Nugget Dawson 2 episodes
2006 Help Me Help You Kevin Episode: "Raging Bill"
2006 Love, Inc. James 2 episodes
2007 All of Us Greg Episode: "The B-R-E-A-K-U-P"
2007 Wild 'n Out Various 21 episodes
2009 Party Down Dro Grizzle Episode: "Taylor Stiltskin Sweet Sixteen"
2009 Kröd Mändoon and The Flaming Sword of Fire Zezelryck 6 episodes
2009 Kevin Hart: I'm a Grown Little Man Himself
2010 Kevin Hart: Seriously Funny Himself
2011–2012 Modern Family Andre 2 episodes
2011 BET Awards 2011 Himself / Host TV special
2012 Workaholics Kevin Episode: "To Kill a Chupacabraj"
2012 2012 MTV Video Music Awards Himself / Host TV special
2013–2016, 2022 Real Husbands of Hollywood Himself 60 episodes; also co-creator, writer, executive producer
2013 Second Generation Wayans Himself Episode: "The Arrival"
2013–2017 Saturday Night Live Himself / Host 3 episodes
2015 Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber Himself / Host TV special
2016 Lip Sync Battle Himself Episode: "Olivia Munn vs. Kevin Hart"
2016 2016 MTV Movie Awards Himself / Co-host TV special
2018 TKO: Total Knock Out Himself / Host 10 episodes; also executive producer
2019 Kevin Hart's Guide to Black History Himself TV special; also executive producer
2019 Kevin Hart: Irresponsible Himself TV special; also executive producer
2019–present Kevin Hart's Laugh Out Loud Himself / Host
2019 Kevin Hart: Don't F**k This Up Himself 6 episodes; also executive producer
2020 Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time Himself - Video Clue Presenter 1 episode
2020 Die Hart Himself 10 episodes; also executive producer
2021 Dave Himself Episode: "Dave"; also executive producer
2021 True Story Kid 7 episodes; also executive producer
2021 Live in Front of a Studio Audience Arnold Drummond Episode: "Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts of Life"
2021 Shark Tank Himself Season 13 Episode 10

Music videos

Year Song Artist Role
2004 "Lean Back" Terror Squad featuring Fat Joe and Remy Ma Himself
2011 "Booty Wurk (One Cheek at a Time)" T-Pain Himself
2016 "Push it On Me" Trey Songz Chocolate Droppa
2017 "Jumanji Jumanji" Nick Jonas and Jack Black Himself
2018 "Kevin's Heart" J. Cole Himself
2019 "Earth" Lil Dicky Kanye West

Bibliography

  • I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons (2017)[95]
  • Marcus Makes a Movie (2021)[96]

Discography

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
2004 Teen Choice Award Choice Breakout TV Star – Male The Big House Nominated
2005 BET Comedy Award Platinum Mic Viewers' Choice Nominated
2012 BET Awards Best Actor Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Male Scene Stealer Think Like a Man Nominated
Choice Movie Hissy Fit Nominated
2014 BET Awards Best Actor Ride Along, Real Husbands of Hollywood, About Last Night Nominated
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Comedy Series Real Husbands of Hollywood Won
Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Won
Entertainer of the Year Won
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Funny Star Grudge Match Won
MTV Movie Awards Best Comedic Performance Ride Along Nominated
Best On-Screen Duo (with Ice Cube) Nominated
Acalpulco Black Film Festival Artist of the Year Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, This Is the End, Grudge Match Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Reality Show Real Husbands of Hollywood Nominated
Choice Movie Actor: Comedy Ride Along Won
Choice Movie: Chemistry (with Ice Cube) Nominated
Choice Movie: Hissy Fit Nominated
Choice Comedian Won
2015 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Comedy Series Real Husbands of Hollywood Nominated
Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
MTV Movie Awards Best Comedic Performance The Wedding Ringer Nominated
Comedic Genius Award Won
BET Awards Best Actor The Wedding Ringer, Think Like a Man Too, Real Husbands of Hollywood and Top Five Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Comedian Nominated
2016 Billboard Touring Awards Top Comedy Tour Won
People's Choice Awards Favorite Comedic Movie Actor The Wedding Ringer Won
Favorite Cable TV Comedy Real Husbands of Hollywood Nominated
Favorite Cable TV Actor Won
MTV Movie Awards Best Comedic Performance Ride Along 2 Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actor: Comedy Nominated
Choice Movie: Hissy Fit Nominated
Choice Comedian Nominated
Choice Twit Nominated
Choice Movie Actor: Summer Central Intelligence Won
2017 People's Choice Awards Favorite Movie Actor Nominated
Favorite Comedic Movie Actor Won
Favorite Cable TV Comedy Real Husbands of Hollywood Nominated
Favorite Cable TV Actor Nominated
Favorite Comedic Collaboration (shared with Conan O'Brien and Ice Cube) Conan Nominated
Favorite Animated Movie Voice The Secret Life of Pets Nominated
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Real Husbands of Hollywood Nominated
Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance – (Television or Film) The Secret Life of Pets Nominated
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Voice From an Animated Movie Nominated
Favorite Villain Won
Most Wanted Pet Won
Best Friends Forever (shared with Dwayne Johnson) Central Intelligence Won
Best Friends Forever (shared with Ice Cube) Ride Along 2 Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Comedian Nominated
2018 Grammy Awards Best Comedy Album Kevin Hart: What Now? Nominated
Black Reel Awards Outstanding Voice Performance Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Nominated
Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Movie Actor Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Nominated
MTV Movie & TV Awards Best On-Screen Team (shared with Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Karen Gillan and Nick Jonas) Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actor – Comedy Nominated
Choice Comedian Nominated
People's Choice Awards The Comedy Act of 2018 Won
2019 Teen Choice Awards Choice Comedy Movie Actor Night School Nominated
Choice Comedian Nominated
2020 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Movie Actor Jumanji: The Next Level Nominated
Favorite Male Voice from an Animated Movie The Secret Life of Pets 2 Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program[97] Kevin Hart: Don't Fuck This Up Nominated
2021 Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series Die Hart Nominated
2022 Grammy Awards Best Comedy Album Zero Fucks Given Nominated

References

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External links