In just a short amount of time, Kevin Hart has gone from performing in intimate comedy clubs and landing small parts on sitcoms to selling out arenas around the world and headlining blockbuster films. Few would’ve thought that the little guy from Philadelphia would manage to reach the heights that he has in Hollywood. But thanks to his hard work, persistence and, of course, his being flat-out hilarious, Hart has become one of the biggest movie stars on the planet. Here are 25 outrageous facts about Kevin Hart.
25. Poking Fun at Himself
Hart was the creator and star of the BET show Real Husbands of Hollywood. In the show, Hart and co-stars J.B. Smoove, Nelly, Nick Cannon, and Robin Thicke appear as fictionalized versions of themselves. Hart was usually depicted as being resentful of his far more successful friends, as he tries to improve his social and professional standing in Hollywood. The show was a parody of the Real Housewives series of Bravo reality shows.
24. Slinging Shoes
After college, Hart moved to Brockton, Massachusetts, where he became a shoe salesman. According to Hart, he was actually pretty good at selling footwear and even had a job with Nike lined up. However, the clarion call of comedy beckoned and Hart dropped the shoes to pursue a full-time standup career.
23. Lil’ Kevin
One of the recurring bits in Hart’s standup and in-jokes directed toward him by other comedians are about the fact that he usually isn’t the tallest guy in the room. Hart is reportedly only 5’2” tall.
His less than average height was perhaps best mined for laughter when he was paired with the hulking physique and 6’4” tall frame of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the movies Central Intelligence and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
22. The Apatow Touch
Hart’s first on-screen appearance was on the FOX sitcom Undeclared, where he appeared as Lucien. The college-set show was created by future comedy hitmaker Judd Apatow.
Similar to Apatow’s first show Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared only ran for one season but would also develop a later cult following. The show starred future stars Jay Baruchel, Seth Rogen, Charlie Hunnam, and Jason Segel.
21. Running With Hart
Kevin Hart is a running enthusiast. In 2017, he completed the New York City Marathon in just over 4 hours and in 2018, he completed the Chicago Marathon at a similar time. His interest in running has also led to a deal with Nike, where he regularly leads special 5k runs in cities all over the world. If you want to hear Hart’s voice in your headphones cheering you on as you run, he’s led some audio programs on the Nike+ Run Club app.
20. Do the Hart-away
Another of Hart’s early onscreen appearances was in the music video for “Lean Back” by the hip hop group Terror Squad. “Lean Back” was one of the biggest hits of 2004 and it spent three weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. Later into his career, Hart would also appear in music videos for artists like T-Pain, Trey Songz, and J. Cole.
19. Musical Foray
Hart has also tried his hand at making his own music. To tie in with the release of his latest comedy special, Hart dropped a mixtape entitled Kevin Hart: What Now? (The Mixtape Presents Chocolate Droppa). In the album, released by Motown Records, Hart appears as his musical alter ego Chocolate Droppa. The album contains various skits and musical collaborations with artists like Akon, Lil Yachty, Migos, and Nick Jonas.
18. Married Life
Hart has been married two times. He first married Torrei Skipper in 2003 and the couple had two children, a daughter named Heaven and a son named Hendrix.
In 2010, they announced that they had initiated divorce proceedings.
Hart would go on to marry his second and current wife Eniko Parrish in 2016. The following year, Enniko would give birth to the couple’s first child, son Kenzo Kash.
Eniko Parrish and Kevin Hart
17. Taking Comedy Digital
In 2017, Kevin Hart launched his own streaming app called Laugh Out Loud, which is devoted to comedy shows. In collaboration with YouTube, the streaming service also launched the original series What the Fit, where, in each installment, Hart is joined by a celebrity guest as they attempt to tackle some sort of physical exercise. Guests that have been on the show include Conan O’Brien, Khloe Kardashian, and Chance the Rapper.
16. Fly Kevin Fly
As a proud Philly native, Kevin Hart was in Minneapolis to witness his beloved Philadelphia Eagles win the Super Bowl over the New England Patriots. He perhaps had one too many celebratory drinks, as he was later seen trying to crash the stage where the trophy presentation was being held.
He would later stumble onto an on-field NFL Network post-game show. However, his appearance ended shortly after he dropped an F-bomb. Seeing it was the Eagles’ first Super Bowl victory, we’ll give Kevin a pass this time!
15. Lighting Up the Silver Screen
Hart’s first major movie role was in the 2012 ensemble film Think Like a Man. The movie made over $90 million. The movie brought even more attention to Hart’s comedic chops.
His first true star vehicle was the 2014 buddy cop movie Ride Along. Although Ride Along wasn’t a critical success, it was a box office juggernaut. The movie made over $150 million and at the time held the record for the biggest box office weekend in the month of January.
14. Giving Back
In 2018, Hart announced that he was partnering with the United Negro College Fund to pledge $600,000 in scholarship money to help 18 students attending historically black colleges and universities.
In 2015, Hart made a similar pledge of $100,000 in scholarships for four students. In 2013, Hart made a donation of $250,000 to the Philadelphia school district, who in recent years have been troubled by budget shortfalls and school closures.
13. Box Office Star
Over the last decade or so, Kevin Hart has become a very dependable and bankable box office draw. In all, movies featuring Kevin Hart have made over $1.9 billion. His biggest hit thus far is Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. The film, which was released over the 2017 holiday season, has made over $400 million worldwide.
12. NBA Celebrity Game Fixture
Hart has become a regular fixture in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, held each year during All-Star Weekend. Hart has made his first appearance in the game in 2004, but really made a name for himself with his basketball abilities and some of his non-basketball antics during the games from 2012 through 2015. For each of those games, Hart was named the MVP. In 2016, Hart would take on the role of coach of one the participant teams and even at one point put himself in the game.
11. Racking Up Awards
Throughout his career, Hart has won numerous accolades. He was won multiple People’s Choice, Kids’ Choice, and Teen Choice Awards. Perhaps his biggest accomplishment so far was when he was awarded his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a recognition he received in 2016.
10. Hosting Duties
Throughout the years, Hart has hosted a variety of awards shows and other specials. In 2011, he hosted the BET Awards and in 2012 he hosted the MTV Video Music Awards, a gig that really increased his profile. In 2016, he co-hosted the MTV Movie Awards with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. In 2015, Hart served as the emcee for the Comedy Central roast of Justin Bieber.
This past year, Hart added game show host to his increasingly diverse resume, as he presented the CBS obstacle course competition series TKO: Total Knock Out. Hart has expressed a desire to host even bigger gigs in the future, like the Emmys and Oscars.
9. The Big House
The first time Hart was ever given the reins for a lead role was in the 2004 television sitcom The Big House. The series had a similar concept to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but turned on its head, as Hart’s character was a spoiled kid from Southern California who moves cross-country to live with his working-class uncle and aunt in Philadelphia. Sadly, the show only lasted for six episodes.
8. Laugh at My Pain
A major turning point for Hart’s career was the 2011 theatrical release of his comedy special Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain. He was lauded for finding humor in some of the more delicate moments from his childhood, such as his relationship with his father. The movie grossed over $7 million at the box office and became popular worldwide as people posted clips on YouTube.
7. Hitting the Road
In 2015, Hart embarked on a highly ambitious world tour for his standup act. The What Now? tour saw Hart perform 169 shows in arenas across all six inhabited continents. This standup act was filmed for a theatrical release that also featured a fictionalized spy subplot with appearances by actors Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, and Ed Helms.
6. Stadium Show
The What Now? tour performance that was filmed for the special took place at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles. It’s rather rare for a standup comic to play in front of a stadium-sized crowd; but then again, Hart is a pretty rare comedic talent. The show was a homecoming for Philly-native Hart, as he was welcomed home by a staggering crowd of 53,000 people.
5. Wild ‘n Out
Kevin Hart joined the regular cast of the MTV competitive comedic improv show Wild ‘n Out in 2007. Hart previously served as a team captain in an episode of the show’s inaugural season. He has since made a few other appearances on the show, usually directing his jokes at the expense of the show’s host and creator Nick Cannon.
4. Hart’s Family
Kevin Darnell Hart was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 6, 1979. He was raised by his single mother Nancy Hart, as his father Henry Witherspoon, was in constant legal trouble, spent many stints in jail, and battled cocaine addiction. Hart also has an older brother named Robert.
3. Slow Start
Hart’s comedy career did not have the smoothest of starts. He was booed off stage frequently and during one show, even had a piece of chicken hurled at him. These less than positive reactions forced Hart to fine-tune his comedic style and voice.
2. Live from New York
As of 2018, Kevin Hart has hosted three episodes of the long-running series Saturday Night Live. These hosting stints can be seen as a form of vindication. Hart was invited to audition for SNL early in his career, but he totally bombed. After he performed, the room was apparently completely silent, except for the sounds of creator and producer Lorne Michaels munching on popcorn.
In 2017, Hart was accused of having an extramarital affair while his second wife Enniko was pregnant. To make matters worse, someone was trying to extort money off Hart, claiming they had video evidence of the affair. And on top of that, it was discovered that the person trying to extort Hart was his friend, actor Jonathan Todd Jackson, AKA Action Jackson. The LA district attorney’s office ended up charging Jackson with felony attempted extortion and extortion by threatening letter. In September 2018, Jackson pled not guilty.
Hart would later publicly apologize for his moral transgression, and he and Enniko have seemed to put it in their past.
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