Kevin Darnell Hart is an American stand-up comedian, actor and producer. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Hart began his career by winning several amateur comedy competitions at clubs throughout New England, culminating in his first real break in 2001 when he was cast by Judd Apatow for a recurring role on the TV series Undeclared. The series lasted only one season, but he soon landed other roles in films such as Paper Soldiers (2002), Scary Movie 3 (2003), Soul Plane (2004), In the Mix (2005), and Little Fockers (2010).
He also released four more comedy albums, Seriously Funny in 2010, Laugh at My Pain in 2011, Let Me Explain in 2013, and What Now? in 2016. In 2015, Time Magazine named Hart one of the 100 most influential people in the world on the annual Time 100 list. He starred as himself in the lead role of Real Husbands of Hollywood.
Hart's first gig was at The Laff House in Philadelphia under the name of Lil Kev, which did not go well. His career suffered a slow start, as he was booed off stage several times, once even having a piece of chicken thrown at him. After those initial unsuccessful shows, Hart began entering comedy competitions throughout Massachusetts and audience receptions of his performances eventually improved.
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. "Because of what I do, it has to be an open book," he has said. "But right now this is a book that is being written."
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. Hart grossed over $15 million from "Laugh at My Pain", making it one of the year's top-selling comedy tours. 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. Most overseas fans of Hart discovered him on YouTube, as well.
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 Kevin Hart's What Now? Tour, would be theatrically released in the United States on October 14, 2016. The show was filmed live on August 30, 2015, in front of 53,000 people, at Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field.
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. He turned down a role in the 2008 film Tropic Thunder because the character is gay, citing his own "insecurities".
Kevin Hart with director Charles M. Robinson, October 2009 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. The film received generally negative reviews from critics, but was a major box office success. Hart returned in the sequel, Ride Along 2, which was released on January 15, 2016.
In 2013, Hart co-created Real Husbands of Hollywood with Chris Spencer. 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. The series is intentionally filmed in a style similar to Bravo's The Real Housewives. Episodes often hinge on the "real" Kevin 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.
In 2018, he produced his first film under his production company HartBeat Productions, Night School. 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. 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.
As of October 2016, Hart is set to portray Santa Claus in Dashing Through the Snow, a planned 2017 Disney Christmas-themed film. In October 2018, 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 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.
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