Not just one of the hottest tickets at this year’s New York Comedy Festival, but one of the hottest comedy tickets in general is comedian Kevin Hart. Kevin’s been working the circuit, climbing his way up the showbiz ladder for a decade now and his poised to become a household name and comedy legend. Get the facts about what you need to know on Kevin Hart.
1. His First Hollywood Break Came From Director Judd Apatow
Long before playing the role of “angry and potentially violent customer” in The 40-Year-Old Virgin Kevin caught his first break in the underacted Judd Apatow television series Undeclarred. Apatow also had a hand in Kevin landing his 2012 MTV VMA hosting gig, after recommending him for the mc role to MTV president Stephen Friedman.
2. The Clubs of New York are Where He Cut His Teeth in Comedy
During Kevin’s appearance on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, he discussed with Marc his first experiences playing now gone NYC clubs like The Boston Comedy Club and riding up from Philly with veteran comic Keith Robinson.
3. He Has a Terrifying Fear of Dolphins
The man isn’t a Flipper fan. Please. Help him, baby Jesus.
4. His First Attempt at Stand-Up was a Horrifying Experience
The hometown Philadelphia crowd didn’t give Kevin at warm welcome – at least not at first. Kevin first took the stage at Philly’s infamous Laff House Comedy Club under the stage name Lil’ Kev – the crowd wasn’t impressed, booing Lil’ Kev off stage. One man supposedly even through a piece of chicken at Kevin. Beaten and defeated Kevin started performing around Massachusetts and NYC, before returning to the Philly stages.
5. His Concert Specials and Tours Clean Up at the Box Office
On Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, he dubbed Kevin “probably the biggest comic in the country right now.” He wasn’t lying. Kevin’s stand-up tour last year was the most successful comedy tour on Ticketmaster, with two shows in Los Angeles pulling $1.5 million in sales. Not to mention that his concert special Laugh at My Pain, is the seventh most successful stand-up film of all time. Being in the company of Richard Pryor is never a bad thing in comedy.
6. He’s One of the Shortest Comics on the Circuit
Standing at just five-foot-four, he’s one of the shortest (definitely the most successful five-foot-four comic) comedians working today. As fans know, his stature has provided the fuel for some of his most notable comedy bits.
7. Laugh at My Pain is No Joking Matter
When Kevin’s 2011 special Laugh at My Pain came out, the title was a perfect description of the source for his humor. He doesn’t shy away from the fact that his father was in and out of jail during his childhood and battling a sever crack cocaine addiction. Sure it sounds depressing, but that’s exactly the sort of stuff that humor spurs from. “There’s no such thing as a bad idea to a cokehead. Among the downsides? When your dad shows up stoned to a spelling bee and roots for it like a sporting competition.”
8. He’s Posed to Follow in the Footsteps of His Successors
It’s not surprising that some of his biggest comedy heroes also happen to be among the most successful comedians of all time. Names like Bill Cosby, Dave Chappelle, Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock helped influence Kevin’s stand-up and he’s not far behind reaching their success. Considering that Eddie Murphy was one of the top drawing comics in his early 20s and Dave Chappelle found huge success in his early 30s, Kevin now 32, is on fast streak with Laugh at My Pain and the follow-up Let Me Explain.
9. He’s a Die Hard NBA Fan
He may not have the height of an NBA baller, but that he doesn’t mean he doesn’t have at least some of the skills. He was voted MVP at the NBA Celebrity All-star game, despite being ejected in the fourth quarter for throwing a shoe. Hey, it happens…
10. Household Name Status Could be Just a Seth Rogen Movie Away
Hart and Rogen aren’t strangers to working together (Undeclared, The 40-Year-Old Virgin), but their upcoming project will be the first time the two comedy stars will be co-staring in a project together. The comedy duo will play the first interracial police partners, working to infiltrate the New York City underworld of drug smuggling. The film is being developed by the Rogen and Evan Goldberg writing team (Superbad) and Kevin will will executive produce via his HartBeat Productions company.