Kevin Hart – Before he Was Famous
Before They Were Famous
Kevin Hart – Before He Was Famous
Before Kevin Hart won MTV’s Comedic Genius award, the People’s Choice Comedian award, and became a Hollywood star sharing the screen with The Rock, Will Ferrell, Ice Cube, and Snoop Dog.
Before divorcing from his wife of 4 years, getting joint custody of their two kids, then proposing to smoking hot model, Eniko Parrish.
Before Kevin Hart almost smashed his Mercedes Benz into a truck back in 2013 while driving drunk, catching a DUI charge with 3 years’ probation.
Before he became the world’s highest-grossing comedian, with 30 million Twitter followers and 40 million Instagram fans bringing his net worth to an estimated 62 million dollars.
Kevin Hart was raised by his single mother in Philly, while his jailed, coke-addict father hung over their family like a dark cloud. Things were tough and money was tight, Kevin slept in a bunk bed in a hallway and would eat tuna and sardines from a can for dinner. He used humour to deal with his troubles early on but the funny man didn’t consider trying comedy until after graduating from community college. When he did finally get up on stage he fell in love. Sadly, the audience didn’t feel the same. With no signature style, and him being too afraid to talk about his own life experiences, Kevin went through years of getting booed off stage. But when he finally decided to open up and poke fun at himself and suddenly things started to click.
Kevin Darnell Hart was born in Philadelphia on July 6 1979. His single mother, Nancy raised him and his older brother Robert in the city. His father Henry was a crack cocaine addict, and usually in jail during Kevin’s childhood. Money was tight, Kevin recalled in an Instagram photo that all he wanted for his birthday was a cake and his mom followed through, one Christmas his mom got him a big wheel bike. These were big moments in his childhood because money was so tight. Growing up his bedroom was in the hallway, there were cockroaches and dinner was typically canned food. To help deal with these stresses Kevin turned to humour, and I’m happy to report that him and his dad are now good buds.
He realized at 11 that his future could perhaps be in comedy. When his mom would be enraged and pull out the whip he would do what he could to make her laugh and she struggled to carry out the punishment when he had her in stitches.
He started to watch all the standup comedy he could get his hands on, and looked up to comedians J.B Smoove, Eddie Muphy and Chris Tucker as his idols. At George Washington high school in North East Philly Kevin waited for puberty to kick in as his peers outgrew him. When he maxed out at 5’4”, Hart quickly turned to debate teams and spelling bees. His mother was persistant to keep her boy occupied and away from a life on the streets and insisted that he take up a sport. Kevin got himself on the swim team and competited professionally throughout his childhood.
Kevin studied at Temple University for two years. He later moved to New York City for graduation in Community College throughout school his friends and peers kept telling him how hilarious he was and told him to give stand up a try. It was something Hart had never really considered, but after hearing it enough times, he was convinced to finally give it a go.
After graduating he moved back to Philly and performed at every open mic he could under the name Lil Kev the Bastard. Like most comedians starting out, Hart quickly realized how difficult it was to break in. Not sure what his own style of comedy was yet, he started to imitate his idols, and the audience hated it. He was booed off countless times and even had some chicken tossed at him one night.
While he was moonlighting as an amateur comedian, Hart was working at a shoe store sizing up customers a job he states he was really good at and he thought he had future working for Nike. He soon found a mentor in a veteran comic name Keith Robinson who encouraged him to be himself, perform under his own name, and take material from his own life experiences. He took his advice and the next amateur night got on stage and absolutely floored the audience.
He quit his job and started doing standup full time at Philly’s Laff House, winning several stand-up competitions and slowly climbing the ranks. He had also married a fellow comedian Torrei Hart, and had two children with her. Now a husband and father, when Kevin was given the opportunity to fly to Montreal and perform at the world-famous Just For Laughs festival, the man did not disappoint.
Comedy king Judd Apatow tapped him to play a part in the comedy series Undeclared and with this credit and contacts under belt Hollywood was no longer a world away.
Soon he was landing bit parts in feature films like Scary Movie, 40-Year-Old Virgin, and Soul Plane. He even got his own ABC sitcom called The Big House, but that one didn’t take off but Kevin stand up was still getting bigger and bolder. At 24 years old, he had his first televised stand-up special with Comedy Central.
Judd Apatow had another gig for Kevin this time in the 40 year old virgin.
Kevin would continue to book work in television, film and tour as a comedian. Looking to cement his status as one of the funniest new faces in show biz, he 2009 his stand-up tour ‘I’m a Grown Little Man’ became a national phenomena.
From there Hart continued to land bigger and bigger roles, break records with his comedy tours, and even reconnected with his father who has since cleaned up. And the rest of the story, you know the story – because this is Before They Were Famous
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