Kevin Hart (actor)
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Kevin Hart Actor

Kevin Hart
Kevin Hart 2014 (cropped) (cropped).jpg
Hart in March 2014
Birth nameKevin Darnell Hart
Born (1979-07-06) July 6, 1979 (age 39)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
MediumStand-up, film, television
Years active2001–present
GenresObservational comedy, black humor, surreal humor, satire, self-deprecation
Subject(s)African-American culture, American politics, current events, everyday life, human sexuality, marriage, parenting, pop culture, race relations, racism, self-deprecation
Torrei Hart
(m. 2003; div. 2011)

Eniko Parrish (m. 2016)

Kevin Darnell Hart[1] (born July 6, 1979)[2] is an American comedian, actor and television host. 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).

Hart's comedic reputation continued to grow with the release of his first stand-up album, I'm a Grown Little Man (2008), and performances in the films Think Like a Man (2012), Grudge Match (2013), Ride Along (2014) and its sequel Ride Along 2 (2016), About Last Night (2014), Get Hard (2015), Central Intelligence (2016), The Secret Life of Pets (2016), Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (both 2017).

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.[3] He starred as himself in the lead role of Real Husbands of Hollywood.[4]

Early life

Hart was born on July 6, 1979 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[2] He was raised by his single mother, Nancy Hart,[2] and has one older brother, Robert.[1] His father, Henry Witherspoon,[5] a cocaine addict, was in and out of jail throughout most of Kevin's childhood, and Kevin used humor as a way to cope with his troubled family life.[2]

After graduating from George Washington High School, Hart briefly attended the Community College of Philadelphia and moved to New York City.[6][7][8] He then moved to Brockton, Massachusetts, and found work as a shoe salesman.[8] He began pursuing a career in stand-up comedy after performing at an amateur night at a club in Philadelphia.[9]



Hart's first gig was at The Laff House in Philadelphia under the name of Lil Kev, which did not go well.[10] His career suffered a slow start, as he was booed off stage several times, once even having a piece of chicken thrown at him.[11] After those initial unsuccessful shows, Hart began entering comedy competitions throughout Massachusetts, and his fortunes soon turned for the better.[8]

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."[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.[10] 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.[12] Most overseas fans of Hart discovered him on YouTube, as well.[13]

It was announced in October 2013 that ABC will be making a 30-minute pilot based on Hart's stand-up act. Hart does not plan to star in the sitcom, but does plan on having a recurring role.[14]

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.

Film and television roles

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 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.[15] The film received generally negative reviews from critics, but was a major box office success.[16][17] Hart returned in the sequel, Ride Along 2, which was released on January 15, 2016.[18][19]

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.[20] 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.[21] Also in 2015, Hart starred in the films Get Hard with Will Ferrell and The Wedding Ringer.In 2018 he appeared in the movie Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and starred alongside Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas and Bobby Cannavale.

In addition to acting, Hart has also hosted various ceremonies. Hart first hosted the 2011 BET Awards.[22] Hart then hosted the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards.[23] 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.[24] Hart hopes 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."[10] He has hosted three episodes of Saturday Night Live.[25][26] In 2015, Hart hosted the Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber.[27] As of October 2016, Hart is in talks to portray Santa Claus in Dashing Through the Snow, a planned 2017 Disney Christmas-themed film.[28][29]


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.[30] He released the singles "Push It On Me" featuring Trey Songz and "Baller Alert" with Migos & T.I.[31]


In 2017, Kevin Hart and Tommy John appeared in an underwear commercial for Macy's.[32]


Hart has cited as comedy inspirations Bill Cosby, Chris Rock, Eddie Murphy, George Carlin, Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle, Richard Pryor, Patrice O'neal, and Keith Robinson.[33][34]

Comedic style

Kevin Hart's comedic style, particularly in his stand-up routines are based on his racial, physical, familial and gender role experiences. His stand-up frequently invokes self-deprecation, derived from his experiences as a shorter-than-median (5'2"), black, adult male, with an extended black family, trying to navigate his career and personal paths in life. He frequently talks about his fears of being less than ideally physically gifted, the resulting ways in which they intersect with his masculinity, sexuality, traditional male gender role, as well as the experiences and dynamics of his social interactions, and how he fails to live up to the traditional definitions and notions of them.

Kevin Hart has spoken about both his acceptance of his vulnerability with the issues and the painful experiences with his perceived shortcomings as well as the society and family he belongs to as being the primary sources of his comedic material and humour. In particular, this has included acceptance of both his height and the resulting roles in both his personal and professional life he's often given.

Personal life

Kevin and Torrei Hart filed for divorce in February 2010, citing irreconcilable differences. Hart requested joint custody[35] of their two children, daughter Heaven (13) and son Hendrix (10).[36] The divorce was finalized in November 2011.[37]

Hart's relationship with his father improved after the latter recovered from his addiction. Hart said, "My dad said I was supposed to be on drugs. I was like, 'Dad, shut up,' but then I thought about it, and it was stupid, but it made sense. He was saying that basically he was my example to never go down that road."[10]

Hart also talks about his mother in his stand-up routine, portraying her as a loving, yet intimidating woman. She died from cancer in 2007.[10][38]

On August 18, 2014, Hart proposed to Eniko Parrish.[39] They married on August 13, 2016 near Santa Barbara, California.[40] Their son Kenzo Kash was born on November 21, 2017.[41] On December 15, 2017, Hart publicly admitted to having cheated on his wife while she was pregnant with their son Kenzo.[42]

Hart earned an estimated $32.5 million in 2017.[43]

Legal issues

Hart was arrested on April 14, 2013 on suspicion of drunk driving after his black Mercedes nearly collided with a tanker truck on a Southern California freeway. Hart failed a field sobriety test and was booked for misdemeanor DUI.[44] On August 5, 2013, Hart was sentenced to three years of probation after pleading no contest to one count of driving under the influence of alcohol.[45]



Year Film 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
Kevin Hart: I'm a Grown Little Man Himself Stand-up film
2010 Something Like a Business JoJo
Kevin Hart: Seriously Funny Himself Stand-up film
Death at a Funeral Brian
Little Fockers Nurse Louis
2011 35 and Ticking Cleavon
Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain Himself Stand-up film
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 Kevin Hart
Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain Himself Stand-up film
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 role[]
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 Stand-up film[46]
2017 Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie George Beard (voice) Also songwriter for "Saturday"
The Upside Dell
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Franklin "Mouse" Finbar (Anthony "Fridge" Johnson)
2018 Night School Teddy Walker Also producer and writer
2019 The Secret Life of Pets 2 Snowball (voice) In production
Jumanji 3 Franklin "Mouse" Finbar (Anthony "Fridge" Johnson) In production[47]
TBA Ride Along 3 Ben Barber


Year Show Role Notes
2002-2003 Undeclared Luke 3 episodes
2002-2004 Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn Himself 8 episodes
2004 The Big House Kevin 5 episodes
Comedy Central Presents Himself Stand-up special
2005 Barbershop James Ricky 3 episodes
2005-2006 Jake In Progress Nugget Dawson 2 episodes
2006 Love, Inc. James
Help Me Help You Kevin Episode: "Raging Bill"
2007 All of Us Greg Episode: "The B-R-E-A-K-U-P"
Wild 'n Out Various 21 episodes
2009 Party Down Dro Grizzle Episode: "Taylor Stiltskin Sweet Sixteen"
Kröd Mändoon and The Flaming Sword of Fire Zezelryck 6 episodes
Kevin Hart: I'm a Grown Little Man Himself Stand-up special
2010 Kevin Hart: Seriously Funny Stand-up special
Cubed Security Guard Episode: "2.10"
2011-2012 Modern Family Andre 2 episodes
2011 BET Awards 2011 Host TV special
2012 Workaholics Kevin Episode: "To Kill a Chupacabraj"
2012 MTV Video Music Awards Host TV special
2013-2016 Real Husbands of Hollywood Himself Also co-creator, writer, executive producer
2013 Second Generation Wayans Episode: "The Arrival"
2013-2017 Saturday Night Live Host 3 episodes
2015 Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber TV special
2016 2016 MTV Movie Awards Host (with Dwayne Johnson) TV special
2018 TKO: Total Knock Out Himself Game Show

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
2016 "Push it On Me" Trey Songz Chocolate Droppa
2018 "Kevin's Heart" J. Cole Himself


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 Award Best Actor Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain Won
Teen Choice Award Choice Movie: Male Scene Stealer Think Like a Man Nominated
Teen Choice Award Choice Movie Hissy Fit Think Like a Man Nominated
2014 BET Award Best Actor Ride Along, Real Husbands of Hollywood, About Last Night Nominated
NAACP Image Award Outstanding Comedy Series Real Husbands of Hollywood Won
NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Real Husbands of Hollywood Won
NAACP Image Award Entertainer of the Year Won
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award Favorite Funny Star Won
MTV Movie Award Best Comedic Performance Ride Along Nominated
MTV Movie Award Best On-Screen Duo (with Ice Cube) Ride Along Nominated
Acalpulco Black Film Festival Artist of the Year Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, This Is the End, Grudge Match Won
Teen Choice Award Choice TV: Reality Show Real Husbands of Hollywood Nominated
Teen Choice Award Choice Movie Actor: Comedy Ride Along Won
Teen Choice Award Choice Movie: Chemistry (with Ice Cube) Ride Along Nominated
Teen Choice Award Choice Movie: Hissy Fit Ride Along Nominated
Teen Choice Award Choice Comedian Won
2015 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Comedy Series Real Husbands of Hollywood Nominated
NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Real Husbands of Hollywood Nominated
MTV Movie Award Best Comedic Performance The Wedding Ringer Nominated
MTV Movie Award Comedic Genius Award Won
BET Award] Best Actor The Wedding Ringer Nominated
Teen Choice Award 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 Actor Real Husbands of Hollywood Won
2017 Favorite Comedic Movie Actor Central Intelligence Won
Favorite Animated Movie Voice The Secret Life of Pets as Snowball Nominated
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
2018 Grammy Awards Best Comedy Album Kevin Hart: What Now? 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) Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Nominated


  1. ^ a b "Death: Nancy Hart, Student Registration". University of Pennsylvania Almanac. 53 (22). February 13, 2007. Retrieved 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d "Kevin Hart Biography: Actor, Comedian (1969-)". (FYI / A&E Networks. Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ "Kevin Hart: The World's 100 Most Influential People". Retrieved 2017.
  4. ^ Cummings, Jozen. "Career Breakdown: Kevin Hart's Long, Complicated, Hit-and-Miss-and-Hit-Again Path to Stardom". (ESPN) Internet Ventures. Retrieved 2017.
  5. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (August 30, 2012). "Kevin Hart Learns to Tell the Truth". The New York Times.
  6. ^ "Kevin Hart: Comically independent".
  7. ^ "Kevin Hart returns to Community College of Philadelphia: "I don't got no student loans!"".
  8. ^ a b c Johnson, Keosha. "TheGrio's 100: Kevin Hart, Philly comedian sees the humor in life experiences". Retrieved 2017.
  9. ^ "About Kevin Hart". Comedy Central. Archived from the original on October 6, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  10. ^ a b c d e Itzkoff, Dave (October 18, 2012). "Life Sends Lemons? Make Comedy". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012.
  11. ^ a b Gomez, Luis (October 18, 2012). "Interview: Kevin Hart not shy about past flubs". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2017.
  12. ^ "About Kevin Hart". Comedy Central. Retrieved 2017.
  13. ^ Puig, Claudia (July 2, 2013). "Kevin Hart's 'Let Me Explain' is too heavy on the 'me'". USA Today. Retrieved 2017.
  14. ^ Lacey Rose (October 7, 2013). "Kevin Hart Comedy Snapped Up by ABC". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017.
  15. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (July 11, 2012). "'Ride Along' Detours To Universal As Kevin Hart And Ice Cube Vehicle". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2017.
  16. ^ "Ride Along". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2017.
  17. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for January 17-20, 2014". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2014.
  18. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (April 23, 2013). "Sequels On Tap For 'The Heat' And 'Ride Along'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2017.
  19. ^ Kroll, Justin (March 13, 2014). "'Ride Along 2' to Bow on Martin Luther King Weekend 2016". Variety. Retrieved 2017.
  20. ^ "Kevin Hart Explains Why Robin Thicke Left 'Real Husbands'". Retrieved 2017. (Archive link requires scrolldown.)
  21. ^ Berkshire, Geoff. "BET's 'Real Husbands of Hollywood' with Nick Cannon, 'Second Generation Wayans' get January premieres". zap2it. Archived from the original on January 2, 2013. Retrieved 2017.
  22. ^ Bark, Theo (June 8, 2011). "Patti LaBelle to Receive BET's Lifetime Achievement Award". (AOL). Retrieved 2017.
  23. ^ Montgomery, James (15 May 2012). "2012 Video Music Awards To Take Over Staples Center Show will air live from Los Angeles on Thursday, September 6, at 8 p.m. ET/PT". MTV News. Retrieved 2017.
  24. ^ Weiner, Jonah (May 31, 2012). "VMA 2012 Host Kevin Hart Is Judd Apatow's Favorite Vertically Challenged Comic". Rolling Stone (Rolling Stone's Big Issue).
  25. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (March 3, 2013). "'Saturday Night Live' With Kevin Hart and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Up From Last New Episode". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 2017.
  26. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (January 18, 2015). "'Saturday Night Live' With Host Kevin Hart and Musical Guest Sia Flat With Last Original". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 2017.
  27. ^ Zumberge, Marianne (March 5, 2015). "Comedy Central's Justin Bieber Roasters to Include Snoop Dogg, Martha Stewart". Variety. Retrieved 2017.
  28. ^ Kit, Borys (October 26, 2016). "Kevin Hart in Talks to Play Santa Claus in Disney's 'Dashing Through the Snow' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017.
  29. ^ Coggan, Devan (October 26, 2016). "Kevin Hart to play Santa in Disney comedy Dashing Through the Snow". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2017.
  30. ^ "Stream Kevin 'Chocolate Droppa' Hart's 'What Now? (The Mixtape)'". Rap-Up. October 14, 2016. Retrieved 2017.
  31. ^ Goddard, Kevin (September 30, 2016). "Kevin Hart signs to Motown records". Hotnewhiphop. Retrieved 2017.
  32. ^ "How Kevin Hart Became an Unexpected Underwear Model (Exclusive)". Entertainment Tonight. November 6, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  33. ^ McCarthy, Sean L. (January 16, 2013). "5 Comedians Who Inspired Kevin Hart, In His Own Words". Retrieved 2017.
  34. ^ Kevin Hart [@KevinHart4real] (March 24, 2017). "Richard Pryor...Eddie Murphy....Dave Chapelle" (Tweet). Retrieved 2018 – via Twitter.
  35. ^ "Kevin Hart Divorce: Talks Split On 'The Rosie Show'". HuffPost. January 20, 2012. Retrieved 2017.
  36. ^ Sangweni, Yolanda (February 3, 2014). "Photo Fab: Kevin Hart Takes Daughter to First Father-Daughter Dance". Essence. Retrieved 2017.
  37. ^ "Kevin Hart: I'm Divorced, And Still Rich!". March 22, 2013. Retrieved 2017.
  38. ^ Landrum, Jonathan (September 9, 2011). "Kevin Hart Pokes Fun at His Life in Standup Movie". Backstage. Retrieved 2017.
  39. ^ "Kevin Hart Engaged to Eniko Parrish - Watch the Sweet Proposal". People. Retrieved 2017.
  40. ^ Fisher, Kendall; Kitnick, Sara (August 15, 2016). "Kevin Hart Marries Eniko Parrish: Get the Details About Their Big Day". E! News. Retrieved 2017.
  41. ^ Petit, Stephanie (November 21, 2017). "Kevin Hart and Wife Eniko Welcome Son Kenzo". Retrieved 2017.
  42. ^ France, Lisa Respers (December 15, 2017). "Kevin Hart spills about cheating on pregnant wife". CNN. Archived from the original on January 11, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  43. ^ O'Malley Greenburg, Zack (June 12, 2017). "Full List: The World's Highest-Paid Celebrities 2017". Forbes. Retrieved 2017.
  44. ^ "Drunken driving arrest a 'wake-up' call, comedian Kevin Hart says". CNN. April 15, 2013. Retrieved 2017.
  45. ^ "Comedian Kevin Hart Pleads No Contest To DUI". CBS Los Angeles. August 5, 2013. Retrieved 2017.
  46. ^ Molly Eichel (August 31, 2015). "Kevin Hart wows a crowded Lincoln Financial Field". Retrieved 2017.
  47. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (February 6, 2018). "Scott Rosenberg & Jeff Pinkner To Write 'Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle' Sequel". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 2018.

External links

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