Monday, January 11, 2010
FEATURES: Kevin Hart
Tucked away in a modest office in Los Angeles, a young man juggles a cell phone, getting dressed and talking to his assistant. To his right sits a flat screen mounted on the wall and behind him is a framed poster of “Soul Plane” the 2004 movie starring Kevin Hart himself.
With a relatively fast paced career, big things have happened in the last twelve years for the comedic actor who used to call himself Little Kev. With sixteen movies under his belt and thousands of hours of stage time, Kevin has no plans of slowing down. “There’s still so much I want to do, I don’t want to get complacent” he said.
Kevin’s journey began in Philly where he started doing open mic’s at various spots around the city. He took his friends suggestion to channel his sense of humor into a staged act. He says he won six amateur competitions. “I was making $75 a week. I figured it was enough to pay my rent”. And with little experience and lots of hope he quit his job as a shoe salesman and made comedy his new career. Kevin says when he first hit the stage, he didn’t have much to talk about, explaining much of his jokes were simple “white people do this and black people do it like this”. Now a lot of his routine comes directly from the real life challenges of being a husband and father of two.
In addition to a number of appearances on shows on, UPN and MTV, he has performed as a comic on many of the top networks too, including NBC, HBO, and BET. And last year, his one man show “Grown Little Man” debuted on Comedy Central last year.
As an actor his career is growing as well. Kevin first gained mainstream attention in the “Scary Movie” series. When “Soul Plane” was released, with him as the star it was successful in the Black community only, but it still was criticized for being stereotypical. To that he admits, he went into production knowing it wouldn’t be an Oscar contender. But admits he would not do Soul Plane 2, if there was an offer. “It is what it is, a funny movie about stereotypes,” he said. Kevin is now hoping to get more leading man roles and roles that aren’t comedies. He wants the industry to take him as a serious actor. In ”Not Easily Broken”, he stars opposite Morris Chestnut and Teraji P. Henson. “That’s a movie about the struggles of marriages. It’s not a comedy, but I’m the comic relief.
Def Comedy Jam brought Black comedy to the forefront, and for many comics, including Kevin, that show was pivotal in their career. Many comics work in black comedy rooms often, some cross over and become successful in mainstream clubs but only a few are able to grab consistent movie roles. Many of his comedian friends are equally funny and many have more years of comedy work under on their resume, but Kevin has managed to take the lead, passing most of his peers in terms of the number of movies. He says he does not know of any hating from other comics, and also says, he chooses not to be involved with negative people. “We all have our own different paths. Each person will shine when it’s their time” he says. Keeping with the spirit of brotherhood, he says he does help comics when he can. Kevin says he has two comics who are close friends that he takes on the road with him. “As a man you don’t want to feel like someone gave you something, but I do give them opportunities and let them take it from there. Na’im Lynn and Will Spanky Horton are both funny comics on their own” he said.
Steve Harvey and Katt Williams are two other comics who recently made headlines together with there on going “beef” and Kevin reserves comment. “I’m not a rapper, I don’t battle”, he said. “My job is to tell jokes”.
When Kevin is not entertaining fans, he entertains himself playing NBA Live and relaxing with his family.”Family is important”, he said. Kevin admits he was moved to tears recently when his family surprised him and came to a show in Philly over the Christmas holiday.
Hart says that music is a big part of his day as well. He says he is really loving Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy and Jay Z. But also admits that he has stuff in his Ipod that would probably surprise you. Bon Jovi, Danity Kane, Cold Play and Brittany Spears all found their way into his rotation. “Say what you want, Brittany’s shit is hot,” boats Kevin.
As for now you can catch Kevin in a series of EBay commercials, or pick up a copy of his DVD Grown Little Man. For a up to date list of his show visit out at www.khartonline.com