Kevin Hart (born July 3, 1980), is an American actor and comedian. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Hart started his career by winning several amateur comedy competitions at clubs throughout the New England area, and he got his first real break in 2001 when he was cast by Judd Apatow for a recurring role on the TV series Undeclared. The series only lasted one season, but it was enough for him to get his name out and land other roles in movies like Paper Soldiers, Scary Movie 3, and Along Came Polly. His comedic reputation began to grow with the release of his first stand-up album I'm a Grown Little Man in 2009. This was followed by Seriously Funny in 2010, and in 2011 Laugh at My Pain in 2011, most arguably his most successful stand-up act so far.
Kevin's first comedic gig was at the Laff House in Philadelphia under the name of Lil Kev, which didn't go well at all. He went through a slump at first when he was booed off stage several times, and once a man even threw a piece of chicken at him while he was on stage. After a few unsuccessful shows, Kevin began entering comedy competitions throughout Massachusetts and turned his luck around.
It took Kevin some time to develop his own comedic style. After an early period of trying to imitate other comedians like Chris Tucker (the "Rush Hour" star), Kevin found his own rhythm by talking about his own insecurities and his own life experiences. In his own words, "Because of what I do, it has to be an open book,” he said. “But right now this is a book that is being written."
Kevin draws his inspiration from role model comedians like fellow Philadelphian Bill Cosby, Chris Rock, Eddie Murphy, and Dave Chappelle. He has tried to combine the best qualities of all these men into his own act. "When you talk about your flaws, people gravitate towards you," Hart said in an interview with Rolling Stone, "I'm just not that manly-man." This humble way of thinking may be somewhat attributed to his short stature, since Kevin stands only five-foot-four. His humility and his strong work-ethic are two main reasons for his success.
Kevin's comedy tours began in 2009 with his act entitled "I'm a Grown Little Man", followed by "Seriously Funny" in 2010, "Laugh At My Pain" in 2011, and most recently, his special called "Let Me Explain" in early 2012. Hart grossed over id="mce_marker"5 million from "Laugh At My Pain", which made it one of the year's top-selling tours. Kevin also has a game available through iTunes download on the iPod and iPad called "Little Jumpman". It is a platform game where the objective is to jump higher and higher. His Facebook page, Twitter account, and Youtube channel are all connected to and accessible through this app.
In 2003, Kevin married Torrie Hart and they had two children, Heaven Leigh and Hendrix. In February 2010, the couple filed for divorce over "irreconcilable differences." Hart requested joint custody and looked to prevent Torrie from receiving money in the divorce, due to the fact that she is a comedian herself with a sufficient income to support herself. The pair's relationship troubles have made their way into both of their stand-up acts. Even though rude remarks were made about one another over the course of the divorce, Kevin says there are no hard feelings, "We just didn't work out, but we're friends."
Awards and honors
Kevin has appeared in several notable gigs outside of his stand-up career and the big screen. In 2012, Kevin was voted MVP of the NBA Celebrity All-star game, regardless of the fact he was ejected in the fourth quarter for cursing at the ref and taking off one of his shoes and throwing the other across the court. He had eight points and six assists in the game. Kevin also hosted the 2012 VMA Awards, sponsored by MTV. His long time friend Judd Apatow, who was the director that gave him his first big break on-screen with the TV series Undeclared, was the one who recommended him for the gig. Stephen Friedman, the MTV president, said that it’s “that combination of being intimately connected and yet still a little bit like, ‘Oh, my God, what am I doing here? That allows our audience to have a really powerful connection to someone that feels more like a friend, versus someone who’s a distant talent up on the stage.” Kevin hopes that this will project him further into the hosting career, “Hopefully after MTV, of course we’re talking Emmys, Oscars, whatever.” In 2005, he was nominated for the BET Platinum Mic Viewers Choice Award. In 2012, Kevin walked away with a Best Actor trophy from BET for his performance in the box office hit movie Think Like A Man.