Hip Hop Legends
This week’s celebrity pick is the incredibly talented Kevin Hart
Category: Celebrity Pick
Tags: kevin hart celebrity pick word life production feature weekly blog

Kevin Hart was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 3, 1980. Raised by his mother, Hart began working as a stand-up comedian shortly after graduating from high school, eventually migrating to bigger clubs in New York and Los Angeles. In 2006, he released his first stand-up album, I'm a Grown Little Man. His 2011 tour, Laugh at My Pain (also the name of a subsequent documentary), grossed $15 million, making it one of the biggest tours of the year.

Actor and comedian Kevin Hart was born on July 3, 1980, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The youngest of two boys, Hart was raised by his mother, Nancy, who took on the role of single parent as a result of her husband's chronic battles with cocaine and the law.

Throughout much of Kevin Hart's childhood, Henry Hart was in and out of jail, and rarely around. As a coping mechanism, the young Hart found humor to battle back the pain of his childhood. Henry has since cleaned up his life, and father and son have reconnected.

The experience of those tough years would later provide a source for much of Hart's comedy. "The jokes," he has said of his stand-up, "come from a real experience." As a boy, Hart was obsessed with stand-up comedy and comedians in general. He has listed Chris Tucker and J.B. Smoove as some important influences.

After graduating from high school, Hart moved to New York City, and later to Brockton, Massachusetts. But it was back in his hometown of Philadelphia, while working as a shoe salesman, that Hart's stand-up career began to blossom.

It was a rough start. For a time, Hart pounded the pavement at a variety of small comedy clubs, working under the stage name of Lil' Kev the Bastard. Few saw Hart, and few of those who did found him funny. "I was trying to be everybody," he once said. "I was so confused, I didn't know what to do."

Under the guidance of Keith Robinson, a veteran comedian who began to mentor the younger stand-up, Hart began performing under his own name and creating material drawn from real-life experiences. Success eventually followed. After winning several amateur stand-up performances, he began performing regularly in clubs around the country.

Stand-Up Stardom

Hart's comedy has been compared to the four "Kings of Comedy," incorporating elements of Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley and Bernie Mac.

As Hart's stand-up career began to take off, ABC handed the young comic his own sitcom, The Big House. Hart played himself on the show, a successful young man who is forced to leave his home in Hawaii and move in with some distant relatives Philadelphia after getting ensnared in an embezzlement scheme. The outlandish storyline never caught on with audiences, however, and was canceled after just six episodes.

Hart rebounded quickly. In 2006, he released his first stand-up album; I'm a Little Grown Man, which further cemented his status as one of comedy's best young performers. His second album, Seriously Funny, released four years later, proved to be even bigger.

However, it was 2011's Laugh at My Pain tour, later turned into a concert documentary, that turned Hart into a full-fledged star. As the title suggests, Hart delved deep into his own personal history for material, from his mother's death from cancer to the strange behavior of his relatives. His recurring line, "All right, all right, all right," quickly became a favorite catch phrase among audiences. In all, Laugh at My Pain encompassed 90 cities and grossed $15 million, making it one of the year's most successful comedy tours.

Film and Other Roles

Hart's career has spanned a varying list of films, including Scary Movie 3 (2002), The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2004), Soul Plane (2004), Little Fockers (2010) and The Five-Year Engagement (2011).

In 2012, Hart hosted the MTV Music Awards. Around the same time, he began a reccurring role on the ABC comedy Modern Family.

Personal Life

Hart married comedian Torrie Hart in 2003. The couple, now divorced, has two children together, Heaven Leigh and Hendrix.

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